Area: 1,191 square miles; population: 10,089 (in
1990); county seat: Heber City; origin of county name: from the Wasatch
Mountains; principal cities/towns: Heber City (4,782), Midway (1,554), Charleston (336), Wallsburg (252); economy: hay, livestock, recreation;
points of interest: Strawberry, Deer Creek, and Jordanelle reservoirs, Wasatch Mountain State Park, Wasatch LDS Tabernacle in Heber City, Heber
Creeper, historic homes in Midway.
Heber Valley, one of several back
valleys in the Wasatch Mountains, is often called Utah's Switzerland
because of the rugged beauty of Mount Timpanogos located to the west,
its climate, and a large population of Swiss that settled in Midway.
The county's highest peaks top 10,000 feet, and over half of the land
is 7,500 feet above sea level. The climate zone, classified as undifferentiated
highlands, offers cool summers and very cold winters. The average annual
precipitation is about sixteen inches.
The county is divided into two
watersheds--the Colorado and the Great Basin drainage systems. Because
of its annual precipitation and its location between the Uinta and Wasatch mountains, Heber Valley is well endowed with water. Flowing from the
east are Daniels, Lake Fork, and Center creeks. From the north and northeast
is the Provo River. From the west Snake Creek drains a central portion
of the Wasatch Mountains. Two additional sources of water are man-made:
the Ontario Drain Tunnel west of Keetley drains many of the Park City mines, and the Weber/Provo diversion canal diverts water from the Weber across the Kamas prairie in Summit County to the Provo River in Wasatch