enchanted





evolution





fin





foerster





forester





forgotten





franklin





funston





gallats





gem





goat





golden





golden





golden





granite





granite





grouse





guitar





guyot





haiwee





happy





harrison





hel





hetch





horsehead





horsethief





hummingbird





hungry





inconsolable




ionian





island





italy





jo





jackass





jigsaw





jobs





joe





johnson





jordan





jordan





junction





junction





kaweah





kaweah





kearsarge





kern





kern





kettle





king





kuna





lake





lake





lake





le conte





leidig





lembert





little





lost





lubken





lucys





mammoth





mariposa





mather





matterhorn





matthes





mcgee





meysan





milestone





mineral





mirror





mogul





monache





monitor





mono





moraine





morgan





mount





mount





mount





bago




beatitude





mount brewer





mt carillion





mt corcoran





mt darwin





mt eisen





mt. fiske





mt gould





mt guyot





mt hitchcock





mt ickes





mt julius caesar




mt langley





mt newcomb





mt pinchot





mt rixford





mt shinn





mount solomons





mt stanford





mt starr





mt young





mt cedric wright





mt chamberlain





muir pass





mule lake





mulkey pass





muro blanco





norman clyde peak





obelisk lake





observation peak





olancha pass





outpost camp





ouzel creek





packsaddle lake






painted lady





palisade basin





paradise valley





peckinpah meadow





peregoy meadow





pinchot pass





pine creek pass





piute canyon





pohono trail





poison meadow





polemonium peak





potwisha





precipice lake





pywiack cascade





quin peak





rae lakes





rainbow falls





ramshaw meadows





red slate mountain

 
Sierra Nevada & Owens Valley Place Names: G - M

 Sequoia & Kings Canyon Map

 Yosemite Map

See USE NOTICE on Home Page.


trail crest

forester pass

olancha pass

abandoned

colby pass

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The USGS named that creek that flows from Big Whitney Meadows south through Groundhog Meadows and Little Whitney Meadows, Golden Trout Creek in 1905. The creek is so named for the proliferation of Golden Trout in the creek. The creek was first called "Whitney Creek" because it source was thought to be near Mt. Whitney (actually Mt. Langley) when Clarence King climbed it (Mt. Langley) in 1871.
[Joseph N. LeConte, A summer of Travel in the High Sierra]

[Golden Trout images below courtesy troutesite.com]

golden trout creek
gilbert
Gilbert Golden Trout


south fork kern
South Fork Kern Golden Trout
little kern
Little Kern Golden Trout
volcano creek
Volcano Creek Golden Trout

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 Graveyard Peak, Graveyard Meadows, and Graveyard Lakes were named as the result of "some Portuguese sheepmen [who] operated like a gypsy outfit, refusing to recognize the agreed-upon boundaries of the various sheep ranges. The other sheepherders tried to drive them out, but without success. They [the Portuguese] were shot in the back while cooking their supper in camp."

graveyard peak

graveyard peak
Heidi (Buck Forester's traveling companion) on the summit of
Graveyard Peak
[Photo courtesy of Buck Forester]


graveyard peak

Graveyard Peak
[Byron Hetrick photo]

graveyard lakes
Graveyard Lakes
[Byron Hetrick photo]

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guitar lake
Guitar Lake is said to have been named for its shape by Clarence King in the 1870s.
[Mt. Whitney Club Journal, May 1902]
(Right: Guitar Lake with the Kaweah's in the background)
guitar lake
(Photo - Unknown)

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guyot
Mount Guyot, Guyot Summit/Pass and Guyot Flat were named by Captain J.W.A. Wright in 1881 in honor of the Swiss geologist and geographer, Arnold Henri Guyot, whose lectures for two years at Princeton, New Jersey, are among the pleasantest recollections of his college days. Arnold was born in Switzerland and came to America in 1848 where he taught physical geography and geology at Princeton for nearly 30 years.
mt. guyot
Background peaks, L/R: Mt. Kaweah, Red Spurt, Mt.Guyot - View looking west across the Siberian Outpost.
(Photo courtesy of Ramsey Smara)

mount guyot

Mount Guyot and Guyot Flat.
(Photo courtesy of Will Keightley)
mount guyot
Mount Guyot from lower Rock Creek.
(Photo courtesy of Sierra Descents)


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harrison pass
Harrison Pass, or Harrison's Pass as it was formerly called, is named after Ben Harrison a local sheep-herder in the 1880s. Ben was part Cherokee Indian and he built a monument on the pass. The pass was probably used by sheep-herders in 1875 or 1876. Bolton C. Brown of the Sierra Club (May 1897 Sierra Club Bulletin) said the pass would never be popular until a windlas and cable were put at the head of the pass.
harrison pass
Harrison Pass
[ASRSF photo]
harrison pass
Harrison Pass (foreground)
[Tom Becht photo]

