About Millard County
Millard County lies mostly within the deserts of western Utah, covering 6,589 square miles of the Sevier Desert (pronounced like 'severe') along with some bordering mountains. The Pavant Range lies along the county's eastern boundary, where farming communities have sprung up, relying on water from winter snows that flows out in streams through canyons. The towns of Oak City, Holden, Fillmore, Meadow and Kanosh all lie at the base of these mountains.
Four other communities in the county lie along the Sevier River, Lynndyl, Delta, Hinckley and Deseret. The Sevier River flows out of the mountains of south-central Utah, heading northward until a point near the northeast corner of the County. Then it makes a curve around a mountain range, and heads southward into the center of the Sevier Desert, providing water to these communities. When the early settlers came, the river continued on to Sevier Lake, which had water in it, but the need for irrigation water decreased the flow into the lake and it has been dry since those early days. The salt flats that remain lie in the southwest part of the county. Mirages, caused by the reflection of the sky off the level ground, usually cause the lake to look like it has water in it from the highway.
Scipio Valley, lying northeast of the Pavant Mountains, is also a part of Millard county. The town of Scipio is found here. Interstate 15 enters the county near Scipio, crosses the Pavant Mountains through Scipio Pass, and heads southward below their western slopes.
The Pavant Mountains reach above 10,000 feet in places, topping out at Mine Camp Peak at 10,222 feet in elevation. Forests and alpine lakes are found on their upper slopes. Other mountain ranges are found in the county, including the San Francisco Mountains on the southern boundary, the Confusion, and House Mountain Ranges along the west and the Cricket Mountains in the center. Some of these, though desolate-looking from the bottom, harbor beautiful forested areas at the tops.
The great valley, or basin, which Millard County occupies is the seafloor of ancient Lake Bonneville, which used to cover much of Utah, and reached into Arizona and Idaho. As Lake Bonneville dried up over thousands of years, smaller, salty lakes remained, including the Great Salt Lake (to the north) and also Sevier Lake in Millard County. A barren desert now occupies the area, with salt flats, hardpans, and miles of sparse desert vegetation.
The pioneer settlements along the Pavant Range were first established in 1851, including Fillmore which was established as the territorial capitol, because of its central location in the state. In 1856, the legislature voted to move the capitol to Salt Lake City to be close to the main population of the state.
Millard County borders Nevada on the west. U. S. Highways 6 and 50 cross the county from east to west, sharing the same route for much of the distance. Millard county has a population of 12,405 people as of the year 2000.