Tuesday, June 15, 2021

West Desert


I decided to take a drive to Trout Creek Utah. A little south of Lynndyl Utah I headed west on route 174 past the large coal powered Intermountain Power Plant. In operation since 1986.

I know lots of families that like to camp and rock hound at Topaz Mountain, but this is my first time here. With temps above 100 degrees this was not a hiking, exploring kind of day.

Topaz Mt.(From whence comes the name for nearby Topaz Japanese Internment Camp)

Looking back to the east from Topaz Mt.

Just past Topaz I turned on to Weiss Highway which soon turned to gravel.

Ibapah Peak and the Deer Creek Range. 


Granite Ranch

Looking southwest to tiny Trout Creek.

This is just down the street from the abandoned homestead. It looks lived in. Not too many people in Trout Creek.

Just north of "town" there is a kilometer long section of paved road. When I first drove by I wondered why? I thought a house behind the trees might not like all of the dust that gets stirred up when vehicles pass. Then I discovered it was an LDS Church for the Callao Branch. It is part of the Delta West Stake and includes ranchers who live in Callao at the north end of the Snake Valley all the way south to Gandy. I visited Callao two years ago and it was a more thriving ranch town than Trout Creek, but I think Trout Creek is more central for both a church and school. For more on Callao see: http://beitemmett.blogspot.com/2019/10/great-basin-national-park-and-pony.html

Deep Creek range rising to the west of the Snake Valley

Thin line of green parading across the flats is probably Trout Creek bring snow melt from the range.

West Deseret High (7-12) and Elementary School are located a few miles south of Trout Creek in what is know as Partoun.

The School is part of the the Tintic School District (Juab County) centered in Eureka far to the east. 

From the School web page:

West Desert High School:

West Desert High School is located in Trout Creek, Utah, on the Western edge of Juab County. The school is the smallest high school in Utah and has grades 7-12 taught by one teacher with the help of UEN Concurrent Enrollment Classes and a couple of EdNet Classes that originate at Tintic High School taught by teachers there. Like West Desert Elementary School, the school is very tied to the issues of the Snake Valley water battle with Southern Nevada Water Authority who is trying to develop wells in the small section of Snake Valley that is in Nevada. Regardless of the small size of the studentbody, WDHS has fielded athletic teams in many sports including baseball, basketball, volleyball, track, cross country, and wrestling. At times they have also partnered with their sister Snake Valley high school, Eskdale High School in Eskdale, Utah and Millard County, to field teams. 

Our Vision:
Educating students in a small school to live in a large world.

The two room elementary school.

The school campus with a few homes that I assume are for the teachers.

A few ranches (tree clusters) south and east of Partoun.

Ranch and recently mowed alfalfa.

Warm Creek Ranch at Gandy.

Notice the big stack of Alfalfa, left center.

From Gandy I headed east again. On the east side of the Snake Valley, Bishop Springs and Twin Springs feed the Foote Reservoir.  In recent years the waters in underground aquifers that straddle the nearby Utah-Nevada border have been sought after by Las Vegas that wants to pipe these waters. southward. Utah said no.

I drove over Cowboy pass down into Tule Valley (with salt flats). House Range in the distance.

House Range with Notch Peak.

Instead of driving south to see the tall flat wall of western Notch Peak (akin to El Capitan in Yosemite), I opted to continue eastward via beautiful Marjum Canyon.

House Range and Notch Peak. I once hike 2/3rds up Notch Peak. http://beitemmett.blogspot.com/2011/11/notch-peak.html

Interesting formation in Marjum Canyon.

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