||Beryl Junction is
more than a crossroads community located in western Iron County, Utah.
It is home to hundreds of farmers and ranchers who make the southern
end of the Escalante Valley an oasis of green alfalfa fields. Alfalfa
is the main export, and it goes to markets in California and as far
away as Japan.
Beryl Junction is located within easy driving distance of several national parks and recreation areas. It is also near the southern edge of the Great Basin. The mountain range to the south of Beryl Junction is the boundary area between two watersheds. On the south side of the range, water drains towards the Colorado River drainage system, and on its north side water drains into the Great Basin which has no outlet. Water that runs into the Great Basin either evaporates or sinks into the earth to replenish the numerous underground aquifers.
Beryl Junction gets its name from the early community of Beryl which began as a railroad frontage town. Beryl was established as a water stop for the steam engines which ran the railroad between the east and west coast. Over time, the need for a water supply was eliminated, as steam engines were gradually replaced by diesel electric locomotives. Beryl Junction just as gradually replaced Beryl as a population center by moving about 15 miles to the south in the center of the valley. Agriculture eventually replaced the railroad driven local economy. Now nothing is left of the original Beryl community but the old post office, the water tower minus its tank, and a couple of families on local ranches.
Beryl was named in part because of the occasional gemstone finds in the hills to the north. It was not mined to any extent until 1978, however there was a deposit of Red Beryl in the area. Red Beryl is the rarest form of Beryl and perhaps the rarest gemstone on earth.