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27J Suicide Rock

Location: Riverside County, California

Renamed by USGS (1955). Ernie Maxwell, Idyllwild historian and retired USFS Ranger, remembers the name being given "in the early 40's" as an offhand reference to the vertiginous exposure of the rocks themselves, not because of any real danger involved in hiking here. He did recall it having been in local use for some time previously and suggested an origin of around 1880.

State Park Ranger Rich Dimassimo has often heard of references to "Indian lovers having thrown themselves to their deaths when they were denied permission to marry". However, these are unsubstantiated by any known printed source. Kathy Valenzuela, USFS Resource Officer at San Jacinto, has heard this story too, but knows of no authority that has ever supported it. Kathleen Saubel, Director of the Malki Museum, knows of no Indian story that could have been stretched to serve here.

The source of confusion may perhaps have something to do with another legend. In the 1880's many communities near to the Cahuilla area claimed, often in hope of boosting tourism, to be the "true source" of the Ramona story. But, both Helen Hunt Jackson's fiction and the real woman on which it is based had little to do with this area.

Initially called Suicide Peak (USFS 1944), and by the HPS. It was renamed by the USGS because "investigation reports the feature is a rock outcrop not a peak".

Name first appears on USGS Palm Springs quad (1957).

Name officially accepted by USBGN (1982).

Peak was added to the HPS Peak List in 1965.


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Updated 25-February-2003