Back in 1986, the Director of the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Edward Ruppel, requested that these Mountains be named The Boulder Mountains.
In 1988, the name was accepted. In the original USGS Proposal of Name form, there is a question:
If the name is descriptive, why is it appropriate?
Reports on Boulder Batholith Rocks of the Boulder Batholith weather to form large rounded boulders in much of this range. Boulder River transects range. Town of Boulder and Boulder Valley on east flank.
So there you go. I have to say I am a little bit disappointed. So few major features remain unnamed, and though it is surely true that the name is descriptive, I thought we could do better. Interestingly, the official borders of this range in the final acceptance form declare the northern border to be Macdonald Pass. Which leaves the hills between Macdonald Pass and Lincoln, nameless. But as we will see in the next post, that's not entirely true.
It certainly doesn't change the way I feel about them.