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Glen Canyon

Glen Canyon. Cliff near mouth of Fremont River [Dirty Devil River], Colorado River. Utah.
USGS Earth Science Photographic Archive digital files: hjk00775 and hjk0775a

Powell's crew in 1869 named the "Dirty Devil River" out of spite because the consistency of the stream at the time of their passage was closer to mud than water. One of the problems the expeditions faced was the search for potable water, particularly during rainy periods when the whole river system was running brown with sediment. Powell later attempted to assign a more formal name, the Fremont River (in honor of western explorer John C. Fremont), but the name has never stood up to the popularity of the name assigned in frustration and remembrance by the men that survived the expeditions. (The name Fremont River is applied to an upstream tributary of the Dirty Devil River that flows through Capitol Reef National Park to Hanksville, Utah.) This picture was taken by Hillers and/or Fennemore at the time they prepared to continue downstream in the boat, the Cañonita, that had been cached near the mouth of the river from the previous year (in 1871).

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Last modified: 2/14/2004