Henry Ottridge Reik.

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NATIONAL PARKS



AND



PRINCIPAL RAILROAD CONNECTIONS



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Th ON r . .



A TOUR OF AMERICA S
NATIONAL PARKS





(From an Autochrome taken bv the Author)



Early Morning at
Going-to-the-Sun Chalet



A Tour of America s
National Parks



BY

HENRY OTTRIDGE REIK
I/r.-CoL. MEDICAL RESERVE CORPS, UNITED STATES ABMT



With Illustrations from Photographs




NEW YORK

E. P. BUTTON & CO.

681 FIFTH AVENUE



LANDSCAPE
ARCHITECTURE



Copyright 1920
By E. P. Button & Company

All Rights Reserved



Printed in the United
States of America



LANDSCAPE
ARCH.

UB,



Dedicated to

STEPHEN T. MATHER

HORACE M. ALBRIGHT

ROBERT S. YARD

Who,

Under instructions from the
HON. FRANKLIN K. LANE,

Secretary of the Interior,

Are striving to make American Scenery

available to the People



fi*860t by
Wtltor C. QlHfortf



PREFACE

THE purpose of this book is to attract a
more wide-spread attention to the won
derful natural beauty of our own country; to
point out the possibilities of a "Grand Tour,"
here at home, that shall embrace more of scenic
beauty and more marvelous natural phenom
ena than was ever included in a "Grand Tour
of Europe"; to make clear to those who have
but a limited vacation period what is to be seen
in the different Parks, and how best to see it.
It is not a Guide Book in the ordinary sense,
yet it is intended to serve as such; for it not
only indicates the proper procedure for making
the "Grand Tour," but presents specific in
formation about the most important things to
see and the order in which they should be seen
in each individual Park.

The United States of America possesses the
most remarkable series of public play-grounds
in all the world. These, the so-called National



Parks, are maintained "For The Benefit And
Enjoyment Of The People." No two of these
parks are alike. They are not comparable.
In fact, they scarcely resemble one another
at all. Each is possessed of some character
istic feature that makes it individually worth
seeing. Every citizen should become inti
mately acquainted with as many of them as his
time and purse will permit and every one may
feel well assured in advance that he will be
fully repaid for the labor and expense involved
in visiting either of these Parks.

HENRY O. REIK.



CONTENTS

POEM: Out Among the Big Things.
Chapter

I. PLANS FOR THE GRAND TOUR OF OUR NATIONAL
PARKS.

II. THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK; IN
CLUDING ESTES PARK AND THE PARKS IN AND
ABOUT DENVER.

III. MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK; HOME OF THE
CLIFF DWELLERS.

IV. THE GRAND CANYON OF ARIZONA; WITH INCI
DENTAL VISITS TO THE OLD INDIAN PUEBLOS
OF NEW MEXICO AND THE PETRIFIED FOREST.

V. SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK; THE PROSPECTS OF A
NEW PARK THAT SHALL EXCEL SOME OF THE
BEST Now DEVELOPED.

VI. YOSEMITE VALLEY; THE REGION OF WORLD-
FAMED BEAUTY.

VII. CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK; AN EXTRAORDI
NARY LAKE OCCUPYING THE CRATER OF AN
EXTINCT VOLCANO AND WHOSE WATER Is OF
AN UNBELIEVABLE BLUE.

yill. MT. RAINIER NATIONAL PARK. "THE MOUN
TAIN THAT WAS GOD."



CONTENTS

IX. GLACIER NATIONAL PARK. RUGGED MOUNTAIN
SCENERY OF ALPINE CHARACTER, WITH IN
NUMERABLE ACTIVE GLACIERS.

X. YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. A VERITABLE
FAIRYLAND. MORE GEYSERS THAN IN ALL
THE REST OF THE WORLD TOGETHER J BESIDE
MANY OTHER CURIOUS AND WEIRD PHE
NOMENA PRODUCED BY SUBTERRANEAN HEAT.



ILLUSTRATIONS

EARLY MORNING AT GOING-TO-THE-SUN CHALET.

