Tower Peak P2K SPS / WSC

Thu, Aug 7, 2003
Etymology Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 Profile

Tower Peak (11,755 ft.)

Named by Whitney Survey in 1870

Also Lake, Canyon

"The Whitney Survey named that peak after the first ascent by Charles F. Hoffmann and his party in 1870. The name Castle Peak had been given to it more than ten years before by George H. Goddard but was transferred by mistake to a rounded peak about 18 miles away."
- from Erwin Gudde's, California Place Names

"'I recognize also several other well known peaks, one of which was a lofty castellated peak south of the Sonora and Walker River Immigrant Road, named the Castle Peak, and whose position I had determined when on the Railway Exploration under Lieut. Moore, U. S. A., in 1853.' (Goddard, Report, 101.)

'The grand mass of Tower Peak is a prominent and most remarkably picturesque object. This is one of the three points in the Sierra to which the name of "Castle Peak" has been given, and is the first and original one of that name, having been called so by Mr. G. H. Goddard. ... By some unaccountable mistake the name was transferred to a rounded, and not at all castellated, mass about eighteen miles a little south of east from the original "Castle Peak," where it has become firmly fixed. Hence we have been obliged to give a new name to Mr. Goddard's peak, which we now call "Tower Peak." (Whitney, Yosemite Guide-Book, 1874, 131-32.)

The lake and canyon were first named on the 15-minute quad."
- Peter Browning, Place Names of the Sierra Nevada

"June 15 [1863] we came on to Crane Flat, on the Yosemite Trail, a very rough country, through open forests of enormous trees, with some grand views of the mountains. In crossing a mountain over seven thousand feet high, we had a grand view of Castle [now Tower] Peak, and the higher, snowy Sierra. After crossing the summit we struck a pretty, little, grassy flat, called Crane Flat, where we camped -- a pretty place, a grassy meadow surrounded by forests, and lying at an altitude of over six thousand feet."
- William Brewer, Up and Down California

This Castle Peak referred to here is now more commonly known as Dunderberg Peak, but the name Castle Peak still shows up on the 7.5' quad next to the more common name.


References to can also be found in these files:

  • More of Bob's Trip Reports

    For more information see these SummitPost pages: Tower Peak

    This page last updated: Sat Apr 7 17:02:15 2007
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