UPDATE 4/3/22: WAY UP GROVE CANYON — “VISIONS OF NATURE” blossoming/being REVEALED — Tour of the HIGH UINTA WILDERNESS continues — to HELL’S HOLE BASIN & discovering “The UNSUNG HEROES without whom THE WEST WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN WON”
FOR ME UNENDING MARVELOUS…..
“VISIONS OF NATURE”
LAST WEEK I GOT TO THE FACE OF THE MOUNTAIN WHERE YOU SEE WAY BELOW US A WINDING TRAIL RIGHT CENTER…..AND FELT GREAT SO KEPT CREEPING UP THE MOUNTAIN!
WE NOW CONTINUE OUR TOUR OF THE HIGH UINTA WILDERNESS, following the descriptions in the book pages 175-176.
GET THE ONLINE BOOK SO YOU’LL HAVE MUCH MORE DETAIL, INCLUDING TOPOGRAPHICAL MAPS.
Along with getting you the 5 miles to the HELL’S HOLE BASIN & ITS LAKE, I will introduce you to the “UNSUNG HEROES WITHOUT WHOM THE WEST WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN WON–THE TIE HACKERS.”
MY BOOK HELPS REMEDY THAT HISTORICAL ERROR, AS I DISCUSS THEM, THEIR HEROIC EXPLOITS, COURAGE WORKING RIGHT THROUGH THE WINTERS, THEIR GHOST TOWNS–one of them called, “The liveliest, if not the wickedest town in America,” another site named “SUICIDE PARK,” AND HOW THEY GOT THEIR TIES NORTH INTO WYOMING. One way was described in a Forest Service display on the Whitney Road a mile or so north from the Hells Hole Trailhead, taking off up to the west. Said display has weathered away and is today illegible, but I got the following picture back in the early days of my UINTA PROJECT.
To get to Hell’s Hole Basin, from the edge of the parking circle in the Google Earth view, a trail crosses Hayden Fork, and goes east between two hills towards Main Fork of the Bear River. Main Fork was crucial for the Hilliard Flume as water was needed for the flume, so the HOWE FEEDER FLUME was constructed taking water out of Main Fork, said flume coming between the two hills, then downstream it added its water to the Hilliard Flume. As you do the short hike to Main Fork, keep an eye out to your left and you should see what I picture below–unless it is all rotted away since it was way back in the 1870’s, with most of it today gone–EXCEPT IN MY PHOTOS WHICH ARE THE ONLY ONES PUBLISHED OF THIS GREAT EFFORT.
THEN YOU COME TO A ROAD–A CLOSED ROAD–AND CONTINUE SOUTH, and AS YOU GO LOOK TO THE AREA BETWEEN THE ROAD AND THE STREAM AND YOU’LL NOTICE A LEVEL AREA PARALELLING THE STREAM--IT WAS ALONG THIS LEVEL THAT I BEGAN DISCOVERING RUINS OF CABINS, SUPPORTS FOR THE FLUME & PLANKS.
To get to HELL’S HOLE BASIN, continue up the road until it takes a sharp turn ending in a gravel pit. The trail takes off from there and climbs up to Hell’s Hole Lake that has native cutthroat trout waiting for you.
Here we meet famous pioneer artist and photographer, GEORGE BEARD and his wife LOVENIA. You dedicated High Uinta lovers might recognize her name, as George gave it to the first 13,000+ mountain you come to on the Highline Trail as you go east past the Deadhorse Lake area and come to the Lake Fork Drainage. See it below.
There is more information about GEORGE BEARD in my book, but best add here that he is famous for naming, and having named, important Uinta lakes: First, in 1906 a government surveyor asked him which was the largest lake in the Uintas? He pointed to one on the map, and said, “This is the grandaddy of them all!” That name stuck as GRANDADDY LAKE and consequently THE GRANDADDY BASIN with it’s 26 fishable lakes. Way east in the Uinta River Drainage, near Trail Rider Pass is found BEARD LAKE, where I caught an eastern brook trout that would have been a Utah State record if I could have got it out to civilization to be weighed and measured. Then following the trail from said pass towards Lake Atwood, you come to above timberline GEORGE BEARD LAKE where on my 27 day expedition I had the fastest fishing, at the head of an alpine basin I have named GEORGE BEARD BASIN.More details and maps showing all these locations in my BOOK.
GEORGE BEARD’S connection to HELL’S HOLE BASIN is mostly because in a visit he made here he wrote:
“HERE I SAW THE LARGEST GRIZZLY I HAVE EVER SEEN!”
REMEMBER, YOU MIGHT FIND INTERESTING THE BOOK ABOUT MY HALF CENTURY