As you look towards the mountains in the spring, the shape of a horse appears as the snow melts. The Snow Horse can be seen from both Kaysville and Layton. Early farmers in this area used this as an indication of how much water they would have during the summer. If the Snow Horse is still visible on June 1st, pioneers knew there would be enough water for their crops. Farmers also used this as a guide to determine when it would be safe to plant crops. They would not plant until the Snow Horse appeared on the mountain. Some of the farmers said if the shape was still visible by June 1st, it meant there would be enough water crossing Main Street in Kaysville in the summer to mature a crop of grain.
The Snow Horse is located on the upper reaches of Snow Horse Ridge, just north of Webb Canyon at the Kaysville-Layton border. Elevation is about 8,500 feet. The horse is about 200 feet wide, legs 50 feet in length. The hiking trail from Francis Peak, north of Weber Canyon passes just above the Snow Horse area. The Snow Horse’s legs usually fade away first and low long it lasts depends on temperatures. Memorial Day to early June is usually prime viewing for the shape.
THE LEGEND OF THE SNOW HORSE
The Snow Horse hides under a blanket of snow all winter. He waits on the mountain while the nights are long. On the first day of spring, the Snow Horse stirs. The sun reminds him of his important job. His head peeks out “It’s too early”. The Snow Horse disappears once more beneath the snow.
In April the Snow Horse lifts his head and then he straightens his back. He sniffs the warming air. “It’s almost time” he whispers. Children in their back yards look up, hoping to see the horse on the mountain. The Snow Horse lies back, allowing the sun to slowly melt the snow and his body. He glances down into the valley below. “Not Yet” he thinks, it’s not quite “time”.
By May the Snow Horse can feel the sun’s energy waking him up – helping him remember what he has to do. Farmers in the valley look up expectantly. They are waiting for the signal of the Snow Horse. Finally on a warm evening, the Snow Horse shakes his feet loose, and gallops up the mountainside. At first no one notices but then, throughout the valley, awareness spreads. The Snow Horse has returned. A child shouts “Mom ! the Snow Horse, the Snow Horse!” Now we can go barefoot. A farmer quietly prepares to plant tomato seedlings. A family plans an overnight camping trip. The Snow Horse has done his job.
SNOW HORSE ELEMENTARY
In 2007, the Davis Board of Education named the District’s 55th elementary school in West Kaysville, Snow Horse Elementary.