Desolation Canyon is one of the West's wild treasures. Visitors
come to study, explore, run the river, and hike a canyon that is
deeper at its deepest than the Grand Canyon, better preserved than
most of the Colorado River system, and full of eye-catching
geology-castellated ridges, dramatic walls, slickrock formations,
and lovely beaches. Rafting the river, one may see wild horses,
blue herons, bighorn sheep, and possibly a black bear. Signs of
previous people include the newsworthy, well-preserved Fremont
Indian ruins along Range Creek and rock art panels of Nine Mile
Canyon, both Desolation Canyon tributaries. Historic Utes also
pecked rock art, including images of graceful horses and lively
locomotives, in the upper canyon. Remote and difficult to access,
Desolation has a surprisingly lively history. Cattle and sheep
herding, moonshine, prospecting, and hideaways brought a surprising
number of settlers--ranchers, outlaws, and recluses--to the
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