most of Utah, Castle Valley abounds in history —ancient and modern.
Prehistoric Indians knew its castles and steeples; its sandstone cliffs.
Trail blazers and trappers such as Wolfskill, Robideaux, Gervais, Provost,
Sublette, Fitzpatrick, Fremont and Kit Carson traversed it. And there were those who tarnished it: Butch Cassidy, Elza Lay, Matt Warner
and others. While surveying for a railroad route, Lieut. J.
W. Gunnison came through the area and fixed his name on a butte
and a valley, and later John
W. Powell saw its grandeur via the mighty Green River.
immortalized much of Utah's most spectacular country in his report of
this journey, and he did not slight Castle Valley:" . . . Extensive
sand plains extend back from the immediate river valley as far as we
can see on either side. These naked, drifting sands gleam brilliantly
in the midday sun of July .... Just opposite, there are buttes, outliers
of cliffs to the left. Below, they are composed of shales and marls
of light blue and slate colors; above, the rocks are buff and gray and
then brown. The buttes are buttressed below, where the azure rocks are
seen, and terraced above through the gray and brown beds. The eye can
trace these azure beds and cliffs on either side of the river, in a
long line extending across its course, until they fade away in the perspective.
These cliffs are many miles in length and hundreds of feet high; and
all these buttes —great mountain masses of rock —are dancing and fading
away and reappearing, softly moving about —or so they seem to the eye
as seen through the shifting atmosphere. On landing, we see evidences
that a party of Indians have crossed within a very few days. This is
the place where the lamented Gunnison crossed in the year 1853...."