Frontispiece in Colors

Facing Page

MlNNEHAHA OF THE AsPENS, ROCKY MOUNTAIN

NATIONAL PARK 22

LOCH VALE, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK . 30

CLIFF PALACE, THE LARGEST OF THE CLIFF

DWELLINGS IN MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK . 42

SPRUCE TREE HOUSE, MESA VERDE NATIONAL

PARK 50

GRAND CANYON FROM MOJAVE POINT .... 56

ADOBE HOUSES IN THE INDIAN PUEBLO OF

TESUQUE, NEW MEXICO 68

HOPI INDIANS DECORATING POTTERY .... 62
VIEW OF CANYON AND RIVER 66

"WAWONA," THE TUNNELED GIANT REDWOOD OF

THE YOSEMITE 74

EL CAPITAN AND THE MERCED RIVER, YOSEMITE

VALLEY 82

BRIDAL VEIL FALLS, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK . 90



ILLUSTRATIONS

EL CAPITAN IN WINTER 98

VERNAL FALLS, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK . . . 100

THE PHANTOM SHIP, CRATER LAKE NATIONAL

PARK 110

CRATER LAKE TROUT . . 114

THROUGH THE FIR FOREST TO MT. RAINIER NA
TIONAL PARK 122

GLACIAL CREEK, MT. RAINIER NATIONAL PARK , 130

AFLOAT ON TWO-MEDICINE LAKE, GLACIER NA
TIONAL PARK 146

ON THE TRAIL, GLACIER NATIONAL PARK ... 154

HYMEN TERRACE, MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, YEL
LOWSTONE PARK 162

OLD FAITHFUL GEYSER 186

BLACK AND BROWN BEARS IN YELLOWSTONE PARK 194

GRAND CANYON AND GREAT FALLS OF THE YEL
LOWSTONE . 202



A TOUR OF AMERICA S
NATIONAL PARKS



INTRODUCTION

BEFORE the world war, hundreds of
thousands of Americans not only knew
all about the Grand Tour of Europe, but were
more or less thoroughly acquainted with par
ticular foreign countries, even to remote sec
tions possessing scenic, historic, or other points
of interest. On the other hand, the scenic and
historic places in the United States were
known only to comparatively few travelers of
the country at large and to residents of the
communities immediately adjacent to them. It
was with profound surprise, therefore, that
when war closed Europe to American tourists,
they, in looking about for places to visit on this
continent, found in the western mountain
ranges a chain of national parks set apart by
Congress to be maintained forever in their
natural state for the benefit and pleasure of
the people.



2 TOUR OF AMERICA S NATIONAL PARKS

They had heard perhaps of Yellowstone and
Yosemite Parks, but these places were rather
more associated with geysers, enormous water
falls, and other remarkable phenomena to be
hurriedly glimpsed as they might look at the
Woolworth Building in New York than with
the idea of great national playgrounds, estab
lished and maintained as a part of a system
which is to furnish recreational, educational,
and health restoring advantages for us and
for generations yet to come. Even the Yel
lowstone and Yosemite were visited each year
by a mere handful of people, most of whom
lived in the States in which the parks are
located or in neighboring States.

The process of introspection which Ameri
cans were forced to use in planning their va
cations in 1915 and 1916, aided by unceasing
publicity work by the Department of the In
terior and by the transcontinental railroads,
developed in the public consciousness a pretty
complete realization of what the national park



INTRODUCTION 8

system was. In those two years travel to the
parks increased by leaps and bounds, and even
during our participation in the war the parks
were visited each year by 200,000 more people
than toured them in 1914. This year there is
every prospect that national park travel will
break all previous records by a very great
margin. 1

The national park system is frequently
called "The Incomparable Circle." This is be
cause the largest of the scenic parks are so
situated in the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra
Nevadas, and Cascades that they form points
on an imaginary circumference with Salt
Lake City approximately the center of the
circle. The parks in this chain alone form
the greatest and most remarkable group of
natural wonders on the face of the earth, as
well as the most beautiful and varied scenery
the world affords.

i Since this foreword was written the travel records for
1919 have been compiled. They show that 755,325 people
visited the parks during the tourist season, while the travel
m 1918 totaled 451,691.



4 TOUR OF AMERICA S NATIONAL PARKS

The distinctiveness of the national parks is
worthy of especial comment. There is no
place in this or in any other country where
there are so many geysers, hot springs, and
other manifestations of the action of subter
ranean heat on the earth s surface as in Yel
lowstone National Park, and yet these features
are only a few of scores of remarkable works
of nature in this one reservation. In the entire
world, there is no other valley so beautiful as
the Yosemite, with its waterfalls, its domes,
its spires, and its towers, and yet it has a back
country with mountain scenery that is second
to none.

The Grand Canyon National Park contains
the gorge that represents nature s greatest
work of water erosion. It is thirteen miles
across this yawning chasm and it is a mile
deep. Its wonders and its gripping charms
have defied description in written or spoken
words and even the painter and photographer
have failed to give those who have not beheld



JNTKODUCTiON 5

this stupendous spectacle even a remote con
ception of what it really is.

