Green River has its source in Fremont's Peak, high up in the Wind River Mountains among glacial lakes and mountain cascades. This is the real source of the Colorado River, and it stands in strange contrast with the mouth of that stream where it pours into the Gulf of California. The general course of the river is from north to south and from great altitudes to the level of the sea. Thus it runs "from land of snow to land of sun." The Wind River Mountains constitute one of the most imposing ranges of the United States. Fremont's Peak, the culminating point, is 13,790 feet above the level of the sea. It stands in a wilderness of crags. Here at Fremont's Peak three great rivers have their sources: Wind River flows eastward into the Mississippi; Green River flows southward into the Colo-orado; and Gros Ventre River flows northwestward into the Columbia. From this dominating height many ranges can be seen on every hand. About the sources of the Platte and the Big Horn, that flow ultimately into the Gulf of Mexico, great ranges stand with their culminating peaks among the clouds; and the mountains that extend into Yellowstone Park, the land of geyser wonders, are seen. The Yellowstone Park is at the southern extremity of a great system of mountain ranges, the northern Rocky Mountains, sometimes called the Geyser Ranges. This geological province extends into British America, but its most wonderful scenery is in the upper Yellowstone basin, where geysers bombard the heavens with vapor distilled in subterranean depths. The springs which pour out their boiling waters are loaded with quartz, and the waters of the springs, flowing away over the rocks, slowly discharge their fluid magma, which crystallizes in beautiful forms and builds jeweled basins that hold pellucid waters.

To the north and west of Fremont's Peak are mountain ranges that give birth to rivers flowing into the great Columbia. Conspicuous among these from this point of view is the great Teton Range, with its towering facade of storm-carved rocks; then the Gros Ventre Mountains, the Snake River Range, the Wyoming Range, and, still beyond the latter, the Bear River Range, are seen. Far in the distant south, scarcely to be distinguished from the blue clouds on the horizon, stand the Uinta Mountains. On every hand are deep mountain gorges where snows accumulate to form glaciers. Below the glaciers throughout the entire Wind River Range great numbers of morainal lakes are found. These lakes are gems - deep sapphire waters fringed with emerald zones. From these lakes creeks and rivers flow, by cataracts and rapids, to form the Green. The mountain slopes below are covered with dense forests of pines and firs. The lakes are often fringed with beautiful aspens, and when the autumn winds come their golden leaves are carried over the landscape in clouds of resplendent sheen. The creeks descend from the mountains in wild rocky gorges, until they flow out into the valley. On the west side of the valley stand the Gros Ventre and the Wyoming mountains, low ranges of peaks, but picturesque in form and forest stretch. Leaving the mountain, the river meanders through the Green River Plains, a cold elevated district much like that of northern Norway, except that the humidity of Norway is replaced by the aridity of Wyoming. South of the plains the Big Sandy joins the Green from the east. South of the Big Sandy a long zone of sand-dunes stretches eastward. The western winds blowing up the valley drift these sands from hill to hill, so that the hills themselves are slowly journeying eastward on the wings of arid gales, and sand tempests may be encountered more terrible than storms of snow or hail. Here the northern boundary of the Plateau Province is found, for mesas and high table-lands are found on either side of the river.

On the east side of the Green, mesas and plateaus have irregular escarpments with points extending into the valleys, and between these points canyons come down that head in the highlands. Everywhere the escarpments are fringed with outlying buttes. Many portions of the region are characterized by bad lands. These are hills carved out of sandstone, shales, and easily disintegrated rocks, which present many fantastic forms and are highly colored in a great variety of tint and tone, and everywhere they are naked of vegetation. Now and then low mountains crown the plateaus. Altogether it is a region of desolation. Through the midst of the country, from east to west, flows an intermittent stream known as Bitter Creek. In seasons of rain it carries floods; in seasons of drought it disappears in the sands, and its waters are alkaline and often poisonous. Stretches of bad-land desert are interrupted by other stretches of sage plain, and on the high lands gnarled and picturesque forests of juniper and pinon are found. On the west side of the river the mesas rise by grassy slopes to the westward into high plateaus that are forest-clad, first with juniper and pinon, and still higher with pines and firs. Some of the streams run in canyons and others have elevated valleys along their courses. On the south border of this mesa and plateau country are the Bridger Bad Lands, lying at the foot of the Uinta Mountains. These bad lands are of gray, green, and brown shales that are carved in picturesque forms - domes, towers, pinnacles, and minarets, and bold cliffs with deep alcoves; and all are naked rock, the sediments of an ancient lake. These lake beds are filled with fossils, - the preserved bones of fishes, reptiles, and mammals, of strange and often gigantic forms, no longer found living on the globe. It is a desert to the agriculturist, a mine to the paleontologist, and a paradise to the artist.

