Scenic USA - Utah

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided.

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Kirk's Cabin

Kirk's Cabin

Photos by Rob Jones
Trip Report

     Salt Creek Canyon seems to have been a busy place over the last century. The area once served as cattle grazing land from the late 1800s, through the mid 50s. Also during the 1950s, new uses for uranium brought in mining activities. As more and more 4 wheel drive vehicles were produced in the 60s, Salt Creek Road saw a deluge of sightseers and rock hounds.
     Salt Creek Canyon's lush grass, a rarity in Utah's arid southeast, convinced Rensselaer Lee Kirk that this was the place to setup his business. First in the canyon, Kirks cattle operation prospered for nearly 20 years. Today, Kirk's hundred year old cabin survives in remarkably good shape. The roof of the 15 by 20 foot cabin remains in place, and it's been said that Kirk's hay rake still rests in a canyon alcove.
     Salt Creek Road cut through the Canyonlands' Needles District, and received its biggest improvements and heaviest use by the Scorup and Somerville cattle operations. Access changed after the national park lands were established. It wasn't long until wide open use was cut back, and permitting limited use to a dozen vehicles a day. Today, things are more complicated as controversy still lingers over a total ban on access. Opposing groups have seen court decision handed down, and then overturned. Today, it seems that legal efforts to keep the last 11 miles of Salt Creek Road open are over.




 

 

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