Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Carson-Iceberg Wilderness, Alpine and Tuolumne County, California

The Carson-Iceberg Wilderness spans both the eastern and western slopes of the Sierra Crest south of Markleeville in Alpine County, California. The Carson-Iceberg area was designated as a wilderness in 1984 and is today managed by the Toiyabe and Stanislaus National Forests [1-3]. Several hiking trails lead into and through this magnificent wilderness of geologic anomalies, ancient volcanic peaks and distinctive rock formations.

The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail runs for over 26 miles within the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness [2]. Coming from the north, the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) enters the wilderness near Wolf Creek Pass a few miles south of Noble Lake. At the Ebbett's Pass PCT trailhead, an information board provides the following summary:

The Carson-Iceberg Wilderness was added to the National Wilderness Preservation System in 1984. Its 161,181 acres are managed jointly by the Humboldt-Toiyabe and Stanislaus National Forests. It gets its name from the distinctive iceberg-shaped granite formation on the south-central boundary of the Wilderness and the Carson River, named after renowned 19th century explorer Christopher “Kit Carson.

The distinctive iceberg-shaped granite formation, The Iceberg” on the southern boundary near Clark Ford Road shows distinctive features of past glaciation activity [1]. The name Carson, which refers to the mentioned, early western frontiersman and scout, is difficult to overlook on maps of eastern California and northwest Nevada: West Fork and East Fork Carson River, Carson Valley, Carson City, Carson Range. From the valley up to the icy ridges you always get reminded you are in Carson territory.

Keywords: wilderness area, geographical names, American history.

References and more to explore
[1] Sierra Wild:  Carson-Iceberg Wilderness [www.sierrawild.gov/wilderness/carson-iceberg].
[2] USDA Forest Service: Carson-Iceberg Wilderness [www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/stanislaus/recarea/?recid=15109].
[3] Wilderness.net: Carson-Iceberg Wilderness [http://www.wilderness.net/NWPS/wildView?wid=102].

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