Place Names

A place to explore the natural setting (geology, flora & fauna), people, constructed infrastructure and historical events that play and have played a part in shaping the Sierra Nevada as we know it today.
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wildhiker
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Re: Place Names

Post by wildhiker » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:33 pm

"The Slide" at the headwaters of Piute Creek in northern Yosemite. The definite article "the" is appropriate. This is the mother of all slides. The whole rock slope on the west side of the canyon thundered down, across the valley, and traveled up the other side several hundred feet, leaving a 1/3 mile long jumble of house-sized boulders that you must traverse to visit the beautiful Slide Canyon.
-Phil








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oldranger
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Re: Place Names

Post by oldranger » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:16 am

wildhiker wrote:"The Slide" at the headwaters of Piute Creek in northern Yosemite. The definite article "the" is appropriate. This is the mother of all slides. The whole rock slope on the west side of the canyon thundered down, across the valley, and traveled up the other side several hundred feet, leaving a 1/3 mile long jumble of house-sized boulders that you must traverse to visit the beautiful Slide Canyon.
-Phil
Right near there is Crazy Mule Gulch and Suicide ridge. My guess the names go back to the days of the cavalry patrolling Yosemite as there was an old patrol trail that traversed the area.
Mike

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Ikan Mas
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Re: Place Names

Post by Ikan Mas » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:03 pm

Had to go to Devil's Bathtub on the Silver Divide a couple of years ago. The name sold me. Anything with a Devil sounds like a cool place to visit. Devil's Punchbowl on the Oregon Coast also comes to mind. For some reason, the Devil has lots of features in Oregon.

Pants Pass and Piss Your Pants Pass are also somewhat poetic.

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Re: Place Names

Post by maverick » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:35 pm

Old Bones Pass, Suicide Ridge, Hellhole Reservoir, Devils Crags, Devils Washbowl, Silver Spray Falls, Dollar Lake, The Whaleback, Pinoneer Basin, and Deadman Canyon to name a few.
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: Place Names

Post by bobby49 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:52 pm

In northeastern Yosemite you can find Don't Be a Smart Pass.

It is between Roosevelt Lake and McCabe Lake.

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Re: Place Names

Post by dave54 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:53 pm

No Name Mountains in the high desert north of Susanville.
From the right side Butt Mountain looks exactly like it sounds. You are being mooned.
Robbers Roost is a rock outcropping above the old Humboldt Wagon Road between Chester and Chico. Supposedly a stage robbery took place by a bandit jumping on top as it passed.
Hat Creek is named after Hat Mountain, which has a near perfect silhouette of a cowboy hat.
There is some controversy over Negro Camp. The name has been purged from newer maps. The story goes it was the segregated camp for the black railroad workers, and later the logging crew. Another version has it named after Joseph Negro, one of the original pioneers in the area (and Mexican, not black).
Lots of places named after people. Researching the family histories behind the names is fascinating, including incidents, accidents, fights, etc. More than once I read of a pioneer breaking a leg, or child got lost, or other notable event and realize from the description of the place "Hey! I have camped there!"

Shanghai Creek? I do not know the history behind that name. No old timer or written record I have found explains it.

Fandango Pass in the Warner Mountains. After an arduous journey across the Nevada desert the wagon train finally crested the range at the top of the pass and saw the green valley below. They were so elated they threw a big party, or a fandango in old-timey lingo.
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Re: Place Names

Post by Dave_Ayers » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:15 am

I wasn’t going to comment in this thread, but Three Brothers put me in their Gunsights and convinced me to break my Standpoint of Silence and Jawbone up a Creek. So at the risk of being called a Black Rascal, I’ll dive into the Swamp Lake and drink the Poison at the Meadow.

Once on a search for historic names, I traipsed up Bloody Canyon only to slip over Suicide Ridge and slide down Crazy Mule Gulch. There I found remains of the rumored Deadhorse near a Noname Lake. Actually, to Hell’s Delight, there were bones from Two Teams in that less than delightful Horseshoe Grotto. Gaining my senses, I managed to climb outta that Dark Hole, only to find more unsightly remains at Deadman Pass. Determined to get out of the Frying Pan in that Lake area, I scrambled up an Obelisk and broke out my Little Brown Jug to try to improve the mood. But as often happens when leaving the frying pan, I ended up above fires, getting gassed by exhaust from Smoky Jack Campground. Stumbling around, suddenly it felt as if I’d been pushed by a Giants Thumb off that Devil Peak and over a Diving Board.

