|Two Views of Mt. Washburn:
The Top of Mt. Washburn / One the Mt. Washburn Road
Mt. Washburn is located midway between Tower Junction and Canyon Village. Rising to 10,243 feet, this mountain was named after Henry Dana Washburn, Surveyor General of the Territory of Montana, and leader of the Washburn Expedition of 1870. It was during this expedition that General Washburn climbed the mountain that now bears his name to find an amazing view of the land he was exploring. From the top of Mt. Washburn can be seen the distant peaks of the Beartooth Range to the northeast, portions of the Absaroka Range, Yellowstone Lake, the great gorge of the Yellowstone River, and distant views of the Tetons to the south.
This postcard (publisher not identified on the card) has a divided back and was mailed in 1911. It shows a group of tourists from Wylie's Permanent Camps, as denoted on the side of the carriage closest to the viewer. Until the second half of the Twentieth Century, tourists were taken to the top of Mt. Washburn in carriages and later buses. Today, the road is closed to motor vehicles and restricted to foot traffic only.
|Bloom Brothers divided-back postcard copyrighted by Asahel Curtis for the Northern Pacific Railway Co.|
An account of a motorized trip up Mt. Washburn was given in Martelle Trager's 1939 book, National Parks of the Northwest:
A bus leaves the hotel at Canyon every morning at four o'clock for a sunrise trip to the summit of Mount Washburn, where Bighorn sheep can often be seen. Our party voted unanimously to make the trip the next day, so we left a call at the desk for 3 A. M.. It was dark and cold the next morning when we were awakened by the violent ringing of our telephone. But we were so enthusiastic about our trip that we bounced out of bed, dressed hurriedly and went downstairs. Here we were told to go to the big kitchen for warm doughnuts and steaming coffee, which made us forget the cold. We were advised to wear plenty of clothing, as it would be very cold on the mountain top, which is over 10,000 feet high. Sue, Mary and I wore a wool dress, two sweaters and a tweed coat and we needed them all.
When the bus left the hotel it was too dark to see much of the surrounding country, but streaks of light began to appear in the east before we reached Mount Washburn, and as we began to climb upward we watched the gray dawn give way to light. Arriving at the summit we saw the edge of the sun peep over the mountains to the east and flood the forests, mountains and canyons with a soft amber glow. A feeling of exaltation came over me as I looked out over rugged mountain peaks, extending in every direction except the southwest. They were blue and purple in the early morning mist. In the distance lay Yellowstone Lake and we could count the islands that dot her surface. Below us were the evergreen forests cut by the yawning canyon which was shrouded in fog, as it usually is in the early morning. A column of steam issued from among the deep green trees. I disliked to leave such a perfect scene and was the last to board the returning bus.
Martelle W. Trager, National Parks of the Northwest (Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, 1939), pp. 50-51.
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