In Sequoia and General Grant National
Parks the giant sequoia grows oldest and
largest of living things. Sequoia National
Park also has high scenic regions of such
magnificence that Congress is considering the
advisability of adding certain other mountain
territory, including Mt. Whitney, the highest
point in the United States, and dedicating this
enlarged park as a great memorial to the late
Theodore Roosevelt, giving to it his name.

Oregon s representative in the park system
is Crater Lake and the surrounding moun
tainous region. Crater Lake is situated in
the crater of an extinct volcano. Its surface
is 1000 feet below the rim and its blue color
has no equal in the waters of the earth, and,
it is a spectacle of sublimity that holds one
spellbound.

Mount Rainier, in Washington, has the
largest single peak glacier system of which
we have record. The reservation is also known



6 TOUR OF AMERICA S NATIONAL PARKS

as the "Wild Flower Park" because between
the great glaciers wild flowers grow in such
profusion that they alone are sufficient to lure
and hold the interest of the visitor.

Glacier and Rocky Mountain National
Parks sit astride the Rockies and exhibit the
most remarkable evidences of glaciation that
has carved the mountains into scenery than
which there is no more sublime and thrilling
on the globe. In the former the glaciers have
performed their sculpturing in ancient sedi
mentary rocks thrust up and over on the plains
by some tremendous cataclysm within the
earth; while in Rocky Mountain Park the ice
has carved in solid granite. Hence these
parks, while somewhat similarly formed, are
vastly different in the character of scenery
they exhibit.

The remaining member of this park chain
is Mesa Verde, where the largest and best pre
served of all the cliff dwellings are to be found.
This is the land of romance and charm that
grips your very soul and you leave it with



INTRODUCTION 7

greater reluctance than you feel when depart
ing from any other park.

This is "The Incomparable Circle" that
Colonel Reik knows and loves. He was one
of the first Americans to see it in its larger
aspects and to comprehend it in its full impor
tance to the Nation of today and tomorrow.
He has ridden over the automobile roads of
the parks and he has tramped their trails. He
knows the beauties of the remote places as
well as those that are easily accessible. He
has photographed the parks, using natural
color processes with unusual success, and with
his remarkable pictures he has in lectures end
personal conversation sought to arouse his
friends and fellow citizens to a full apprecia
tion of these great American playgrounds.

Now, Colonel Reik has written this book of
his travels, thus broadening his field of public
service. He has carefully prepared this vol
ume with the idea not only of describing his
own experiences but for the purpose of telling
others how they may go and see and enjoy



8 TOUR OF AMERICA S NATIONAL PARKS

what he has seen and enjoyed not once but
several times the same things that he will go
back to until the end of his days because none
is more devoted to the national parks and the
mountains than is the author of this work.
May all who read this book, imbibe his love
of country as related to the big things of
nature, and his enthusiasm for the out-of-
doors.

HORACE M. ALBRIGHT,
Assistant Director, National Park Service.
Department of the Interior,
Washington, D. C.,
June 30, 1919.



INTRODUCTION
OUT AMONG THE BIG THINGS

Out among the big things

The mountains and the plains
An hour ain t important.

Nor are the hour s gains;
The feller in the city

Is hurried night and day,
But out among the big things

He learns the calmer way.

Out among the big things

The skies that never end
To lose a day ain t nothing

The days are here to spend;
So why not give em freely,

En joy in as we go?
I somehow can t help thinking

The good Lord means life so.



Out among the big thingi

The heights that gleam afar
A feller gets to wonder

What means each distant star;
He may not get an answer,

But somehow, every night
He feels, among the big things,

That everything s all right.

ARTHUR CHAPMAN.



A TOUR OF AMERICA S NATIONAL
PARKS

INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER

THERE is nothing so instructive in an
educational way, nothing so beneficial
to health and so helpful in attaining a true
perspective regarding one s own place in the
universe, as the effect of travel if one pos
sesses ordinarily good powers of observation.
It is not long since the "Grand Tour of
Europe" was habitually spoken of as an essen
tial element in the education of a cultured
person. While that will always remain a de
sirable voyage, there had already arisen, even
before the advent of the great World War,
a cry in favor of "Seeing America First."
Without underestimating the value or the
pleasure of European travel, and without
urging strongly the seeing of any particular

11



12 TOUR OF AMERICA S NATIONAL PARKS

country or place "first," it would seem but
natural that the vast majority of Americans
might be expected to become more familiar
with their own country than they now are.
If you should be fortunate enough to plan a
definite trip around the world, then, perhaps,
you should begin with your own country, but,
do not forego a special opportunity to visit
any country simply because you have not yet
seen America. It is a good rule to travel
wherever and whenever you can. However,
at some time or other, first or last, as one
grand tour or as the result of many small
trips, every true American should manage
to pay his respects to the marvelous natural
scenery of this continent.

