At least 17 lakes misidentified in the High Uintas
Mirror Lake, High Uintas, is named correctly, but many other lakes are not.
MAPS are one of the last places you'd expect to find misspellings and inaccuracies. However these source materials aren't always as precise as you hope them to be. Case in point - at least a dozen lakes on the west side of the High Uintas are identified incorrectly on most maps, according to two former summer residents of the area.
John "Jack" Clegg, of Provo and his sister, Patricia C. Christiansen-Burke of Heber City, would both like to set the record straight and get these lakes listed accurately on maps - especially before the origin of some of the names might fade away.
"I think they should be looked at," Clegg said of the map errors.
Clegg's father, "Cardie" spent 56 years working for a union of all irrigation companies having reservoirs on the upper Provo River watershed.
Cardie named at least 17 of the area's lakes himself. Growing up, John Clegg and his sister, Pat, spent many summers working with his father, near Trial Lake.
"Places needed names and there weren't any," Clegg said of the Trial Lake area when his father began working there. "He had no plans to enshrine his friends or relatives (in the naming process)."
Clegg said names were critically needed to help people get around the area and that his father did his best at creating some of those titles.
He said most errors in lake names crept in during the map transcribing process.
There are hundreds of lakes in the High Uintas.
One of the most unusual of misspellings is the prominent Blizzard Lake, just south of Bald Mountain Pass. Although it does seem appropriate for a snowstorm name in a high-altitude land where white moisture can fall from the sky in almost any month of the year, blizzard is not accurate for the lake's name.
Clegg said it was originally named Blazzard Lake, after a pioneer family in Kamas that still owns a lumber yard there. Map errors have repeated themselves over the years.
Traipsing around with Clegg and his sister in the Trial Lake area of the Uintas provided a firsthand account at the inaccuracy of some lake names.
Visiting officially named Azure and Rock lakes shows why the names should be reversed.
Located less that 100 yards from each other, the eastern lake - Azure - is actually the one with rocks all around it and even a few large boulders cropping up in the water. Rock Lake to the west, meanwhile, has grasses growing all around it and is partially surrounded by pine trees.
Clegg said this misnamed Rock Lake is the true Azure Lake because of the poignant sky-blue color it assumes under a clear sky.
A visit to so-called Hourglass Lake also proves it is inaccurately named. Circling the lake, there's no hourglass shape visible. However, a spectacle (eyeglasses) shape does exist and that was its original name - Spectacle Lake.
Mirror Lake, as seen from near the top of Bald Mountain's summit.
Still another wrong name involves Adax Lake, located three miles north of Long Mountain. Sometime at least after 1964, maps started spelling the name from its original Adix form. It was named for Vern Adix, son-in-law of Cardie Clegg, who planted the first fish in the lake.
Yet another misspelling comes with Rhoads Lake. It was originally called Rhodes Lakes, after Ollie L. Rhodes, a friend of Cardie Clegg and poet who featured the Uintas in his writings.
One lake name change that's actually been good is Fire Lake, located west of Trial Lake. Clegg said it was originally "North Fork No. 5." Somehow Five was twisted to Fire.
"That's OK," Clegg said. "That adds a little charm. But it leaves `No. 1 Junior' to the north of `No. 5' with no meaning."
Besides some lakes having wrong names, different maps - Forest Service, U.S. Geological, etc. - don't always use the same title for lakes in the high Uintas. But that's another story.
Wrong Name/Original Name
Adax Lake Adix Lake
Azure Lake Rock Lake
Beaver Lake Duck Lake
Blizzard Lake Blazzard Lake
Duck Lake N. Fork No. 6 Lake
Fire Lake North Fork No. 5
Petit Lake Petite Lake
Rhoads Lake Rhodes Lake
Rock Lake Azure Lake
Twin Lakes Lower Twin Lake
Twin Lakes Upper Twin Lake
(-All photographs by Roger Arave.)
(-Distilled from an article by Lynn Arave in the Deseret News, Oct. 27, 1997.)
-NOTE: The author, Lynn Arave, is available to speak to groups, clubs, classes or other organizations about Utah history at no charge. He can be contacted by email at: email@example.com