Mollie's Nipple

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Mollie's Nipple or Molly's Nipple is the name given to as many as seven peaks, at least one butte, at least one well, and some other geological features in Utah.[1][2][3] Some sources claim there are eleven geological features in Utah that bear this name.[4] At least some of those names are attributed to John Kitchen – a pioneer of an early exploration of Utah, who named them to commemorate a nipple of his wife Molly.[5]

Utah Mollie's Nipples peaks listed by US Geological Survey[edit]

Note: the U.S. Board on Geographic Names discourages the use of the apostrophe in place names.[6] This has not prevented some individuals and organizations from re-inserting apostrophes dropped from possessive place names on their own.

Notable Mollie's Nipples[edit]

Kane County[edit]

Mollies Nipple, a mountain summit at the head of Kitchen Canyon in Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument, Kane County, is the second highest feature so named, reaching 7,264 feet (2,214.07 meters) above sea level.[8] The climb has areas of a few classes including Class 2 and Class 3 and a short "50 foot (15.24 m) Class 4 Pitch".[9] The trail-head can be approached only by a four-wheel drive.[9]

This peak is "standing alone in a land of mesas",[9] and is easily seen from a distance between "cliffs and canyons".[9]

Nearby at Nipple Lake, John Kitchen built his ranch ("Nipple Ranch"), which still exists. Access is fenced off, with private property signs.

The story of Molly and her husband John was used to create an imaginary scenario of causes of Molly's death to teach students archeological dating techniques.[10]

Bear River Gorge[edit]

Molly's Nipple rocky knob at Bear River Gorge is notable because an outlaw known by multiple names including "Black Jack Nelson" used to hide his stolen treasures at that place.[3]

Hurricane Valley[edit]

Mollie's Nipple butte is located in Hurricane Valley Heritage Park. Its elevation is 1,353 feet (412 m) "above the fertile Hurricane Valley". Mollie's Nipple butte was well known to pioneers during frontier exploration of the area. The butte has an archeological significance because indigenous peoples of the Americas used the caves below the Nipple for cooking. Climbers also find some old pottery atop of the Nipple. It is believed that the butte was used "to send up smoke signals to hunting and seed gathering parties."[2]

The butte can be climbed; those who reach the top are rewarded by "a vast circle of breath-taking, colorful, geologic and historic wonders, unmatched by any view in the world!"[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Utah Peaks (starting with M)". US Geological Survey.
  2. ^ a b c Owen Sanders. "See Mollie's Nipple "It's a Butte!"". Archived from the original on 2018-10-09.
  3. ^ a b Larry D. Christiansen. "The Life, Times and Riddle of Cache Valley's Black Jack Nelson" (PDF).
  4. ^ Mark Monmonier. "From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow".
  5. ^ Brandon Griggs (October 1, 2007). Utah Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff. Globe Pequot. ISBN 978-0-7627-4386-5.
  6. ^ Robert L. Coard, "The Possessive Apostrophe in Names", American Speech 33(3):176-179, October, 1958.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Utah Peaks (starting with M)".
  8. ^ "Mollies Nipple Summit - Utah Mountain Peak Information".
  9. ^ a b c d Hiking Grand Staircase–Escalante and the Glen Canyon Region. Globe Pequot Press. November 8, 1998. p. 293. ISBN 978-1-56044-645-3.
  10. ^ "The Mystery of Molly A Study of Dating Techniques" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 January 2022. Alt URL[permanent dead link]