The Amazing Log Dam

Crescent Creek
AKA: Conundrum & Lecleed Narrows

Henry Mountains
Technical Canyoneering

          Crescent Creek is a fun little slot canyon hidden in the Henry Mountains. The canyon itself might go unnoticed in the world of the mighty slot canyon if it were not for the bizarre log dam that inhabits the canyon and the colorful history of the surrounding area. The area is littered with relics from the 1950's uranium boom and a couple placer gold mines. It is easy to spend quality time exploring the region.

Circle of Friends:
          Crescent Creek is part of the "Circle of Friends" program. Members of the "Circle of Friends" have access to more specific information, explicit route information, GPS waypoints, trailhead location and detailed maps. If you would like more information on joining the "Circle of Friends" visit the sign up page.

"Circle of Friends"

Alex Korkishko in the narrows of Crescent Creek. Relics of old mining operations?

          The Henry Mountains of southeastern Utah were one of the last-surveyed and last-named mountain ranges in the lower forty-eight United States. When John Wesley Powell made his pioneering voyage down the Colorado River in 1869, most of the United States was surveyed and mapped. However, the region around the Henrys remained a large blank spot on contemporary maps. John Wesley Powell made note of the range on his 1869 voyage, and called them the Unknown Mountains. When he returned in 1871, he named them the Henry Mountains after Joseph Henry, a close friend who was secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

          It was the lure of precious metals that brought the largest influx of settlers into the area. Glen Canyon experienced a number of gold rushes beginning in the early 1890s which had an effect on the Henrys. Lumber for the mining camps and for the Stanton Dredge was cut at many places in the mountains. In 1890 Jack Sumner, who had been with Powell in 1869, located the Bromide Mine near the summit of Mount Ellen. Prospects seemed good, and by 1893 more than 100 men were reported to be working in the area. A small town called Eagle City was established at Crescent Creek, with homes, a hotel, two saloons, a dance hall, three stores, and a post office. However, by 1900 the pocket had played out and Eagle City was a ghost town.

          The only mineral that ever has been mined in large quantities in the Henrys is uranium. Mines were first opened in the decade just before World War I, when radium was found to be useful for medical treatments and luminous paint. After World War II there was a large demand for uranium to be used in nuclear weapons. Numerous uranium deposits throughout the Henrys were prospected and mined, and some of them are still worked today. South of the Henrys, the small settlement of Ticaboo, with a mill and company town, was built in the late 1970s to process uranium from nearby mines. By the time the town and mill were completed, however, the price of "yellowcake" (processed uranium ore) had dropped and the mill was shut down. Today, rusting machinery, abandoned shafts, and scattered debris are all that survive as relics of the uranium booms of the 1950s.

Your favorite  tour guide rappels the log dam. Marc Olivares rappels the log dam.

General Information:
          Crescent Creek is an interesting slot canyon surrounded by a lot of history. This canyon is beginner friendly with competent leadership. Crescent Creek requires complete technical gear. A GPS is useful. Good map reading skills and a route description are essential. Navigation for this route is moderate. Crescent Creek is rated 3A I using the Canyon Rating System.

Part of old bridge over slot. Old mining cabin.

Trailhead Information:
          The Trailhead is located near the town of Hanksville Utah and is accessible to all high clearance vehicles during good weather. Camping is available in the area of the trailhead. A shuttle vehicle is not required for this route.

Anther relic from the past

Hiking Information:
          Hiking options are presented to members of the Circle of Friends.

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