Within the domain of the United States
there exists some of the finest Alpine moun
tain scenery, some of the most beautiful lakes
and woodland country, and some of the most
remarkable natural phenomena that may be
observed anywhere in the world. For instance,
in Yellowstone National Park are to be found



INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER 13

more Geysers than in all the rest of the world
together and, incidentally, the finest specimen
of a geyser Old Faithful a typical demon
stration of the Bunsen theory, has been per
forming with the regularity of clock-work for
countless centuries. Sequoia National Park
contains the largest forest of the greatest trees
in the world; 12,000 Giant Redwoods, each
more than 10 feet in diameter; many more
than 30 feet in diameter, 100 feet in circum
ference, and in the neighborhood of 300 feet
in height ; the oldest living things in existence.
Mt. Rainier National Park has the largest
accessible single-peak glacial system; 28 dif
ferent glaciers radiating from the summit over
its broad slopes, the latter being punctuated by
acre upon acre of wonderful wild flowers.
Mesa Verde National Park embraces the most
notable and best preserved prehistoric Cliff
Dwellings known to man. Similar specifica
tions might be given for each of the entire
list of parks.

By a wise provision of our Government,



14 TOUR OF AMERICA S NATIONAL PARKS

selected portions of the most curious and inter
esting bits of our natural scenery have been
set aside in the form of Public Parks, to be
held inviolate for all time "For the Benefit
and Enjoyment of the People." When, in
1872, the Congress of the United States
enacted a Law establishing the Yellowstone
National Park, a precedent was set which has
since been adopted by several other Nations,
and which has developed into a policy that
gives us today a large series of these play
grounds. Each year they are becoming more
popular, and increasing thousands are availing
themselves of the privilege, not only of visit
ing them to observe and study their curious
features, but of camping out, fishing and
enjoying the beneficial -results of "Getting
Back to Nature."

Now it happens that the principal members
of our group of National Parks are so located
that they may be included in a circular tour
of the country and, while describing each
park separately, it seems worth while to sug-



INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER 15

gest their combination in the form of a "Grand
Tour of Our National Parks." It is possible
to procure a round-trip ticket from any point,
permitting a visit to each of the nine large
parks, and enabling the traveler to cover the
course comfortably within the period of two
months. It goes without saying that a much,
longer time might be profitably devoted to
the journey; but the fact that it can be ac
complished in so short a time will be new to
many people, and may make it possible for
some who have but limited opportunity to
travel to take the trip and enjoy most of the
benefits.

GENERAL PLAN OF TOUR

Starting from New York, or any other
eastern point, by that trunk-line railroad which
will most conveniently furnish transportation
to Denver, the route of the excursion ticket
thence would be as follows :
Denver to Santa Fe, N. M., via Denver and

Rio Grande R. R.



16 TOUR OF AMERICA S NATIONAL PARKS

Santa Fe to San Francisco, via Atchison,

Topeka and Santa Fe R. R.
San Francisco to Seattle, via Southern Pacific

R. R.
Seattle to Great Falls, Montana, via Great

Northern R. R.
Great Falls to Gardiner, Montana, via N"orth-

ern Pacific R. R.
Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. through

the Park to Cody, Wyoming.
Cody to Denver, via the Burlington Route.

With stop-over privileges and the addition
of a few short side trips this will permit visit
ing the parks in the following manner:

First on the list is the new Rocky Mountain
National; to be taken as a side trip from
Denver, over the Colorado and Southern rail
road to Loveland, Colorado. The city of
Denver itself is very attractive, having an
excellent system of local parks, and it is worthy
of mention at this point that there are along
the route of this circular tour many other inter
esting things to be seen beside those included



INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER 17

in the parks. For instance, in Colorado the
journey may be arrested at Colorado Springs
for a visit to the Garden of the Gods, Pike s
Peak and Manitou Springs.

Mesa Verde National Park, also in the
State of Colorado, is reached by using the main
ticket as far as Alamosa, Colorado, and then
purchasing a side-trip ticket to Mancos and
return. The railroads are very liberal in pro
viding choice of routes and stop-over privi
leges. If, when having the ticket made up,
attention is called to it, the side trip to Love-
land, referred to above, is provided without
extra cost; and, at the same time, it is pos
sible to make a choice of routes to Alamosa,
so that Mancos shall be included in the original
ticket, together with the privilege of going
through the Royal Gorge.

