The large, solitary mass of granite is recognizable by two features. The mountain is bisected by a vertical, black seam of basalt rock, called a basaltic dike – volcanic magma that seeped through a weak crack before the mountains were exposed. To the right of this black stripe is Skillet Glacier, named for its shape – a long skinny handle reaching up to the peak, and a wide, somewhat circular “pan” beneath.
Mount Moran is named after a famous American landscape artist, Thomas Moran, who joined the Hayden Expedition in 1871. One of his paintings of Mount Moran is actually hanging in the Oval Office!