History of the Dirty Devil River, Utah
Courtesy of Utah Place Names. (Links Added)

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Dirty Devil River (Garfield/Wayne) originates at the junction of the Fremont and Muddy rivers that join northeast of Hanksville to form the Dirty Devil. This river then drains southeast into the Colorado River. During one of Powell's expeditions, the party drew near the mouth of the then unnamned river and someone shouted, "How is she, Jack?" and Jack replied, "Oh, she's a dirty devil!" This is the origin of the name. When the river was first named by the Powell group, they made no distiction as to how far upriver the name would apply or which branch the name continued on. This problem was finally solved by the courts. Powell later changed the name to Fremont River to honor John Charles Fremont, cartographer and pathfinder, but the name Dirty Devil continued its popularity, so the name Fremont now applies only to the principal upper fork. Powell's party subsequently named Bright Angel Creek further down the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park to counteract the naming of the Dirty Devil. Inasmuch as they had honored the devil they felt obliged to honor the good spirits as well.

John W. Van Cott

The Dirty Devil River flows through the following counties: Wayne, Garfield.

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