Before my brother and I began our hiking tour of these wilderness study areas, we got gas in Milford. The road sign said, “No services for the next 70 miles.” Dry lakebeds, reminders of ancient Lake Bonneville, dot the desert east of King Top, Notch Peak, and the Wah Wah Mountains. Sevier Dry Lake is the largest of these playas.
In 1872 it had a surface area of 188 square miles. When the Sevier River was diverted for irrigation, the shallow lake dried up in less than 10 years. After a rain, or in a wet year, the lakebed may still hold sheets of water. When we passed the dry lakebeds, dust devils stirred a fine grit into the air, and a dead cow was lying on its bloated side with stiff legs sticking out to make a perch for a black crow. Water is scarce, people are scarce, road signs are scarce. Official hiking trails are nonexistent.
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