*American Fork River (Utah) originates on the south slopes of Mount Baldy (Bald Mountain) south of Little Cottonwood Canyon and one mile northeast of Twin Peaks. It drains through American Fork Canyon to enter Utah Valley and Utah Lake. Three Possible reasons for having this name are listed; (1) It was named to avoid confusion with the Spanish Fork River to the south where the Dominguez and Escalante party entered the Utah Valley. They originally named this river the El Rio de Santa Ana. (2) Before the Mormons entered the valley, it was named by American goldseekers who camped there while passing through on their way to California. (3) It was named by early trappers and mountain men who worked the creek for beaver as early as 1822.
John W. Van Cott