Of Men and Mountains: A View of Paradise

U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas wrote Of Men and Mountains while recovering from injuries suffered from falling off a horse. He was 50 and had plenty of time to apply his considerable writing skills to the task. The result was an autobiographical look of a young man exploring the Yakima Valley and the eastern slopes of the Cascades. In my humble opinion it’s the best book every written about enjoying the wilderness. The book became the genesis for the Goat Rocks and William O. Douglas Wildernesses.

Over the years I have had many opportunities to hike, camp, fish, hunt and backpack in the very areas described in Douglas’ book. If there is any criticism of the book, it is that it has no pictures. So, for everyone who has read the book, or I have now encouraged to read it, here are a few of my photos of areas described in Of Men and Mountains.

Several years ago I published an article in The Oregonian about the Warm Lake area. Like Douglas, the area below Meade Glacier and Mt. Curtis-Gilbert remains one of my favorites too. Here’s the web address for the article: http://www.oregonlive.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2009/10/go_to_goat_rocks_for_cool_colo.html.

Beautiful Warm Lake reflecting the snow-covered peaks of Goat Rocks

Blankenship Meadows from Tumac Mountain with the rugged Rattlesnake Mountains in background

Big Twin Sisters Lake from Tumac Mountain

Tamarack needles turning yellow in the Ahtanum

Goat Rocks dominating the U-shaped, glacier-scrubbed upper basin of the N. Fork of the Tieton River (don’t tell Uncle Albert but the whole area was under a sheet of ice during the last Ice Age)

White-bark Pine on the summit of Tumac Mountain

Goat Rocks from the lupine-covered slopes of Bear Creek Mountain

Fifes Peak

Categories: Published articles & photos, Washington Cascades HikesTags: , , , , , , ,


  1. These is one of the best group of pictures yet.

    • Great photos, John. As you know, Of Men and Mountains is one of my husband’s and my favorite books. The Wallowas was another place that William O Douglas like to trek on horses and camp. In fact, that is where he had is accident, which gave him time to write Of Men and Mountains. You’ll have to do some hiking and photography in NE Oregon sometime.

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