Mount Observation

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Mount Observation, Nevada is a summit of 5207' near Leadville. There is also a Mount Observation, California that is much more prominent.

An Improved Topographical Map of the Northern & Middle Mines. Compiles from the most recent & authentic Surveys, showing a practicable Route for the great Atlantic & Pacific Rail-Road, through the Sierra Nevada at Fredonyers Pass. With a faithfull delineation ... (1854) shows Mount Observation.

The print version of the above describes a letter from Milleson that appeared in the April 30 1855 Sacramento Daily Union titled "Fredonyer's Pass-A Description of the Mountains in that Region by Dr. Fredonyer.":

"Being weary of proceeding so far to the northward part of the company and myself determined to take a direct west course as possible, and force a passage over the Sierra Nevada at any point rather than make the great circuit by Lassen's Pass. For this purpose we pursued our journey up the Canon Valley, near a SW direction, over a sterile but interesting district, covered with innumerable little pieces of obsidian of different colors; about midway in the valley we passed through a volcanic causeway varying from one to two hundred feet in width and over a mile in length, with perpendicular walls fifteen feet high. The valley on the north and western sides is lined by a ridge of basaltic cliffs, increasing in height and grandeur until they reach the head of the valley at Ladder Canon, and sixteen miles distant from the mouth of High Rock Canon.'

"To the south of Ladder Canon lies Mount Observation, rising to an elevation of nearly three thousand feet above the planes of the interior basin of a conical shape, the summit and flanks entirely destitute of vegetation."

Unfortunately, this does not match the GNIS location of Mount Observation, which shows a prominence of about 300 feet, not 3000 feet.

A similar letter appears in a 1855 California state government document about a wagon road:[1] "The Pillars of Atlas the fourth range of mountains before spoken of are of volcanic origin rugged in their appearance and entirely destitute of timber."

"At a point near the north end of Lower Mud Lake and opposite the Great Boiling Spring the continuity of the ridge is broken forming one of the grandest ruptures in Nature. One side of the cleft rises to the giddy height of a thousand feet with nearly a perpendicular declivity while the other inclines off in gradual retiring strata to nearly double that distance. The bottoms through that gorge are on a level with the adjoining plain and affords a free passage for the McNamey Creek through into Mud Lake. About twelve miles north of this point and a little west of the Pillars of Atlas is situated Mount Observation which rises to an elevation of three thousand feet above the plains of the Interior Basin and is of a conical shape and perfectly barren." (McNamey Creek could be another name for McNamara Creek, see Negro Creek).

The legend for Valley of the Mud Lakes (1861) mentions Mount Observation. However, the legend is probably referring to the Mount Observation (aka Observation Peak) in Lassen County because the image show Mount Observation being to the left (south) of the Granite Range. Observation Peak is 7930 feet high and rises above the plain, which is at about 5500 feet.

Mount Observation appears in the 1863 DeGroot's map of Nevada (David Rumsey).

Mount Observation is cited as being in the State of Nevada 1914 map (see below), but, like Ladden Cone, it does not appear in that map. Ladden Cone and Mount Observation have sequential GNIS numbers.

Mount Observation does not appear in the Division Peak (1980) map, though it does appear in the Division Peak (2018) map.

Earthpoint has the location at S11 T37N R23-1/2E