Resuming the trip at Alamosa, you continue
to Santa Fe, the oldest established town in
the United States, and in this vicinity the
opportunity is afforded to visit some interest
ing Indian villages. At this point change is



18 TOUR OF AMERICA S NATIONAL PARKS

made to the Santa Fe railway system, along
the course of which the first important attrac
tion presented is the Petrified Forest of Ari
zona. An automobile ride of one hour takes
you direct to the largest field of the largest and
most perfect specimens of petrified wood any
where on this globe. Another side-trip, from
Williams, Arizona, takes you to the most won
derful of all the World s Wonders the
Grand Canyon of the Colorado River.

En route from Williams to San Francisco,
stops may be made at Visalia, California, for
entrance to the Sequoia National Park, and,
at Merced, California, for the Yosemite Val
ley. Between San Francisco and Portland,
Oregon, stop-over is made at Medford to per
mit another side-trip by automobile to Crater
Lake National Park, and, proceeding north
ward, Mt. Rainier National Park is but a short
ride by train or automobile from either
Tacoma or Seattle.

Turning homeward now, Glacier National
Park and the Yellowstone are visited, in turn,



INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER 19

and the circle completed at Denver, near the
eastern exit from the latter park.

The accompanying diagram shows in
schematic form the location of each of the
parks and the railroad points from which they
are best reached. Of course, it is equally pos
sible to take the trip in reverse order, or, to
eliminate any park that does not appeal to the
individual, and to vary the time at each place
to suit the personal taste.

L_ ,:-*_

The cost of traveling and living within the
parks is under Government regulation, and
each season pamphlets are issued (secured by
addressing the Director of the National Parks
Service, Department of the Interior, Wash
ington, D. C.), setting forth the specific
charges for every kind of service in each park;
so that you may determine in advance just how
you will live and at exactly what cost.

All of the parks are now open to automo
biles and the roads are reasonably good in all
of them. There has been a very rapid growth
in the number of private machines entering



20 TOUR OF AMERICA S NATIONAL PARKS

the parks during the past three years and many
have enjoyed the delightful experience of
crossing the continent in a private car and
visiting some of the parks en route.



CHAPTER II

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL
PARK

"Into the wilderness, come!
Here where the wild bees hum.

The aspen leaves quiver,

Now darkly, now bright,

The willow-dim river

Sings loud with delight,
Birds are a-singing and voices are dumb
Into the wilderness, come !"

HERMAN HAGEDORN.



1HV ENVER is appropriately called the
-*^ "Gateway to "the National Parks" and
that term is especially applicable to this plan
for a grand tour of all our parks. As already
set forth, the circular portion of that tour starts
from this city. Denver is, literally, the central
gate or doorway to the Rocky Mountains and
its interest in the subject of parks in general is
well attested by the number of local parks

21



22 TOUR OF AMERICA S NATIONAL PARKS

established by the City Government. It is an
unusually attractive city, enjoying a delight
ful climate, because of its advantageous loca
tion on the eastern slope of the Rockies, with
an altitude of 5000 feet, and with homes that
have evidently been planned to secure to the
inhabitants the greatest amount of benefit
from the glorious sunshine and pure air. The
claim is made that it has 300 sun-shiny days
in the year. The dwellings, ranging from the
small bungalow type to the most palatial resi
dences, are practically all built singly, with
lawns and gardens surrounding them. Flow
ers grow almost as abundantly and quite
as perfectly as in many more tropical
regions, and as the land has a gently rolling
character, the adopted style of architecture
and of floral decoration tends to make a city
beautiful.

There are four large public parks within
the city limits. Largest of these, the City
Park contains a Zoological Garden with an
interesting collection of animals, a municipal




Photo by Wiswall Bros. Reproduced by courtesy of
tlte National Park Senice.

MINNEHAHA OF THE ASPENS. ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK



ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK 23

golf links, a conservatory, and two small lakes
on which boating is possible.

An electric fountain, with kaleidoscopic
color displays, has been constructed here espe
cially to entertain Denver s citizens and guests
at night, while they listen to the Municipal
Band concerts which are given every evening
and on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Here too is found a very interesting Museum
containing a remarkable collection of the wild
animals of the western states, mounted arid
grouped as nearly as possible in accordance
with our knowledge of their natural conditions.
Washington and Berkely Parks, in other parts
of the city, are attractive mainly because of
their public bathing facilities, playgrounds and
tennis courts. Cheesman Park is a small one


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Online LibraryHenry Ottridge ReikA tour of America's national parks → online text (page 1 of 9)