Off Highway 24 north of Hanksville are some pretty interesting rocks.
Ticaboo gets its name from Ticaboo Creek, which was named by Cass Hite in the 1880s, for a Paiute word meaning “friendly.”
The Ticaboo townsite is a master-planned community that was organized in the late 1970s to both provide housing to the then booming uranium mining industry in southeastern Garfield County, and tap into the tourism potential of nearby Lake Powell. The Ticaboo Resort was developed to provide accommodations to guests visiting the remote area as well as to encourage the development of a tourism base outside of Bullfrog in the northern Lake Powell area.
The first inhabitants of Ticaboo were Kayenta Anasazi. In October 1981, the Division of Utah State History conducted an excavation of a small settlement known as the Ticaboo Town Ruins, located directly west of the town of Ticaboo.
Ticaboo Resort is one of many master development lease holders tasked with the development of Ticaboo by the Utah School and Trust Lands Administration (SITLA). Previous master development lease holders have included mining companies who also owned mines in the Henry Mountain Complex, or the Shootaring Mill. Originally established in 1977, Plateau Resources Limited was the master development lease holder and constructed the infrastructure that still exists today for electric, water, and wastewater.
In the spring of 1882 Ebenezer Hanks, Ebenezer McDougall, Joseph Sylvester, Charles Gould, and Samuel Gould moved with their families from Washington County to the junction of the Fremont and Muddy rivers in what is now eastern Wayne County. This early settlement in what was known as Graves Valley–a name applied to the area by John Wesley Powell survey expedition member Walter Graves, who had mapped the region–developed into the community of Hanksville.
In the summer of 1882 the General Land Office let contracts for the surveying of townships along the Fremont River from Capitol Reef eastward to Hanksville. These surveys were completed by the spring of 1883, allowing the earliest settlers to file and establish orderly land claims.
The small community developed quickly; postal service from Green River was established in 1883 with a delivery three times a week. The mail was carried by pony express and the rider would make the 110-mile round trip in two days. The community’s name was changed to Hanksville in 1885, and by 1890 twenty families had moved to the valley and maintained permanent residences there.
Telephone service began in 1913 under a cooperative plan connecting Hanksville to Fruita and other communities in the county. This service was updated in 1960. Hanksville did not receive electricity until 1960; before 1960 many residents operated individual generators run on butane or diesel fuel.
The early settlers depended on culinary and irrigation water from the Fremont River. Culinary water improved in 1933 when a well was drilled that was financed by the Drought Relief Commission; a second well as completed in 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
A Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) airport was constructed five miles north of Hanksville in 1945. This station still functions as an emergency landing strip and provides current weather data to the busy Los Angeles to Denver route utilized by commercial, private, and military air traffic.
In 1959 a schoolhouse was completed to replace the two-room unit that had housed eight grades since the early organization of the community. At present high school students ride the bus to Bicknell.
Hanksville has always been a hub for mining activity in the area. In 1889 J. C. Summer and Jack Butler developed the Bromide mine in the Henry Mountains. The Turner mine was discovered shortly thereafter; and mine operators treated their ore at Crescent Creek. Today the economy of the area depends heavily upon mining, agriculture, and tourists heading south to Lake Powell. The 1990 census recorded a population of 129 in Hanksville.
The Dirty Devil River is a river in Southern Utah, the story goes that During an expedition on the Colorado River, John Wesley Powell and his team floated past a tributary stream that was very muddy and full of sediment. One of the crew said “What A Dirty Devil!”.
The Dirty Devil River is a 80-mile long tributary of the Colorado River, located in the U.S. state of Utah. It flows through southern Utah from the confluence of Fremont River and Muddy Creek to the Colorado River.
There are many magnificent views from atop huge cliffs looking down at the Dirty Devil, here are some photos I took from atop Bert Mesa. (N 38° 07.625 W 110° 25.113)
– Dirty Devil River –
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Bert Mesa was a really fun and interesting place to explore. We came off the highway at about N 38.15751 W 110.62134 and went east through Adobe Swale to Burr Point, from there we had to struggle to drive down the cliffs to Bert Mesa, I’m no jeeping pro so it was pretty iffy.
Coming down from Burr Point was quite the adventure, we actually had to improve the road to get the some of the vehicles to make it.
Burr Point road improvements
Once we made it down we explored and went over to the eastern edge to look 1,000+ feet down and see the amazing view of the Dirt Devil River below.
This is such a remote, lonely and beautiful area.
– Exploring Bert Mesa –
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Goblin Valley is a great place to hike around and marvel at the eminent features, mainly thousands of hoodoos and hoodoo rocks, which are formations of mushroom-shaped rock pinnacles, some as high as several meters. The distinct shape of these rocks comes from an erosion-resistant layer of rock atop softer sandstone.
Goblin Valley is in a secluded area. So it wasn’t discovered until some cowboys stumbled upon it looking for cattle. In the late 1920’s, the owner of the Hite Ferry on the Colorado River – Arthur Chaffin – and two colleagues were exploring the area for alternate routes.
Discovering a vantage point just west of what is now Goblin Valley, they were blown away by what they saw. A valley of rock formations in alien shapes. And five buttes. All enclosed by weather-sculpted cliffs.
Many years later – in 1949 – Chaffin returned to the area. He called it Mushroom Valley. This time, he explored this wondrous valley in detail. Taking many photographs of the numerous goblins created by centuries of nature’s handiwork.
Click here for some photos from a trip to the area in 2011.