Arches National Park - Upper Salt Valley

Salt Valley extends down into Arches National Park from the northwest. The Salt Valley Road turnoff from the park's main road is after Sand Dune Arch, and extends out of the park to eventually meet with both Highway 191 and Interstate 70 to the north. The road is sandy and should only be attempted with high-clearance 4-wheel-drive vehicles, but from it visitors can access the remote Klondike Bluffs area of Arches. Go to Photo Collection

Photo Collection

Description Upper Salt Valley was interspersed with scadscale and greasewood, indicating salty soils in this flat valley. Lighter patches on the ground incidate salt scald - the soil is too saline to support vegetation. The very small, clumped plants might be invasive exotic halogeton. All of the dominant plants here are unpalatable to livestock, and the distant fenceposts indicate heavy grazing on this site.
Date 1925
Photographer Lee, W. T.
Photo Source NPS - SEUG

Description Greasewood is found throughout the bottomlands of Upper Salt Valley. Nearly all of the greasewood established after 1925, while the shadscale has almost completely been eliminated. Prickly pear cactus is also new to the scene. Invasive annuals dominate the cover, including tumbleweed, brome, and halogeton. Together, this is a typical community of a overgrazed site. A few native galleta grass are present, indicating that grazing is no longer occurring; grazing ceased in this area in 1971.
Date 2006
Photographer Schelz, Charles
Photo Source NPS - SEUG

Description Greasewood continues to dominate Upper Salt Valley. Many plants have reached full size, while young recruits are found throughout. A few patches of prickly pear persist. The light-colored salt scald patch has maintained its size. Low-growing invasive annuals, including tumbleweed, brome, and halogeton, form dense patches on the soil surface.
Date 2013-05-13
Photographer Lemke, W.
Photo Source USGS

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