The region thus described, from Fremont's Peak to the Uinta Mountains, has been the home of tribes of Indians of the Shoshonean family from time immemorial. It is a great hunting and fishing region, and the vigorous Shoshones still obtain a part of their livelihood from mesa and plain and river and lake. The flesh of the animals killed in fall and winter was dried in the arid winds for summer use; the trout abounding in the streams and lakes were caught at all seasons of the year; and the seeds and fruits of harvest time were gathered and preserved for winter use. When the seeds were gathered they were winnowed by tossing them in trays so that the winds might carry away the chaff. Then they were roasted in the same trays. Burning coals and seeds were mixed in the basket trays and kept in motion by a tossing process which fanned the coals until the seeds were done; then they were separated from the coals by dexterous manipulation. Afterwards the seeds were ground on mealing-stones and molded into cakes, often huge loaves, that were stored away for use in time of need. Raspberries, chokecherries, and buffalo berries are abundant, and these fruits were gathered and mixed with the bread. Such fruit cakes were great dainties among these people.

In this Shoshone land the long winter night is dedicated to worship and festival. About their camp fires scattered in forest glades by brooks and lakes, they assemble to dance and sing in honor of their gods - wonderful mythic animals, for they hold as divine the ancient of bears, the eagle of the lost centuries, the rattlesnake of primeval times, and a host of other zoic deities.

The Uinta Range stands across the course of Green River, which finds its way through it by series of stupendous canyons. The range has an east-and-west trend. The Wasatch Mountains, a long north-and-south range, here divide the Plateau Province from what is known among geologists as the Basin Range Province, on the west. The latter is the great interior basin whose waters run into salt lakes and sinks, there being no drainage to the sea. The Great Salt Lake is the most important of these interior bodies of water.

The Great Basin, which lies to the west of the Plateau Province, forms a part of the Basin Range Province. In past geological times it was the site of a vast system of lakes, but the climate has since changed and the water of most of these lakes has evaporated and the sediments of the old lake beds are now desert sands. The ancient lake shores are often represented by conspicuous terraces, each one marking a stage in the height of a dead lake. While these lakes existed the region was one of great volcanic activity and many eruptive mountains were formed. Some burst out beneath the waters; others were piled up on the dry land.

From the desert valleys below, the Wasatch Mountains rise abruptly and are crowned with craggy peaks. But on the east side of the mountains the descent to the plateau is comparatively slight. The Uinta Mountains are carved out of the great plateau which extends more than two hundred miles to the eastward of the summit of the Wasatch Range. Its mountain peaks are cameos, its upper valleys are meadows, its higher slopes are forest groves, and its streams run in deep, solemn, and majestic canyons. The snows never melt from its crowning heights, and an undying anthem is sung by its falling waters.

The Owiyukuts Plateau is situated at the northeastern end of the Uinta Mountains. It is a great integral block of the Uinta system. A beautiful creek heads in this plateau, near its center, and descends northward into the bad lands of Vermilion Creek, to which stream it is tributary. "Once upon a time" this creek, after descending from the plateau, turned east and then southward and found its way by a beautiful canyon into Brown's Park, where it joined the Green; but a great bend of the Vermilion, near the foot of the plateau, was gradually enlarged - the stream cutting away its banks - until it encroached upon the little valley of the creek born on the Owiyukuts Plateau. This encroachment continued until at last Vermilion Creek stole the Owiyukuts Creek and carried its waters away by its own channel. Then the canyon channel through which Owiyukuts Creek had previously run, no longer having a stream to flow through its deep gorge, gathered the waters of brooks flowing along its course into little lakelets, which are connected by a running stream only through seasons of great rainfall. These lakelets in the gorge of the dead creek are now favorite resorts of Ute Indians.

