Harker Canyon is located 10 km (6 miles) south of the town of Vernon, in Tooele County, Utah, USA. The canyon is oriented east-west on the southern side of the Sheeprock Mountains, a small mountain group in the larger Wasatch Range. The canyon is entirely encompassed by the boundaries of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, and is accessible from Harker Road by a forest road designated NF 586. There are many abandoned mines in the canyon. Bird watching and horseback riding are popular recreational activities in the canyon.
Harker Canyon has been extensively mined for hard minerals. Artifacts
of a ghost town
and abandoned mining operations below a natural spring remain. Management of the old mines is assigned to the Vernon Sheeprocks Project, a joint project managed by the United States Forest Service
, the United States Department of Agriculture
, the United States Department of the Interior
, and the State of Utah Department of Natural Resources
. In a report issued in January, 2005, Harker Canyon was singled out as having the highest concentrations of heavy metals in its groundwater of any sampled area in the Sheeprock Mountains. Harker Canyon is located in the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Wildlife Management Unit 19B.
Harker Canyon is about 5.0 km (3.1 miles) long. The road entrance to the canyon at its eastern end is at approximately 1,900 m (6,300 ft) elevation, and the top of the canyon at its western end is at about 2,700 m (8,800 ft) elevation above sea level. A natural spring
can be found in the canyon at 2,255 m (7,400 ft) elevation, which flows into Harker Creek
. Vegetation in the canyon is principally a pinyon