high, and thirty feet across the top. Similar
formations extend along the side of the mountain for some distance, but
the rest are much smaller than the two mentioned. From a distance,
the mountain appears to be traversed by a number of stone-walls running
parallel to each other, from the summit to the base of the mountain, which
is shaped like a long hay-stack. The walls are as regular as if they
were a work of art.
In the evening we camped on
the Yellowstone, at the mouth of Gardiner's River. The beach was
of sand, with large rocks lying right at the water's edge. It was
wide enough for us to spread our blankets upon it, and was lined upon the
inside by a row of cedar-trees, beyond which the bluff, covered with sage-brush,
rose a hundred feet.
The next day we forded Gardiner's
River at its mouth, followed up the Yellowstone about two miles, and then,
finding the cañon impassable, took a trail leading up the
gulch to the right. In crossing the mountains, we attained the highest
elevation we had yet reached. During the day an antelope was killed
by one of the party. In the evening we camped on a clear mountain
stream, not more than ten miles from our previous camp. The grass
was abundant, and the location excellent. Two of the party, who went
ahead, missed the camp, and were out overnight, although every endeavor
was made to find them. they, however, got along well, by building
a shelter of pine boughs, in front of which they made a large fire.
By the brook-side we found
a number of prospect-holes, and some blazed trees, showing that enterprising
miners had preceded us. A gentleman got a pan of dirt from one of
the holes, and succeeded in panning out two nuggets, evidently from different
gulches, their combined value being about $8.
The next day we traveled about
six hours, nearly due east, over the mountains. After going sixteen
miles, up hill and down, through gulches and woods, we camped on Warm Spring
Creek, about a half-mile from its mouth, and at an elevation of 7,200 feet.
Here we found our two lost friends, who had preceded us. The Yellowstone
was several hundred feet beneath us; and but a short distance below our
camp one of the gentlemen had discovered some very picturesque falls, on
Warm Spring Creek. At the foot of this creek we found a few warm
springs, which probably caused early prospectors to so name the stream.
The springs were small, and principally alum and sulphur, but they were
interesting to us, as they were a new feature on the trip.
On the Yellowstone, opposite
the mouth of the creek, huge, basaltic cliffs and columns rose to a height
of six hundred feet, looking like castles and massive fortifications.
A short distance below our camp there was a fall in the creek of 112 feet.
For a few hundred yards above the fall the stream had worn its way through
a sandstone bluff, cutting quite a deep cañon. Immediately
about the head of the falls the rocks were worn into curious and fantastic
shapes, looking, in daylight, like spires or steeples, rising from thirty
to sixty feet above the falls; but, in the moonlight, reminding one of
the portal of an old castle, or a number of fabled genii standing
ready to hurl adventurous mortals into the gorge below, which was enveloped
by the shadows on the night in impenetrable darkness.
It was proposed to name these
falls in honor of the discoverer, but it was decided to be in bad taste
to name prominent objects after members of the expedition; besides, one
of the party took an unaccountable interest in bestowing upon them the
name of Tower Falls, which was finally adopted. His peculiar interest
was afterward satisfactorily explained, as we learned he had a sweet- Go
to next page
to Table of Contents
back to Yellowstone Historical Almanac
Go back to
Yellowstone History Guide
Go back to The Magic
of Yellowstone front page