Petition starts to change name of Mount Evans, iconic Colorado fourteener

Photo Credit: John Morrison (iStock).

On Thursday, September 17, the Polis-appointed Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board held its first meeting. During the meeting, the board was informed of the various renaming proposals that had been submitted for future review. In total, fourteen name-change proposals were submitted for twelve total spots, along with one proposed naming of an unnamed peak.

UPDATE: Some of the names on this list have already been approved for change at a local level. This includes Negro Creek and Negro Mesa in Delta County. This March 2020 article from the Delta County Independent details this decision.

Here's a look at what naming requests were made:

  1. Mount Evans in Clear Creek County: Various requests were made to change this name to Mount Rosalie, Mount Soule, and Mount Cheyenne Arapaho.
    • Named after John Evans, who had ties to the brutal Sand Creek Massacre.
  2. Squaw Mountain in Clear Creek County: Request to rename as Mount Mistanta
  3. Redskin Creek in Jefferson and Park Counties: Request to remain as Ute Creek
  4. Chinaman Gulch in Chaffee County: Request to rename as Trout Creek Gulch
  5. Redskin Mountain in Jefferson County: Request to rename as Mount Jerome
  6. Negro Creek in Delta County: Request to rename as Hops Creek or Clay Creek
  7. Negro Mesa in Delta County: Request to rename as Clay Mesa
  8. Negro Draw in Montezuma County: Request to rename as Hops Draw
  9. Benchmark Lake Reservoir in Eagle County: Request to rename as Nottingham Lake
  10. V H Pasture Reservoir in San Miguel County: Request to rename as Elk Springs Reservoir
  11. Vurl Reservoir in San Miguel County: Request to rename as Wapiti Reservoir
  12. Unnamed Peak in Jefferson County: Request to name as Cimarron Peak
  13. Calkins Lake in Weld County: Request to rename as Union Reservoir
    • This change is already featured on the town website. The website made it unclear why the change was made, with Calkins likely a last name.

One namesake left off the list that was expected to be questioned is that of Kit Carson due to his assistance in pushing the scorched-earth policy against semi-nomadic Native Americans. While Kit Carson's name remains attached to one of the state's many fourteeners, a Kit Carson statue was removed from Civic Center Park in Denver in June.

The Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources, Dan Gibbs, expressed optimism in regard to the creation of the board, stating: "We will have opportunities to help Colorado continue to evolve to be more inclusive and better reflect the diversity and stories of our population and true history through the names of its natural features.”

No indication was made in regard to when approved name changes may take place.

OTC Editor's Note: The website states that there are 16 renaming requests, though their official list features 14 renaming proposals (3 of which are Mount Evans) and one naming proposal. This list above reflects the proposals we were able to confirm via their official list. See their official list here. It's also worth noting that this list is subject to change in upcoming days and weeks and the board continues to meet.


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