Eastern Mojave Vegetation
Images -- Geography - Idaho

By Tom Schweich


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Images are organized by the topics listed at left. Click on a topic name to see images with that topic.

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Bannock County

Interpretive Panel for Red Rock Pass

Photographed 21 October 2017.

Red Rock Pass Geological Site

About 14,500 years ago, ancient Lake Bonneville overflowed at this site. A dam of alluvial fans between Oxford Mountain to the west and the Portneuf Range to the east suddenly eroded releasing Lake Bonneville from the Great Basin into the Snake River system. The Peak flow was about one million cubic meters per second at the pass, or about 500 times the maximum discharge on the Snake River at Idaho Falls, Idaho. Ancient “bathtub ring” shorelines up to 1,000 feet above the valley floor are readily visible in the Salt Lake Valley. Evidence of the flood is visible thoughout southern Idaho with areas of scoured bare bedrock (“scabland”) and deposits of boulders (“melon gravel”) marking the flood path. After about 11,000 years, Lake Bonneville receded to become the Great Salt Lake. Highly saline and only 40 feet deep, it is but a shadow of giant fresh-water Lake Bonneville.

Red Rock Pass is the geographic northern extremity of the Bonneville drainage basin, and was also designated by the early Latter-day Saint leaders as the northern edge of the proposed State of Deseret. North of here, water flows to the Snake, Salmon, and Columbia rivers, on the way to the Pacific Ocean, but south of here it flows into the Great Basin and the Great Salt Lake.

South of the monument in Red Rock Pass, the house-sized limestone blocks were jostled during the breakout of the Bonneville flood. The uneven topography northwest of the monument is a landslide which flowed into Red Rock Pass after it was deepened about 400 feet during the flood. Ancient cave formations are found in the flat-lying limestone of Red Rock Butte immediately north of the monument.

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Looking north towards Zenda (in the trees)

Photographed 21 October 2017.

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  • Zenda, Bannock County, Idaho

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View south to Red Rock Pass

Photographed 21 October 2017.

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Hill with monument

Photographed 21 October 2017.

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Memorial plaque to Captain Jefferson Hunt

Photographed 21 October 2017.

No 119

Erected October 2, 1950

Captain Jefferson Hunt, Soldier, Pioneer, Churchman

Charles Jefferson Hunt served in the Mormon Battalion as captain of Company “A” and as assistant executive officer, in its historic march from Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Diego, California, 1846-47. His service won the commendation of all who served with him.

Under appointment by President Brigham Young in 1851, Captain Hunt was guide for the pioneers to San Bernardino, California. His pioneering service included also Provo, Parowan, and Huntsville (which bears hus name), in Utah, and Oxford, Idaho.

A convert to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints he was loyal, obedient, and faithful to the end.

Erected by descendents of Captain Hunt and the Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Association.

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View from top of hill

Photographed 21 October 2017.

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Interpretive Panel for Red Rock Pass

Photographed 21 October 2017.

Red Rock Pass

You are standing in the outlet of ancient Lake Bonneville. A vast prehistoric inland sea, of which Salt Lake is a modern remnant.

Covering over 20,000 square miles when it overflowed here about 14,500 years ago, its winding shoreline would have stretched from here to New Orleans if it were straightened out. This pass was deepened considerably when Lake Bonneville began to slow into Snake River. For a time, a torrent several times larger than the Amazon was discharged here. Finally, with a hotter, drier climate that slowly emerged about 8,000 years ago, Lake Bonneville gradually disappeared.

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Date and time this article was prepared: 8/11/2018 2:29:17 PM