A Landing a Day

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Dugway, Utah

Posted by graywacke on December 29, 2008

Here for the first itme?  Check out “About Landing.”


Dan –  Oh oh.  4 OSers in a row (and 5/6).  I’m still hanging in there with 4/10+, but barely.  So where did I land?  Just another classic WBer . . . UT; 57/45; 4/10; 10; 166.0. 



I have practically nothing to say about watersheds.  I landed in a ut, on to a low spot called “Hatch Well,” which is internally-drained.



I landed out in the Utah desert, about 60 miles SW of downtown Salt Lake City (and about 35 miles south of the Great Salt Lake), near the town of Dugway.  My guess is that Dugway is a mining town – and I’ll admit to probably being influenced by the past tense of the word “dig,” and it’s obvious connection to mining.  But first, here’s a map:




Well, it turns out that I was totally wrong.  From Wiki:

Dugway is located in Tooele County.  The population was 2,016, at the 2000 census, a modest increase over the 1990 figure of 1,761. “Dugway” is synonymous with the United States Army’s giant testing facility, Dugway Proving Grounds. The housing area designated for military and civilian personnel is referred to as “English Village.”

For those, like me, who had no clue how to pronounce Tooele, here’s the pronunciation (from my daughter who used to live in Utah):  “Too – will – a”  with the accent on the second syllable.  When I was out visiting my daughter, I pronounced it “Toolee”  and received only mocking laughter for my pronunciatory naïveté.  (OK, so pronumciatory isn’t a word . . .)



So anyway, Dugway Proving Grounds:




DPG Mission Statement:

“Dugway Proving Ground – THE Focal Point for Chemical and Biological Defense”

DPG Vision Statement:

“As the nation’s designated chemical and biological Major Range and Test Facility Base, Dugway Proving Ground provides testing and support for chemical and biological defense and related programs.”



The Dugway Profile

We provide quality testing today that will help keep Our Nation’s Defense strong for tomorrow. Our test experts are qualified and eager to support your test needs, from initial planning and test conduct through test evaluation and reporting.

The Department of Defense has designated U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground as a major range and testing facility, and the primary chemical and biological defense testing center under the Reliance Program. Testers here determine the reliability and survivability of all types of military equipment in a chemical or biological environment.

The Proving Ground covers 798,214 acres. It is located in the Great Salt Lake Desert, approximately 85 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah. Surrounded on three sides by mountain ranges, the Proving Ground’s terrain varies from level salt flats to scattered sand dunes and rugged mountains.

 Here’s a picture of the residential “English Village.”


Very cool scenery out there in the Utah desert, eh?  From Wiki’s entry about Dugway:

The transcontinental Lincoln Highway passed through the present site of the Dugway Proving Ground, the only significant section of the old highway closed to the public. At least one old wood bridge over a creek still stands.

Here’s a picture of the bridge:



From Wiki, this about the Lincoln Highway:

The Lincoln Highway was the first road across the United States of America.   The Lincoln Highway originally spanned coast-to-coast from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco through 13 states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California.



Conceived in 1912 and formally dedicated October 31, 1913, the Lincoln Highway was America’s first major memorial to President Abraham Lincoln, predating the 1922 dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. by 9 years. As the first automobile road across America, the Lincoln Highway brought great prosperity to the hundreds of cities, towns and villages along the way. Affectionately, the Lincoln Highway became known as “The Main Street Across America”.


The Lincoln Highway Association (LHA), originally established in 1913 to plan, promote, and sign the highway, was re-formed in 1992 and is now dedicated to promoting and preserving the road. The LHA, with over 1100 members throughout the United States and overseas, has active state chapters in 12 Lincoln Highway states. The association maintains a national tourist center in Franklin Grove, Illinois, in a historic building built by Harry Isaac Lincoln, a cousin of Abraham Lincoln. The LHA holds yearly national conventions, and is governed by a board of directors with representatives from each Lincoln Highway state.

Here’s the route of the Lincoln Highway:


LH Route

And here are the current routes that follow the Highway:


It turns out that many people like to drive the entire length of the old Lincoln Highway.  But, of course, they have a problem because they can’t follow the LH (as afectionadios call it) through the Dugway Proving Grounds.  Here’s a picture showing horses along Pony Express Road, the LH bypass around Dugway.  This is part of a cool LH blog.  Click here to check it out.


This shows a part of the original LH west of Dugway (in 1913).  Tough place to get a flat or run out of gas . . .