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hell for sure
Hell For Sure Pass and Lake were named by J. N. LeConte. He crossed the pass in 1904 on what had been called the "Baird" trail. The lake was first named on the Mt. Goddard map in 1953.
hell for sure
hell for sure pass
Hell For Sure Pass (almost center in background)
[Photo by Dave Coppedge)

hell for sure lake

Hell For Sure Lake

[Photo by Dave Coppedge)

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lake helen of troy

helen of troy helen of troy
Lake Helen of Troy was proposed by Chester Versteeg in 1953
lake helen of troy
Lake Helen of Troy (frozen - foreground)
[Photo by Snow Nymph)
lake helen of troy
Lake Helen of Troy (frozen - foreground)
[Photo by Snow Nymph)

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Humphreys Basin, Humphreys Lakes, and Mount Humphreys were named for Andrew Atkinson Humphreys (1810-1883), soldier and engineer, the grandson of Joshua Humphreys, who designed the "Constitution" and other frigates of the War of 1812. Humphreys distinguished himself in the Civil War. After the war he was chief engineer of the U.S. Army until he retired in 1879. "The summit of Mount Humphreys is not more than eight feet square.... It is one mass of cracked and broken blocks, thrown loosely together in such a way as to warn one to move cautiously lest the whole top should break off and fall into the great abyss to the eastward.... Probably no one had ever stood where we then were, unless perhaps during the early Jurassic period, before the mountain was fully sculptured.
[Sierra Club Bulletin - January 1905].
humphreys basin

humphreys basin
Humphreys Basin
[Photo courtesy of Chad Thomas]

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jack main canyon
Looking north up Jack Main Canyon
[Photo courtesy of Alex Wierbinski]
jack main canyon
Jack Main Canyon was named after an old sheep-herder who ranged sheep in the region. The herder's name was actually Jack Means. C.H. Burt said that the name of the canyon as it appears on maps today is incorrect. All of the early sheep and cattle men in the region called the canyon "Jack Means Canyon" and the present name is a corruption of that name.
[Sierra Club Bulletin - 1925]

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John Muir Trail
The idea of a crest-parallel trail through the High Sierra came to me one day while herding my uncle's cattle in an immense unfenced alfalfa field near Fresno. It was in 1884 and I was fourteen." (Theodore S. Solomons - Sierra Club Bulletin, April 1938). "Sleeping that night [in 1895] at the base of Mt. Huxley, warmed by our fire of gnarled juniper, I dreamed of my task fully done. A well-marked trail led from the distant Yosemite past the long lake, up the snow-basin, and over the divide to the King's River. I hope my dream was prophetic. The way, at all events, is clear. Only the trail waits to be built." (Solomons) The "long lake" and the "divide" were Wanda Lake and Muir Pass, which were not named until about 1907.
Solomons did the earliest explorations for what later became the John Muir Trail. J.N. LeConte continued the search for the best route. In 1915 the California legislature, in response to a Sierra Club proposal, made an initial appropriation of $10,000 for construction of the trail, which was to be named for John Muir, who had died in December 1914. The John Muir Trail as it exists today was completed when the sections were built over Forester Pass in 1931 and Mather Pass in 1938.
John Muir Trail photos courtesy of John Pelltier
(Visit John's website and see his mile by mile photo journal of the entire John Muir Trail)

lyell canyon
Lyell Canyon

south of island pass
South of Island Pass

red cinder cone
Red Cinder Cone near Reds Meadow

from duck pass
Heading south from Duck Pass

evolution lake
Evolution Lake

le conte canyon
Le Conte Canyon

golden staircase
The Golden Staircase

upper basin
Upper Basin

fin dome
Fin Dome

bighorn plateau
The Bighorn Plateau

hitchock lakes
Hitchcock Lakes (L) and Guitar Lake (R)

mt whitney
Smthosonean High Altitude Observatory on the summit of Mt. Whitney

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jordan hot springs
jordan

 The Old John Jordan Trail
This historic trail is a segment of one of the pioneer routes across the central Sierra. John Jordan was rancher down in the Yokohl Valley when gold was discovered in the Kern Canyon and out in the desert near Aurora and Bodie. He laid out the route and secured a permit to build a toll road across the mountains to the mining camps. He and his sons built this trail which went all the way across to Lone Pine, past Jordan Hot Springs (named in his honor). Tragedy struck at the Kern River crossing, where he drowned. His toll road was never completed.

jordan hot springs
For more on Jordan Hot Springs and the John Jordan Trail visit my Jordan Hot Springs webpage.

greg ferris
Jordan Hot Springs
[photo courtesy of Greg Ferris - 1971]

jordan hot springs
Mineral Bath at Jordan Hot Springs
[William Reavis photo]

casa vieja
Casa Vieja Meadow on the trail to Jordan Hot Springs
[Photo courtesy of Donald Guidebus]

