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The Sevier River in Leamington, Utah
Map of the Sevier Lake drainage basin showing the Sevier River

The Sevier River (pronounced /sɛˈvɪər/) is a river, approximately 280 mi (450 km) long, in southwestern Utah in the United States. It drains an extended chain of farming valleys in the mountains separated by narrow canyons, emerging into the desert of western Utah to empty into the intermittent Sevier Lake.

Description

The river drains an area of 5,500 square miles (14,245 square km), forming a large horseshoe in southern Utah. It is the longest river entirely within the state.

It rises in northwestern Kane County along the western side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, and flows northward into Garfield County through an extended valley beside the plateau past Hatch and Panguitch.

Along the Garfield-Piute county line it descends through the narrow 5 mi (8 km) Circleville Canyon, emerging into a second valley southwest of Junction, where it receives the East Fork from the east and passes through the Piute Reservoir. It flows north across Piute County to Marysvale then descends through 8 mi (13 km) Sevier Canyon, emerging south of Sevier. It then flows northeast past Richfield and Salina. Approximately 20 mi (32 km) southwest of Nephi it turns west, flowing around the north end of the Canyon Mountains into the Sevier Desert, flowing southwest past Delta and into Sevier Lake in central Millard County, along the western side of the Cricket Mountains.

It is impounded in southwestern Juab County at the north end of the valley to form the 20-mi (32 km) long Sevier Bridge Reservoir. The river is used extensively for irrigation in its upper valley in the mountains, resulting in a severe diminishing of the level of Sevier Lake, such that it is now essentially dry. The watershed demarcates the southeastern edge of the Great Basin.

The river was known to the Paiute who inhabited the region as Seve'uu. The Dominguez-Escalante Expedition named it "El Rio de Santa Isabel" on their 1776 expedition. In 1825, William Henry Ashley trapped the region, and Jedediah Smith named it after him, the Ashley River. The current name is derived from "Rio Severo" (wild river), a local name given by early Spanish explorers.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ Van Cott, J. W., 1990, Utah Place Names, ISBN 0-87480-345-4

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Sevier River (Seve'uu (Paiute))
"Rio Severo" (wild river)
1776: El Rio de Santa Isabel
c1826: Ashley River[1]
river
Country United States
State Utah
Part of Escalante-Sevier subregion
Tributaries
 - left Beaver River
 - right East Fork, San Pitch
Length 280 mi (451 km) [citation needed]
Basin 11,574 sq mi (29,977 km²) (includes Beaver-2,466 & San Pitch-848)[2]

The Sevier River (pronounced /sɛˈvɪər/) is the longest Utah river entirely in the state and drains an extended chain of mountain farming valleys to the intermittent Sevier Lake. The Upper Sevier is used extensively for irrigation, and consequently the Sevier Lake is now essentially dry.

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Course

The Sevier River Water Users Association subdivides the river into 4 mainstream sections: Lower, Gunnison, Central, & Upper.[3]

Upper
The Sevier headwaters are in northwestern Kane County along the western side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, and it flows northward into Garfield County through an extended valley beside the plateau past Hatch and Panguitch. Along the Garfield-Piute county line, the Sevier descends through the narrow 5 mi (8 km) Circleville Canyon, emerging into a second valley southwest of Junction, where it receives the East Fork from the east and passes through the Piute Reservoir.
Central
It flows north across Piute County to Marysvale then descends through 8 mi (13 km) Sevier Canyon, emerging south of Sevier. It then flows northeast past Richfield and Salina.
Gunnison and Lower
After the San Pitch confluence and ~20 mi (32 km) southwest of Nephi, the river flows west around the north end of the Canyon Mountains into the Sevier Desert, then southwest past Delta and into Sevier Lake in central Millard County, along the western side of the Cricket Mountains. It is impounded in southwestern Juab County at the north end of the valley to form the 20-mi (32 km) long Sevier Bridge Reservoir.

References


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