 © 2008 A Landing A Day


3 Responses to “Dugway, Utah”

  1. Gatofeo said

    I live and work at US Army Dugway Proving Ground. Note, that “Ground” is singular. “Grounds” is incorrect.
    To my knowledge, the wooden bridge on Dugway is the only Lincoln Highway wooden bridge on Dugway Proving Ground. It is in the West Desert Test Center administrative area.
    Dugway Proving Ground is off-limits to the public. It is a military reservation.
    The bridge remains in about the same shape as the photo shows. An excellent display sign explains its significance. Of course, it is not used and all trace of the road that once led over it has disappeared.
    Dugway Proving Ground has a very active archaeological, historical and environmental office that ensures the bridge is not disturbed.
    If you plan to visit the area outside the fenceline of Dugway Proving Ground, bring extra gas and plenty of water. The closest gas stations are at Delle, Stockton, Tooele or Vernon — all of them some distance from Dugway.
    There was a gas station in Skull Valley, about 12 miles north of Dugway’s main gate, on the Goshute Indian Reservation but that is apparently closed. I haven’t seen any activity around it for two years.
    Within Dugway Proving Ground there is a gas station but the public is not allowed to come on post to access it. You’ll be turned away at the main gate by the armed guards.
    Even retired military cannot enter. An on-post sponsor is required: you need to know someone on Dugway Proving Ground, that will vouch for you, to get on post.
    So bring plenty of extra gasoline. Typically, you can put 200 miles on your odometer exploring for a day or two.
    Cell phones do NOT work in all places out here. There are no towns. This is a very remote area of the U.S. that dictates preparedness and caution.
    Check the weather before you leave. The desert soil is much like talc in many places. When it gets wet, even from a minor rainstorm, it becomes like grease.
    Even 4-wheel-drives will find it difficult to get traction in this soil when it’s damp. If it’s thoroughly wet, as in the winter and spring, even the most hefty 4-wheel-drive vehicles may bog down.
    Hummer and Dodge pickup owners take note.
    Wait until at least mid May to visit this area if you plan to get off the roads. However, even the main dirt roads can be safely traveled most of the year, though snowstorms and heavy rains in the winter are common and may trap the naive.
    This is a beautiful, remote area but can be dangerous if you’re unprepared or prone to take stupid risks.
    Carry at least two spare tires if you can. Bring at least 5 gallons of water, even if it’s just a day trip. A few cans of food, blankets, first aid kit and other “comfort” items can be lifesavers.
    If you break down off the main roads, you may not see another vehicle for days.
    Before you leave on your big adventure, let someone know who you are, where you’re going, when you expect to return — and then check in when you return.
    The original Pony Express route runs along the southern boundary of Dugway Proving Ground, across the desert, and continues into Nevada. If you follow it, don’t overlook Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge — a series of freshwater ponds, the only freshwater for miles and miles around.
    No fishing is allowed in these ponds. The refuge is staffed by a ranger and other federal employees. I don’t believe there is any overnight camping there, but picknicking is free.
    On your trip in this area, bring binoculars of at least 10 power. One binocular per person is not out of line. Don’t forget the camera. Ensure you have flashlights and extra batteries.
    Hope these tips help. You’ll be amazed at the remoteness of this area, but that remoteness also requires caution.
    Have fun.

  2. Nicholaus said

    I belong to the “Lincoln Highway Association” that’s the main group of historic officionado’s that you’re referring to in the above……………It’s very sad how damn secretive Dugway has gotten since 9/11. The word on the many chat sites are that up until then, one could get clearance without too much trouble to enter the base. There was evidently even a base basketball team that invited other school teams to play them at the base facilities…………..Leave it to Buch and Cheney to even screw up something as simple as School Basketball.

  3. Gatofeo said

    Well, your sources are wrong.
    Dugway is largely composed of two areas: the administrative and housing area just inside the gate, and the testing offices some miles down the road.
    The local school district regularly hosts games in the housing area, where the schools are located. Those with a genuine need can come into the housing area, but they’re subject to verification.
    As for the Lincoln Highway Route, that’s in an entirely different area. That area has been testing grounds since 1942, involving munitions.
    That area has always been difficult for the public to get access. Not only for what MIGHT be there (we live in litigious times, don’t forget) that would cause visitors to file lawsuits years or decades later.
    Also, when visitors come, it would likely require delaying an active test. These tests cost millions of dollars. More than that, there are soldiers, sailors, airmen, marine and civilians who are awaiting these test results and the information they provide, to protect themselves and others.
    Visitors can’t be allowed on unescorted; someone (at least one person and often more) must accompany them. This also affects that person’s workload. Escorting a single visitor can take an entire day, easily.
    Escorting numerous visitors is a major undertaking, for coordination, clearances, etc.
    And let’s not forget that America is at war against a tough, fanatic, cruel and unforgiving enemy that thinks nothing of intentionally using civilians for cover or bombing areas where unarmed, innocent civilians gather.
    Note the key word, “intentionally” before you reply.
    As Cheney and Bush being the cause of security here, that’s ludicrous. Dugway has always been a very secure facility owing to its primary mission involving chemical and biological defense testing.
    We test detectors, gas masks, decontaminanats, decontamination systems, field analyzers and a host of other items that keep America and its allies prepared against an attack or incident involving these substances.
    Or would you rather that we just invited everyone to watch a test, so they can know how well or poorly something works, and post it to the internet for anyone — including our enemies — to see?
    Yes, we’re a tightly controlled facility — for good reason.
    But we have had large groups of Lincoln Highway visitors in the past, when testing schedules and required personnel could accommodate. Granted, it’s been some years — but that’s an indication of how busy we’ve been, defending not only our troops but the people at home.
    We rarely allow tours because they’re disruptive to our important work, which warns of an attack or incident and saves lives.
    Does the security make sense now?

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