Peak Names-a Uinta Mountain Mystery

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Peak Names-a Uinta Mountain Mystery

Postby Scott Patterson » Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:50 pm

Since you guys are good at digging up old survey information, I was hoping someone might be able to answer a question that I have been wondering about since I was a kid.

Old encyclopedias list Emmons Peak (now known as Mount Emmons) as the highest mountain in Utah. They also list Mt Hodges as the second highest mountain in Utah:

hodges.JPG


Hodges 1.JPG


Does anyone know which peak Mt. Hodges is? Could it be Kings Peak and the name was changed to honor King who did the original survey?

Dawes Peak is another mystery.

Anyway, I am not surprised that it took Kings Peak a long time to be recognized as the highest mountain in Utah. From any vantage point I know of, it never appears to be so and is always rather inconspicuous. Emmons is actually a much more dominating mountain from most vantage points that show both.

It would be nice to know what the other two mystery peaks are. Lovenia comes to mind as a possible candidate for either, but if my memory is right (and we're talking a memory from ~35 years ago, my Great Grandparents had both Mt Hodges and Lovenia in their encyclopedia?
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Re: Peak Names-a Uinta Mountain Mystery

Postby John Kirk » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:23 pm

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Re: Peak Names-a Uinta Mountain Mystery

Postby Scott Patterson » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:55 pm

I've seen that, but the article admits that they don't know either. They present South Kings Peak as only a guess.

The Richfield Reaper newspaper of April 5, 1906 reported that a Mount Hodges had supposedly been name by U.S. surveyor Clarence King in the 1800s, but that now no one seems to know where that peak actually is. The newspaper called it "the largest unlocated peak in Utah." Could that have been today's South Kings Peak? Perhaps.

It was more than a newspaper reporting Mt Hodges, but official geologic reports and encyclopedias as well.

Of interest, South Kings and Kings don't even show up as separate peaks on Kings Map, not even by one 200' contour line. This is not surprising since South Kings is always hidden until you are either in the upper Yellowstone Creek Basin, the Upper Uinta River Basin, or from some of the high peaks. From all other vantage points in the area, South Kings is hidden. Kings Peak is highly visible from the north (including from I-80 and from even farther away), but even today, South Kings isn't visible from any roads (with the possible exception of some of the San Juan 13ers, it might be the highest peak in the country not visible from a road (?), but this is only my guess). (Looking at King's map, it doesn't appear he even set foot in the Uinta River drainage. All the lakes and many other features are missing on the map). It is not surprising that they are shown as a single mountain.

It is strange that many old sources list Clarence King as the source for the elevation of Mt Hodges, yet the name Mt Hodges seems to be missing from all of his maps.

My guess is that Dawes Peak might be Lovenia and Mt Hodges might be one of the Kings, but like in the article above, this is only a guess. Dawes Peak could also be any of the peaks along the Kings-Emmons Ridge.

It would be nice if someone could find a definitive answer.
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Re: Peak Names-a Uinta Mountain Mystery

Postby doug72901 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:40 am

Thanks for sharing the link to the newspaper article John! Fascinating. I plan to snag this peak in August and the trivia will be a good addition to my journal.
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