Snowcat

Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah | C.1942

Photo Credit: @chelseakrant

The road that leads from Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, to Little Cottonwood Canyon sees snow from September to June, making for some hazardous driving conditions. However, hop in a snowcat, and enjoy the ride through thick pine forests until eventually hitting a dead-end at an enormous underground vault shrouded in secrecy.

Tunneled two football fields deep into the canyon is a facility operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: the Granite Mountain Records Vault. Alternative theories abound as to precisely what is stored here, but the church says that it houses information on the genealogical and family history of its members. The vault’s library contains over 2.4 million rolls of microfilm, equal to about three billion pages of records. Perhaps even more curiously, the volume of rolls increases by as many as 40,000 rolls annually.

Why such information should be kept in a highly secure vault in the side of a mountain is anyone’s guess. Perhaps it is best not to be too curious. Should you visit and need to get away quickly, know that you’ll be cursing the snowcat as it tops out at a mere 25 miles per hour.

📖 Featured on Page 54 of AWA, The Book 📖

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