Theodore Solomons

Theodore Seixas Solomons (1870-1947) was an explorer and early member of the Sierra Club. From 1892 to 1897 he explored and named the Mount Goddard, Evolution Valley and Evolution Basin region in what is now northern Kings Canyon National Park in eastern California. He was instrumental in envisioning, exploring, and establishing the route of what became the John Muir Trail from Yosemite Valley along the crest of the Sierra Nevada to Mount Whitney

To him more than anyone else is due the credit of determining correctly the courses of the upper branches of the San Joaquin River. In 1892, accompanied by Joseph Le Conte and Sidney I. Peixotto, he crossed from Mount Lyell by way of Rush Creek to the base of Mount Ritter and ascended the peak. In 1895, Solomons took his most notable trip, accompanied by Ernest C. Bonner. Ascending the South Fork of the San Joaquin they came to the group of mountains now designated the Evolution Group, named by Solomons. The highest of these he called Mount Darwin (after the evolutionist Charles Darwin), and the others he named Haeckel, Wallace, Fiske, Spencer, and Huxley, after famous evolutionists of the day. Continuing their explorations, Solomons and Bonner ascended Mount Goddard, then made their way down to Simpson Meadow via North Goddard Creek, and were the first to make this section known.

Solomons’ excursions in the next two years added a few details here and there to the knowledge of Sierra topography, but his principal contribution was a remarkably accurate map which he drafted and presented to the Sierra Club in 1896. Mount Solomons (13016') is named after him.


  • Sierra Club Bulletin, 1894, I, 3, pp. 61-84, 1895, I, 6, pp. 221-237, 1896, I, 7, pp. 287-288
  • Appalachia, January 1896, pp. 41-57
  • Overland Monthly, May, June, August, November, 1896, and July, August, 1897.
  • Shirley Sargent. Solomons of the Sierra: the Pioneer of the John Muir Trail. 1989. Yosemite: Flying Spur Press.

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