Low water levels uncover old cars in Hyrum Reservoir

Sep 3, 2021, 9:08 AM | Updated: 9:45 am

HYRUM, Utah — What looks like a graveyard for old cars is showing up along the shore of Hyrum Reservoir.

Low water levels have revealed more than a dozen cars that officials said were dumped there in the 1950s to help strengthen the reservoir’s shoreline.

“The old frames are more visible right now, but they start showing up as soon as the water starts going down,” said Chris Bradshaw, Hyrum Reservoir State Park manager.

Bradshaw said he’s been seeing these old shells of 1950s-era cars for years, adding they were put there around that time, with a practical purpose in mind beyond simply throwing them away.

“My understand is, I don’t know the exact day, but back in the ‘50s they placed a lot of those cars on the north shore to help stabilize that bank,” Bradshaw said.

It’s not exactly a high-tech solution by today’s standards. And while some people might like to see the cars cleaned up, it could cause issues for the area’s geography.

Chris Bradshaw, Hyrum Reservoir State Park manager. (Mike Anderson/KSL TV)

“If they moved them, that may destabilize the bank,” Bradshaw said. “There are new houses that are built above where the cars are at now, and so that may cause them some problems if they moved them at this point.”

In fact, this same thing was done along the Blacksmith Fork River for the same reason.

Around 80 cars were removed from the river in a restoration project in 2013.

(Mike Anderson/KSL TV)

The cost back then to do it safely was around $10 million. But if it’s any consolation, it’s unlikely any engineer would use this method for strengthening a shoreline again.

“I wouldn’t imagine that they would do that today, no,” Bradshaw said.

Hyrum Reservoir is all used for farmer irrigation, so Bradshaw said it’s not unusual for that pile of cars to show up this time of year.

Some of the ones on the north side are higher up the embankment.

“A few of them over the years have worked their way down below the high-water mark and to varying degrees, they show up when the water goes down,” Bradshaw said. “All the locals, all the fishermen know it’s there. They refer to it as the car pile. It’s a fishing landmark, really … habitat when the water’s all the way up.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Utah Drought 2021

The East Bench of Salt Lake City receives a dusting of snow the morning of May 9, 2022. (Jed Boal/K...
Jed Boal, KSL TV

Drought coordinator: Hold off on watering; consult the weekly lawn watering guide

The cool, wet spring Utah is having is exactly what the state needs in the midst of this historic drought. The wet weather won’t really make a dent in the drought, but it can help everyone save water, if we take advantage of it.
13 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV

Ogden mayor declares severe water shortage

Effective immediately, Mike Caldwell, Ogden City Mayor, has signed a declaration of severe water shortage. 
18 days ago
Weber State University has replaced grass and plants with xeriscaping at several areas of campus. (...
Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Weber State University saves 50 million gallons of water a year, more savings planned

Weber State University has cut water usage by about 30% thanks to an ambitious water conservation plan.
1 month ago
Chopper 5 shows just how much of the Great Salt Lake has evaporated. (KSL TV)...
Amy Joi O'Donoghue, Deseret News and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Could Utah children help shape the destiny of the ailing Great Salt Lake?

To save the Great Salt Lake is to know its worth. To know its worth is to be educated about why it matters.
1 month ago
Satellite imagery of Sand Hallow taken June 2021. (Nearmap)...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV

Aerial imagery reveals the grim reality of ongoing drought in Utah

Aerial images provided by Nearmap, an aerial imagery company, show before and after photos of local reservoirs with receding shorelines: more evidence of the dire drought conditions that plague the state of Utah.
1 month ago
Sprinklers water a lawn in Salt Lake City on Friday, May 7, 2021. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox issues his ...
Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL TV

Salt Lake City, County focus on water conservation as peak-demand season starts

Both Salt Lake City and County are focusing on water conservation as peak-demand season begins after a less-than-average winter snowpack and as drought conditions persist.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Make Money Online Easily...

4 Ways that You Can Make Money Online Easily in Just a Few Clicks

Here are 4 ways that you can make money online easily in no time at all! Some are as simple as just a few clicks away.
tips to winterize your home...
Bonneville Digital SLC

Tips to Winterize Your Home | The Top 5 Ways You Can Prepare for the Cold Utah Winter Ahead

Before the snow hits, here are the top 5 tips to winterize your home to prepare for the cold Utah winter this year.
Low water levels uncover old cars in Hyrum Reservoir