(Gotta take writers’ break to visit Peiwayak … Sorry, that took a little longer due to a stop by Poo-see-na-chuc-ka.)

I went a slidin’ down a Devil Gulch which was bumpier than a Cockscomb and landed flat on my back in some Studhorse Flat. Dazed, I was seeing Waterwheels a Fallin’ down around me in a great Bridalveil mist. It seemed the Devil had arisen from a nearby Gulch and was fixin’ to Piledrive me with a Post. Turns out I had tumbled too close to a Rattlesnake Lake and gotten myself bit by one a those ornery critters. Boy that’ll make you see Unicorn’s on the Peaks.

When you dance with the Devil on his Dance Floor, it ain’t no Sugarty Bear Camp. By this time, delirium had set in and I coulda swore I saw a Naked Lady in the Meadow. At this point it seemed best to try to Triple Divide my Peak losses and try for an Uncle Sam bailout Point. So I skirted Z Lake and humped up onto Turtleback Dome to wave my hands in the air and cry out the universal distress call. Course in my sorry condition it came out sounding more like “Ahwahnee some help!” Then I settled in to snack on my last bits of Sugar Loaf and await rescue.

But the rescue tale will have to wait for another time, as I’m Poopenaut as I write this here in Earthquake Valley. I hope nobody reading this feels Putputon. Probably some are wondering Ahwuyah is the Point anyways.

With apologies to Peter Browning and George Thorogood.

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dave54
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Re: Place Names

Post by dave54 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:40 am

More:
Peconom Creek -- Named after Roxie Peconom, a Maidu elder woman who was influential in shaping the mostly friendly (or at least non-hostile live-and-let-live) relationship between the local natives and the white settlers in the early period of settlement of the Honey Lake Valley.
Devil's Kitchen -- fumaroles and boiling springs.
Termo, CA -- For a while was the northern terminus of the Modoc Line Railroad. The line was originally intended to run all the way from Reno, up the east side of the Sierra and Cascades, to the Columbia River. It eventually went to Alturas and never got built past there.
Humbug Valley -- a prospector claims he found gold there. A small and brief gold rush yielded nothing in the area. The disappointed gold seekers named the valley 'Humbug'.
Soldier Meadows -- during the Civil War a small contingent of Union soldiers had a seasonal camp there to protect travelers between Susanville and Oroville from Confederate sympathizers and raiders. Now on private property, the encampment site is off-limits and fenced from treasure hunters.
Devils Corral -- Hwy36/Susan River crossing. I cannot find the origin of the name. No topographic features lend a possible reason for the name. The name is on the earliest maps and records.
Sheephead Mountain -- if you look at it just right, squint a little, and tilt your head just right, maybe it looks sort of like a sheep head? I don't think so, but somebody did years ago.
Hobo Camp -- during the Depression some homeless people had an encampment there.
Goumaz -- (often misspelled as Gomez). Early Swiss settler Eric Goumaz.
Almanor -- The lake was named after the three daughters of Guy Earl -- VP of the Pacific Power Company that created the lake (now PG&E) ALice, MAry, and EleaNOR.
Glassburner Meadow -- obsidian outcrop nearby.
Iron Mountain -- an outcrop of iron ore.
Pyramid Lake, NV -- named by John Fremont in his explorations of the West. The distinctive pyramid shaped island in the middle of the lake.
Winter Ridge, overlooking Summer Lake in Oregon -- again by John Fremont. While the main body of his expedition was camped on the lakeshore, Fremont and a small contingent went exploring the nearby mountains. In an unusual late summer snowstorm a shivering and cold Fremont looked down upon the lake and encampment below, basking in sunshine. He named the ridge Winter Ridge, and below was Summer Lake.
Lots of places called Tamarack. Early settlers called Lodgepole Pine Tamarack, after the superficial similarity in appearance with the Tamarack of the eastern US. Not closely related. True tamarack is a larch, different genus.
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rlown
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Re: Place Names

Post by rlown » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:56 pm

I can't remember if I already posted this: http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/place ... names.html

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