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"Snow horse" now visible on mountainside
Layton’s seasonal sentinel – the “snow horse” – has now “galloped” into view to make its annual appearance on the mountainside above Layton.
This prominent spring-early summer feature has been recognized as a landmark since pioneer times.
It doesn’t last long, depending on temperature and snow depth.
A photograph of a typical looking snow horse on the mountain hangs in the lobby of Layton City Hall.
Pioneer legend says that if the snow horse is still visible by the Fourth of July, there'll be plenty of water in the valley all summer.
Another variation of the legend is that tender crops should not be planted until the snow horse is clearly spotted, because it's a sign there will be no more frost until fall.
In a present-day variation, some Layton area parents tell their children they can't wear shorts, or play in the hose until they spot the snow horse on the mountainside.
The snow horse is located at about 8,500 feet above sea level on appropriately named Snow Horse Ridge, east of the Layton-Kaysville border, one canyon south of Adams Canyon.
It is perhaps easiest to spot from Layton's west Gentile Street, or Layton High School.
The white figure takes shape because of the way the snow melts on an open ridge with several large outcroppings of rocks and bushes. plus some deep ravines, where snow accumulates.
In fact, with keen eyes, you can spot the snow horse shape in summer or even under sparse snowfall, because of the rock formations.
Some believe they can spot a smaller colt-like shape following the horse. Others say it is a bat-like figure that sometimes appears too.