South of the Uinta Mountains is the Uinta River, a stream with many mountain tributaries, some heading in the Uinta Mountains, others in the Wasatch Mountains on the west, and still others in the western Tavaputs Plateau.

The Uinta Valley is the ancient and present home of the Uinta Indians, a tribe speaking the Uinta language of the Shoshonean family. Their habits, customs, institutions, and mythology are essentially the same as those of the Ute Indians of the Grand River country, already described. In this valley there are also found many ruins of ancient pueblo-building peoples - of what stock is not known.

The Tavaputs Plateau is one of the stupendous features of this country. On the west it merges into the Wasatch Mountains; on the north it descends by wooded slopes into the Uinta Valley. Its summit is forest-clad and among the forests are many beautiful parks. On the south it ends in a great escarpment which descends into Castle Valley. This southern escarpment presents one of the most wonderful facades of the world. It is from 2,000 to 4,000 feet high. The descent is not made by one bold step, for it is cut by canyons and cliffs. It is a zone several miles in width which is a vast labyrinth of canyons, cliffs, buttes, pinnacles, minarets, and detached rocks of Cyclopean magnitude, the whole destitute of soil and vegetation, colored in many brilliant tones and tints, and carved in many weird forms, - a land of desolation, dedicated forever to the geologist and the artist, where civilization can find no resting-place.

Then comes Castle Valley, to describe which is to beggar language and pall imagination. On the north is the Tavaputs; on the west is the Wasatch Plateau, which lies to the south of the Wasatch Mountains and is here the west boundary of the Plateau Province; on the south are indescribable mesas and mountains; on the east is Grand River, a placid stream meandering through a valley of meadows. Within these boundaries there is a landscape of gigantic rock forms, interrupted here and there by bad-land hills, dominated with the towering cliffs of Tavaputs, the bold escarpment of the Wasatch Plateau, and the volcanic peaks of the Henry Mountains on the south. It is a vast forest of rock forms, and in its midst is San Rafael Swell, an elevation crowned with still more gigantic rock forms. Among the rocks pools and lakelets are found, and little streams run in canyons that seem like chasms cleft to nadir hell. San Rafael River and Fremont River drain this Castle land, heading in the Wasatch Plateau and flowing into the Grand River. Along these streams a few narrow canyon valleys are found, and in them Ute Indians make their winter homes. The bad lands are filled with agates, jaspers, and carnelians, which are gathered by the Indians and fashioned into arrowheads and knives; along the foot of the canyon cliffs workshops can be discovered that have been occupied by generations from a time in the long past, and the chips of these workshops pave the valleys. South of the Wasatch Plateau we have the Fish Lake Plateau, the Awapa Plateau, and the Aquarius Plateau, which separate the waters flowing into the Great Basin from the waters of the Colorado, which here constitute the boundary of the Plateau Province. Awapa is a Ute name signifying "Many waters."

All three of these plateaus are remarkable for the many lakelets found on them. To the east are the Henry Mountains, a group of volcanic domes that rise above the region. The rocks of the country are limestones, sandstones, and shales, originally lying in horizontal altitudes; but volcanic forces were generated under them and lavas boiled up. These lavas did not, however, come to the surface, but as they rose they lifted the sandstones, shales, and limestones, to a thickness of 2,000 or 3,000 feet or more, into great domes. Then the molten lavas cooled in great lenses of mountain magnitude, with the sedimentary rocks domed above them. Then the clouds gathered over these domes and wept, and their tears were gathered in brooks, and the brooks carved canyons down the sides of the domes; and now in these deep clefts the structure of the mountains is revealed. The lenses of volcanic rocks by which the domes were upheaved are known as "laccolites," i. e., rock lakes.

