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Journey to the Secret Garden

Staff Writer

This lush green garden exists in the middle of Emery County's desert.

Now that the weather is beginning to be more hospitable, the Emery County Historical Society is able to witness the historical aspects of Emery County firsthand. On May 7, the group met at the Museum of the San Rafael and traveled together to the Secret Garden.

The Secret Garden is located on the rim of the San Rafael Swell just below Huntington. The convoy of vehicles picked up several more trucks at Buckhorn Lake. When the vehicles arrived at their destination, the visitors assembled for the walk into the Secret Garden. Guided by Randy Jensen of Cleveland, the group began the short hike with the first stop just around the rock from the parking area.

Jensen pointed out dinosaur bones in the boulders along the sides of the trail. Also, in the solid rock floor, there were three metates that the Barrier Reef culture had used to grind their grains.

Jensen then led the hikers around and through the rocks and up into the small canyon. Upon arrival, one could see the evidence the ancients left on the canyon walls. There were small petroglyphs and the top of the rocks were blackened from years of smoke from camp fires.

The newest occupants of this grotto, the bats, had also left evidence of their existence.

Many different varities of foliage are in abundance in the canyon. Seeps, which Jensen said had once been free flowing springs when water was more abundant, fed the grasses and bushes. Serviceberry, chokecherry and goosdberry bushes line the floor of the canyon. Grasses were tall and and ferns were abundant on the canyon walls.

The Emery County Historical Society meets once a month and welcomes new members. The next meeting will be June 26.

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