Once a staging area for horse thieves and cattle rustlers, the Old Smith Homestead in Utah's San Rafael Swell is now used to stage a more benign activity—hiking Horse Thief Canyon.
The 1880's Smith Cabin is also rumored to have been one of the many hideouts of Butch Cassidy and his gang. Does a locale exist in the intermountain west that hasn't laid claim to hosting the Wild Bunch during their criminal careers?
|Smith Cabin—Home to Nefarious 1800's Activities.|
To view another Butch Cassidy haunt—mentioned in a previous post—click here.
|The brilliant red blooms of the Claret Cup Cactus—considered|
one of the desert's most beautiful plants.
|Plains Prickly Pear Cactus.|
|Plains Prickly Pear Cactus plants take root in cryptobiotic soil.
To learn more about the fragile ecosystem of cryptobiotic soil, click here.
|Scalloped Phacelia, Scorpionweed.|
|Cairns—(a mound of rough stones built as a landmark)—|
such as these guide hikers across slickrock.
Shade is non-existent on the Horse Thief Canyon Trail so it’s wise to hike this trail on a cool spring day. The best time of year for wildflower viewing and photography in this area is (typically) the middle of May. HIking the canyons, washes and slickrock of the San Rafael Swell can be fun—just don’t get lost.
Enjoy these flower photos from a subsequent visit to Horse Thief Canyon:
|Lavender Evening Primrose—so named because the yellow flowers|
fade to shades of orange or lavender upon drying.
|Dwarf Evening Primrose.|
|Yellow Plains Prickly Pear.|