Herbert W. Gleason


John Muir


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ART AND ARTISTS.(Continued From First Page.)ers would doubtless prefer the quicker and more comfortable stage route."The new road will pass through the Gen. Grant National Park, thence to Ten-mile Creek, thence to the southern portion of the cafion, crossing the river and continuing along the north bank through some very notable scenery until the main floor of the cafion is reached. There is a camp at the junction of Copper Creek and the King's, and here have already begun extensive improvements in anticipation of the certain increase of visitors following the completion of the stage road."There is no question, but that this King's River region is one of the most valuable assets which the State possesses. It is sure to become widely famous in the immediate future, and it will not surprise me if eventually the number of visitors annually will equal or exceed those now going to the Yosemite. In that case, of course, something of the charm of the locality will be lost, for at present its primitive wildness and total absence of everything artificial constitute no small part of its attractiveness to many visitors."But if the matter is properly handled this loss will be very slight. First of all, the entire region of the head-waters of the Middle and South Fork of the King's should be made a national park, and placed under government supervision. The advantages accruing from this would be inestimable, not only in making the region more accessible and maintaining its facilities in better shape, but in preserving its natural beauties, especially the forest growth, and protecting its wild life. Contrast the present timidity of wild animals, especially the deer, in the King's River region with the tameness of the same animals,(wild, and yet protected,) which we find in Yellowstone Park. It would be but a few years, under proper government supervision, when the King's River region would also become a paradise for wild animals."There is one other improvement which should be made, it seems to me," Mr. Gleason continued reflectively, "and that is in respect to the nomenclature of the locality. It is unfortunate that the cafion did not receive some appropriate name of Spanish or Indian origin. Yosemite, Tuolumne, Merced, San Joaquin, Tehipite-are all beautiful names. Mr. King may have been a very worthy man, but the name is empty and devoid of all significance to 99 out of every 100 who visit the cafion. And who was Bubb? It is a shame that such a magnificent valley and stream should bear such an insignificant name.""Mr. Gleason, referring again to the comparison between the Yosemite and the King's-a comparison that did not strike me as being at all odious-if a person can visit but one of these localities, which shall he choose?""The Yosemite, by all means," answered the artist emphatically, "because of its greater accessibility and its manifold beauty, but having seen the Yosemite, he should, if possible, visit the King's River Cafion, if he would gain a true conception of the marvelous scenery of the Sierra Nevada."03995Herbert W. Gleason.tain setting. The mountains adjacent to the Yosemite are scarcely over 9000 feet high, while many. of the peaks which are neighboring to the King's River Cafion are 11,000 and 12,000 feet in altitude, while the high crest of the Sierras, immediately to the south, exceeds 14,000 feet at many points. Consequently the King's River Cafion, taking in the surroundings as well as the valley itself [Illegible] decidedly more impressive than the Yosemite [Illegible].Perhaps I looked a wonder that bordered on incredulity Mr. Gleason, however, only smiled reassuringly to me and kept on talking."I speak the simple truth," said he. "My tale is no airy tissue of the imagination, no cloud-wrought fancy of the mind. Go and see for yourself. Nor are the single features of the cafion belittled by a comparison with the more famous valley. Grand Sentinel rears its lofty, [Illegible] pinnacled top 3700 feet sheer above the floor of the valley. The North Dome approaches El. Capitan in the grandeur of its perpendicular face, while Bubb's Dome is even more, gigantic. Buck-Peak, Glacier Monument. East West Videttes, and various other points over-looking the valley, which are as yet nameless, are quite as sublime as the corresponding cliffs of the Yosemite. To be sure, there is no Vernal or Bridal Veil Fall, yet there are a number of tumutuous, cascades of great beauty along the Paradise Branch. Bubb's Creek Roaring River, while Mist Falls and Roaring River Falls possess a unique charm. The floor of the valley, also, while not conspicuous for its open meadows, like those of the Yosemite, is exceedingly beautiful, with its magnificent sugar pines, yellow pines. California oaks and incense cedars."But it is chiefly in its mountain surroundings that the King's River Cafion calls for highest admiration. Goat Mountain, just to the north, reaches an altitude of 12,203 feet, and the view from its summit is one of the grandest in the entire Sierras. Avalanche Peak, within only two miles of capped giants- the whole forming a mountain panorama superbly beautiful."To the west, just beneath one's feet, lies the valley in which Bullfrog Lake is situated, beyond which can be traced the striking headlands which mark the boundaries of the King's River Cafion. A view of this character, so extensive, so magnificent, and so easily reached ought to make. Mt Gould the Mecca of mountain-loving tourists from all over the world. Yet this is only one of many similar lofty points which are comfortably accessible from King's River Cafion.""Tell me, Mr. Gleason, are there any other trips of interest which can be made from Kings River Cafion as a base?""Any? Many of them and all of the greatest interest. The climber may go up the valley of Copper Creek, with the ascent of Goat Mountain, or up the basin of Roaring River, on to East Lake, from which Mt. Brewer can be easily climbed, or up the South Fork to Paradise Valley and Mt. King and Mt. Gardner, or to Tehipite Valley on the Middle Fork- and every one of these is a red-letter excursion by itself.""But how did you get to King's River Cafion?""I was obliged to make a horseback trip of it, and the trail was not always easy or delightful. However, the good news has gone forth that [illegible] the long-contemplated. State road is now in actual construction and will be completed in two years. At present, leaving the Southern Pacific is at Sanger, there is a stage ride of fifty miles to Millwood, where one must transfer himself and his belongings to a pack train. Two days more are required to reach the cafion by this conveyance, and while the trail leads through a wonderfully interesting region- particularly interesting on account of the splendid groves of noble sequoias through which it passes-most travel-(Continued on Fourteenth Page.)03995



Date Original

1907-12-18 00:00


Original letter dimensions: 21 x 14 cm.

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File Identifier

Reel 16, Image 1291

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Page 5


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