When I describe my last few seasonal jobs, I say I’m incredibly lucky to get paid to hike and look at plants. For the past few years, I’ve worked on the Flagstaff Ranger District Botany Crew on the Coconino National Forest. We collected population data on the geographical extent and abundance of rare plants and noxious invasive weeds and managed weed populations using mechanical, biological and chemical control methods.
The Coconino is a captivating place. I’m very fortunate to have spent so much time getting to know this stunning area, taking pictures whenever I see something interesting or beautiful. And how better to begin a series honoring the landscapes of the Coc. than with the San Francisco Peaks? Taken from May through September 2016, these photos document this important set of mountain tops.
The Peaks are significant to many native tribes in the Southwest. For the Navajo Tribe, the Peaks are “Dook’o’oosłííd,” which means “the summit which never melts” or “the mountain which peak never thaws.”
Nuva’tukya’ovi to the Hopi Tribe
Dził Tso—Dilzhe’e to the Apache Tribe
‘Amat ‘Iikwe Nyava—Hamakhav— the the Mojave Tribe
Tsii Bina—Aa’ku—Acoma Tribe
Nuvaxatuh—Nuwuvi—Southern Paiute Tribe
Hvehasahpatch or Huassapatch—Havasu ‘Baaja—Havasupai Tribe
Wi:mun Kwa—(Yavapai) Tribe
Sunha K’hbchu Yalanne—A:shiwi (Zuni) Tribe
“Sierra sin Agua” or “Mountain without Water” was the Spanish name given to the Peaks by conquistadors in the 1500s.
The Peaks have a number of “summits”: Agassiz, Fremint, Humphrey’s, Doyle, Schukltz, and Abineau. The forest service has a great photo labeling the various peaks: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_MEDIA/stelprdb5428567.jpg
Agassiz Peak was named by Gen. W.J.Palmer in 1867 for the Swiss zoologist Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz, who surveyed fossils in the area of the Pacific Railroad.
Fremont Peak was named for John Charles Fremont (1813-1890) who searched for an overland route to the Pacific ocean in 1842, served as a general in the Mexican-American War and U.S. Civil War, and was territorial governor of Arizona from 1878-1882.
Humphreys Peak was named after Gen. Andrew Atkinson Humphreys in 1873. Humphreys was a Union General in the American Civil War and later became the Chief of the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers.
Doyle Peak and Saddle were named in 1933 after the cattleman and guide , Allen Doyle (1850-1920). Doyle mined in Prescott before driving cattle to Flagstaff in 1881. There he stayed, becoming a famous guide to people such as Zane Grey, author of western novels.
Schultz Peak and Schultz Pass were named for Charles H. Schulz (original spelling), owner of the largest number of sheep in Arizona at the height of his ranching career. One of the earliest settlers in Flagstaff, Schulz arrived from Texas in 1880.
Abineau Peak was named after Julius Aubineau (1852-1903), a Frenchman who owned Aubineau Spring. He was Flagstaff mayor and developed the Inner Basin water system, engineering the route for the project’s waterline road in 1898. He also built the town business’s first sewage system in 1899.
Happy New Year!
Field Guide to Forest & Mountain Plants of Northern Arizona