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Hite Overlook, overlooking Hite, Utah and the Hite Crossing Bridge.

From Glen Canyon to Lake Powell

When Civil War veteran and explorer John Wesley Powell launched the first scientific voyage down the Colorado in 1869, the river’s exact course was a mystery. There were rumors of waterfalls and whirlpools that could swallow boats whole.

After surviving the rapids in Cataract Canyon, just north here, Powell’s expedition camped below at the mouth of Dirty Devil River.

In 1963, the waters of the Colorado began to rise behind Glen Canyon Dam. Lake Powell was born. Would John Wesley Powell approve?

So we have a curious ensemble of wonderful features- carved walls, royal arches, glens, alcove gulches, mounds, and monuments. From which of these features shall we select a name? We decide to call it Glen Canyon. – Major John Wesley Powell (1834-1902)

Searching For Hidden Wealth

In 1883, Navajo Chief Hoskininni led Cass Hite to the canyon below. Hite found gold. He then added to his earnings by opening a small store and post office a few miles from here. Miners provided much of the business at Hite City.

After World War II, a new wave of people rushed in. The town’s population swelled to more than 200
Locals said miners had “uranium on the cranium” as they searched for “hot” rocks.

Like so many mining booms, this one eventually went bust. Hite returned to a small-town existence. In 1964, the rising waters of Lake Powell swallowed up Hite, ending forever what dreams of hidden wealth had begun. Today, the surrounding scenery remains a treasure in full view.