Flying into Salt Lake City this afternoon, I noticed the old shoreline benches of Lake Bonneville, the great Pleistocene inland sea that once filled a big chunk of what we now call the Great Basin. The benches are these big flat topographic features a few hundred feet above the valley floor. One one, south of town, they’ve built a neighborhood, a modern repurposing. It’s one of those geologic features that’s dead obvious from the air, but harder to see when you’re on it.
I’m at the University of Utah for the Wallace Stegner Center 22nd Annual Symposium – Water in the West: Exploring Untapped Solutions. With an hour to kill before dinner, I walked up the hill behind campus where there are signs for the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, which traces the counter of the old shoreline bench here.
I ended up at Red Butte Creek, which emerges from a culvert on the southern edge of campus before winding down to the Jordan River. It’s a little creek, but with the big snowpack to the east it was running full.
Happy World Water Day from the Red Butte Creek watershed, on the shores of old Lake Bonneville.