Looking southwestward from the Henry Mountains the Circle Cliffs are seen. A great escarpment, several thousand feet in height and 70 or 80 miles in length, faces the mountain. It is the step to the long, narrow plateau. The streams that come down across these cliffs head in great symmetric amphitheaters, and when first seen from above they present a vast alignment of walled circles. The front of the cliffs, seen from below, is everywhere imposing. On the southwest the Escalante River holds its course. It heads in the Aquarius Plateau and flows into the Colorado. Its course, as well as that of all its many tributaries, is in deep box-canyons of homogeneous red sandstone, often with vertical walls that are broken by many beautiful alcoves and glens. Much of the region is of naked, smooth, red rock, but the alcoves and glens that break the canyon walls are the sites of perennial springs, about which patches of luxuriant verdure gather.

The Kaiparowits Plateau is an elevated table-land on the southwestern side of the Escalante River. It is long and narrow, extending from the northwest to the southeast approximately parallel with the Escalante. It rises above the red sandstone of the Escalante region from 2,000 to 4,000 feet by a front of storm-carved cliffs. From the southeastern extremity of this plateau, at an altitude of 7,500 feet, an instructive view is obtained. One of the great canyons of the Colorado River can be seen meandering its way through the red-rock landscape. In the distance, and to the north, the Henry Mountains are in view, and below, the canyons of the Escalante and the red-rock land are in sight. Across the Colorado are the canyons of the San Juan, and below the mouth of the San Juan is the great Navajo Mountain. Still to the south the Grand Canyon of the Colorado is in view, and in the west a vast mesa landscape is presented with its buttes and pinnacles. Still to the southward Paria River is seen heading in a plateau on the margin of the province and having a course a little east of south into the Colorado.

The region of country which has been thus described, from the Tava-puts Plateau to the Paria River, was the home of a few scattered Ute Indians, who lived in very small groups, and who hunted on the plateau, fished in the waters, and dwelt in the canyons. There was nominally but one tribe, but as the members of this tribe were in very small parties and separated by wide distances the tribal bonds were very weak and often unrecognized. The chief integrating agency was religion, for they worshiped the same gods and periodically joined in the same religious ceremonies and festivals. A country so destitute of animal and vegetal life would not support large numbers, and the few who dwelt here gained but a precarious and scant subsistence. To a large extent they lived on seeds and roots. The low, warm canyons furnished admirable shelter for the people, and their habitual costumes were loincloths, paints, and necklaces of tiny arrowheads made of the bright-colored agates and carnelians strung on snakeskins.

When the Mormon people encroached on this country from the west, and when the Navajos on the east surrendered to the United States, a few recalcitrant Navajos and the Utes of this region combined. They had long been more or less intimately associated, and a jargon speech had grown up by which they could communicate. Finally, the greater number of these Utes and renegade Navajos took up their homes permanently on the eastern bank of the Colorado River between the Grand and the San Juan rivers. The Navajos are the dominant race, yet they live on terms of practical equality and affiliate without feuds. These are the great Freebooters of the Plateau Province - the enemies of other tribes and of the white men. In their canyon fortresses they have been able to hold their ground in spite of their enemies on every hand.

Throughout the region and the plateaus by which it is surrounded and the mountains by which it is interrupted, everywhere ruins of pueblos and many cliff dwellings are found. None of these ancient pueblos are on a large scale. The houses were usually one or two stories high and the hamlets rarely provided shelter for more than two dozen people. Some of the houses are of rather superior architecture, having well-constructed walls with good geometric proportions. Their houses were plastered on the inside, and sometimes on the outside, and covered with flat roofs of sun-dried mud. The real home of the people in their waking hours was on their housetops.

The rocks of the mountain are etched with many picture-writings attesting the artistic skill of this people. The predominant form is the rattlesnake, which is found in the crevices of the rocks on every hand. It is inferred that the people worshiped the rattlesnake as one of their chief deities, a god who carried the spirit of death in his mouth.