Nature Notes

Vol. IX October, 1931 No. 10


The mineral springs at Longmire were the incentive that resulted in James Longmire establishing a homestead - the first permanent settlement in what is now the Park - here in 1883. Mr. Longmire had visions of using these mineralized waters for medicinal purposes and started to establish a health resort nearby. These springs are formed by the water circulating down through the lava above and below and striking the old erosional surface of the granite below. This granite is exposed just a few feet below the Museum at Longmire and it is here that the waters issue forth.

Higher up upon "The Mountain" are other types of formations giving rise to warm springs. Just below the snout of the Paradise Glacier ar a series of warm waters pouring over the sides of the glacial cavern. These waters probably originated on the surface from melting snow and ice and have percolated down great distances in the volcanic ash and pumice which is very porous. In fact these underground courses pass close enough to the interior of the great volcanic cone to absorb some of the latent heat stored there. It is a peculiar sight to see clumps of yellow mimulus growing in the warm springs, high above timberline and right next to the snout of the glacier. The porous material is more or less sandwiched in between flows of basalt and gives an excellent course for the underground waters.

The third type of springs occurs along the northern scar of the Tatoosh Range. These solutions ascended from great depths below and from an unknown source. They carried with them sulphur, copper and other elements which were deposited in the form of ores. These are to be found in the mine workings below Eagle Peak. These waters now reach the surface through what is known as a joint or crack in the crust of the earth but most of the mineral wealth contained has been deposited and now quite pure water maybe had by thirsty climbers of the Tatoosh.

Howard Coombs,

springs beside group of trees

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