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fallen moon
The Lake of the Fallen Moon was named by Frank Ernest Hill in 1921 in one of his romantic poems.
[Sierra Club Bulletin 1923]
lake of fallen moon
The Lake of the Fallen Moon
[photo courtesy JFR]

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lake
The Lake of the Lone Indian was named by J. S. and Lincoln Hutchinson and party in 1902. "The name was suggested to us by the very distinct profile of an Indian's face and feathery head-gear in the mountain south of the lake.
[Sierra Club Bulletin, 1903]
lake of the lone indian
Lake of the Lone Indian
[Photo courtesy of Dale Matson]
lake of the lone indian
Lake of the Lone Indian trail sign.
[Photo courtesy of Dale Matson]

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lucy's

Lucy's Foot Pass was named fro Lucy Fletcher Brown. She and her husband, Bolton C. Brown, crossed this pass over the Kings-Kern Divide in 1896.
foot
pass
lucy's foot pass
View north from Lucy's Foot Pass

(Photo by asrsf)

lucy's foot pass
View looking down Lucy's Foot Pass

(Photo by asrsf)

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Mather Pass was named for Stephen Tyng Mather (1867 - 1930), the first director of the National Park Service, 1917 - 1929. Mather was a reporter for the New York Sun and went to work for the Pacific Coast Borax Company in 1893. He was largely responsible for marketing packaged borax under the "Twenty-Mule Team Borax" trade name. In 1903 he formed an independent borax company which made him wealthy enough to purchase privately owned lands within Sequoia National Park. He purchase the Tioga Road in 1915 and donated it to the government.
[Sierra Club Bulletin 1931]
mather pass

mather pass
Palisade Lakes looking north from Mather Pass
[photo courtesy Peter Burke]


mather pass

Upper Basin and Split Mountain looking south from Mather Pass
[photo courtesy Peter Burke]

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monache
monache meadow
Monache Creek and Monache Meadows are the remnant names of a failed attempt by the citizens of Owens Valley in 1864 to create a new county south of Mono County. They wanted to name the new county, Monache County in honor of the Monachi Indians.
[Walter Chalfant, The Story of Inyo] [photo: unknown]

monache meadow

Monache Meadows
[photo courtsey of Rebecca Sudduth]

monache meadow

Monache Meadows
[photo courtsey of Rebecca Sudduth]

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mono jim peak
 Mono Jim Peak is named after a native Paiute guide, who along with Robert Morrison was killed near Convict Lake during a fight with escaped convicts from the Nevada State Penitentiary.


mono jim
Looking down the slope of Mono Jim Peak towards Convict Lake.
[A. J. Kaufman photo]


mono jim
Mono Jim Peak (left) and Mt. Morrison (taller to the right).
[noondueler photo]

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Mono County and Mono Lake are named after a wide-spread division of Shoshonean Indians on both slopes of the Southern Sierra Nevada. By their Yokuts neighbors they are called Monachi. The Yokuts word for "flies" was monoi, monai or monoyi." If we assume that this word forms the stem of monachi, it is quite certain that the name means "fly-people" and is quite properly applied. On the sore of the otherwise barren lake are found countless millions of the pupae of a fly. These pupae were not only the favorite food of these Indians, but they used them for trading with the neighboring tribes. The conclusion is that the Yokuts called these Indians Monachi because their wealth consisted of flies. The worms are dried in the sun, the shell rubbed off, when a yellowish kernel remains, like a small yellow grain of rice.

The first use of the word as a geographic name was by Lt. Tredwell Moores party in July 1852, calling the lake "Lake Mono" after the local Indian tribe.
mono lake
mono lake
Mono Lake
[Dave Toussain photo]

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moraine lake
moraine lake
Moraine Lake
[Photo by Chris Ryerson]

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Further Reading
This is perhaps the most fascinating book you can read about construction of the John Muir Trail
"Pathway in the Sky: The Story of the John Muir Trail" by Hal Roth 1965

icon ABE Books, making "out of print" books easier to find. icon

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RECOMMENDED READING

green button Spanish and Indian Place Names of California - Their Meaning and Their Romance by Nellie Van De Grift Sanchez, 1922
green button Place Names of the Sierra Nevada - From Abbot to Zumwalt by Peter Browning, 1986
green button Naming the Eastern Sierra - Dirty Sock to Bloody Canyon by Marguerite Sowaal, 1985
green button
Place Names of the Sierra Nevada - From Abbot to Zumwalt by Francis P. Farquhar, 1926
green button
The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States by Henry Ganett, 1902
face ABE Books, making "out of print" books easier to find. face



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Trans-Sierra Highway  

Slim Randles "Night Ride"  

Olancha  

More Sierra Place Names

 

George Brown, Native American

 

To the Top of Mt. Whitney by Rena Moore


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This page was last updated on 09 May 2021