Nature Notes

Mount Rainier National Park

Vol. IV April 1st, 1927 No. 18

Issued monthly during the winter season; weekly during the summer months by the Mount Rainier National Park Nature Guide Service. By Floyd W. Schmoe, Park Naturalist.


As it altogether fitting and proper practically all the men who have had a prominent part in the historical drama of Mount Rainier have had their memory perpetuated in the place-names of the National Park. It is a curious coincident that the man who first discovered the mountain, and placed the name it now bears upon it, has not been so honored. No glacier, river, or mountain peak bears the name of Vancouver. Curious also, but not strange when the circumstances are known, is the fact that the man whose name the great mountain bears had absolutely nothing to do with the history of the mountain or of the region surrounding it. Peter Rainier never even visited America - but he fought against us in the Revolution, (which was of course his duty being an Admiral of His Majesty's Navy) and perhaps he had something to do with the promotion of Captain Vancouver who undoubtedly merited promotion, for Vancouver although he lived but forty years, did much notable work, and his memory has been enshrined on the maps of Americal if not upon Mount Rainier.

There follows a briefly annotated list of the physical features of the Park that bear the names of famous men.

MOUNT RAINIER - named by Capt. Vancouver on May 8, 1792 for his friend, then Rear Admiral, Peter Rainier of the British Navy

EMMONS GLACIER - the largest glacier on the mountain, and the source of the White River. Named in honor of Samuel F. Emmons the noted geologist, explorer, and mountaineer who was the second to reach the summit of the mountain in 1870

WINTHROP GLACIER - Named for Theodore Winthrop who visited the mountain in 1853 and described his experiences so delightfully in his book "Canoe and Saddle". Winthrop died on the field of battle during the Civil War.

INGRAHAM GLACIER - the upper branch of the Cowlitz Glacier which joins the Cowlitz below Gibraltar Rock. Named after Maj. E. S. Ingraham of Seattle, who spent a great deal of his time in exploring the mountain and in making its scenic attractions known to others.

VAN TRUMP GLACIER, PARK, AND CREEK - Flowing down from the Van Trump Glacier on the southern slope of the mountain, Van Trump creek flows through a beautiful alpine meadow famous for its wild flower and animal life, which is known as Van Trump Park in honor of that intrepid mountaineer, Mr. P. B. Van Trump who with General Hazard Stevens made the first successful ascent of the old mountain in August, 1870.

KAUTZ GLACIER AND CREEK - The Kautz Glacier, one of the primary Glacier of the mountains was named in honor of Lieutenant (later General) A. V. Kautz, of the American Army who in 1857 made the first attempt to scale the peak. Kautz climbed along the edge of the glacier which now bears his name and failed to reach the summit by only a few feet. Kautz Creek flows from the glacier and enters the Nisqually River near the Nisqually Road.

STEVENS GLACIER, PEAK, AND CREEK - The left lobe of the Paradise Glacier has been named Stevens Glacier in honor of General Hazard Stevens who with Mr. Van Trump made the first successful attempt to gain the summit of Rainier. Stevens Creek flows from the glacier to the Muddy Fork of the Cowlitz River on the southern boundary of the park. Stevens Peak is the easternmost peak of the Tatoosh Range.

RUSSELL GLACIER - One of the largest inter-glaciers of the park is a tributary to the Carbon Glacier on the north side. It was named after Professor Israel C. Russell, the first scientists to describe the glaciers of the park. Professor Russell was a great authority on glaciers and volcanos having studied and written about most of those in North America.

WILLIS WALL - An almost sheer wall of lava some 3,600 feet high which forms the rear wall of the cirque of the Carbon Glacier was named in honor of the well known geologist of California, Bailey Willis, who explored the north side of the mountain and blazed the first trail to the Carbon Glacier in 1881. Professor Bailey Willis was also influential in securing the passage of the bill which created Mount Rainier National Park.

CAMP MUIR - A stone shelter cabin at the ten thousand feet level on the summit trail was named in honor of John Muir, great old man of the Siarras who climbed the mountain in 1888 and suggested the location of the over-night camp, which now bears his name

TOLMIE PEAK AND TOLMIE CREEK - In 1833 Dr. William Fraser Tolmie, medical officer and amature botanist, then Factor of the Hundson Bay Post on the Sound, known as Nisqually House, made the first close approach to the great old volcano. "In search of fine views and rare blossoms", he approached to a vantage point just within the present northwest corner of the park. This peak was later named Tolmie Peak and the creek which flows from it to the Carbon River, Tolmie Creek. Later Dr. Tolmie was made Chief Factor of the great Hudson Bay Company.

LONGMIRE SPRINGS - In 1883 James Longmire a real pioneer of the old school blazed a trail up the Nisqually River and located a mineral claim at the very foot of the mountain. This became known as Longmire Springs because of the numerous mineral springs found on the Longmire claim. Later hotels were built here and it is now the Administrative Headquarters of the Park and the site of National Park Inn.

MCCLURES ROCK - A prominent point on the southern shoulder of the mountain near the summit trail which was named in memory of Professor McClure of the University of Oregon who in making some scientific studies on the mountain fell and lost his life at this point.

SLUISKIN FALLS - From Bear Prairie, over the Tatoosh Range and up Mazama Ridge to the edge of the Paradise Glacier, Stevens and Van Trump were guided by a Yakima Indian Brave, Sluiskin by name. Here Sluiskin refused to go farther as to do so was to his mind suiscide. General Stevens named the falls at the head of the Paradise River near their base camp after the Indian Sluiskin.

WAPOWETY CLEAVER - A ridge of rock between the Kautz and the Wilson Glaciers up which Lt. Kautz climbed in 1857 was named for Kautz's Indian guide Wapowety.

INDIAN HENRY'S HUNTING GROUND - A beautiful alpine park on the southwest sloe of the mountain which was, a generation ago, a favorite camping ground of an old Cowlitz Indian by the name of Satolick. To the white men "Satalic" was unnecessarly difficult to pronounce so "Indian Henry" was substituted and the region became known as Indian Henry's Hunting Ground.

WILSON GLACIER - Tributary glacier to the Nisqually on the south side of the mountain. It was named in honor of Mr. A. D. Wilson who in 1870 made the second successful ascent of the mountain with Professor S. F. Emmons.

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