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U.S. National Forest High Points

Public Land in New Reorganized Forest Units

Showing Jim Retemeyer's first ascent dates for climbed peaks (46 out of 110, or 41.82%)

RankLand NamePeak Elev-Ft StateAscent Date
1.Inyo National ForestMount Whitney14,495California1991-09-24
2.Monongahela National ForestSpruce Knob4861West Virginia1992-07-01
3.Pike and San Isabel National ForestMount Elbert14,433Colorado1993-05-30
4.Carson National ForestWheeler Peak13,161New Mexico1993-06-02
5.Coconino National ForestHumphreys Peak12,633Arizona1993-06-05
6.Ozark-St. Francis National ForestMagazine Mountain2753Arkansas1994-05-28
7.Chattahoochee-Oconee National ForestsBrasstown Bald4784Georgia1994-05-30
8.George Washington-Jefferson National ForestMount Rogers5729Virginia1994-06-01
9.Black Hills National ForestHarney Peak7242South Dakota1994-07-25
10.Mount Hood National ForestMount Hood11,239Oregon1995-07-04
11.Salmon-Challis National ForestBorah Peak12,662Idaho1995-08-11
12.Shasta-Trinity National ForestMount Shasta14,162California1995-09-03
13.Superior National ForestEagle Mountain2301Minnesota1996-07-27
14.Six Rivers National ForestSalmon Mountain6956California1999-08-07
15.Ashley National ForestKings Peak13,528Utah1999-08-12
16.Lake Tahoe Basin Management UnitFreel Peak10,881California2001-07-06
17.Plumas National ForestMount Ingalls8372California2001-09-16
18.Los Padres National ForestMount Pinos8831California2002-10-26 a
19.Tahoe National ForestMount Lola9148California2003-08-31
20.Deschutes National ForestSouth Sister10,358Oregon2004-08-07
21.Malheur National ForestStrawberry Mountain9040Oregon2005-06-29
21.Ochoco National ForestLookout Mountain6926Oregon2005-06-29
23.Fremont-Winema National ForestMount Thielsen9182Oregon2005-09-17
23.Umpqua National ForestMount Thielsen9182Oregon2005-09-17
25.Angeles National ForestMount San Antonio10,064California2005-10-30
26.Prescott National ForestMount Union7979Arizona2006-04-17
27.San Bernardino National ForestSan Gorgonio Mountain11,499California2006-10-07
28.Bridger-Teton National ForestGannett Peak13,804Wyoming2007-07-24
28.Shoshone National ForestGannett Peak13,804Wyoming2007-07-24
30.Modoc National ForestEagle Peak9892California2008-06-21
31.Siuslaw National ForestMarys Peak4097Oregon2009-04-13
32.Dixie National ForestBrian Head11,307Utah2009-08-06
33.Arapaho and Roosevelt National ForestGrays Peak14,270Colorado2009-08-07
33.White River National ForestGrays Peak14,270Colorado2009-08-07
35.Fishlake National ForestDelano Peak12,169Utah2011-07-30
36.Tonto National ForestMyrtle Point7960Arizona2012-05-28
37.Apache-Sitgreaves National ForestMount Baldy-North Peak11,400Arizona2012-05-29
38.Coronado National ForestMount Graham10,720Arizona2012-05-31 b
39.Rogue River-Siskiyou National ForestMount McLoughlin9495Oregon2012-07-13
40.Manti-Lasal National ForestMount Peale12,721Utah2012-07-28
41.Custer National ForestGranite Peak12,799Montana2012-08-07
41.Gallatin National ForestGranite Peak12,799Montana2012-08-07
43.National Forests in FloridaOsceola National Forest High Point195Florida2013-08-02
44.Stanislaus National ForestLeavitt Peak11,569California2013-09-10
45.Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National ForestGilbert Peak13,442Utah2014-07-31
46.Mendocino National ForestSouth Yolla Bolly Mountain8094California2015-06-14
 Rio Grande National ForestBlanca Peak14,345Colorado 
 Grand Mesa-Uncompahgre-Gunnison National ForestUncompahgre Peak14,309Colorado 
 San Juan National ForestMount Wilson14,246Colorado 
 Sierra National ForestMount Humphreys13,986California 
 Chugach National ForestMount Marcus Baker13,176Alaska 
 Bighorn National ForestCloud Peak13,167Wyoming 
 Santa Fe National ForestTruchas Peak13,102New Mexico 
 Medicine Bow-Routt National ForestMount Richthofen12,940Colorado 
 Sequoia National ForestFlorence Peak12,432California 
 Humboldt-Toiyabe National ForestDunderberg Peak12,374California 
 Gifford Pinchot National ForestMount Adams12,276Washington 
 Caribou-Targhee National ForestDiamond Peak12,197Idaho 
 Sawtooth National ForestHyndman Peak12,009Idaho 
 Lincoln National ForestLookout Mountain11,580New Mexico 
 Beaverhead-Deerlodge National ForestHilgard Peak11,316Montana 
 Cibola National ForestMount Taylor11,301New Mexico 
 Gila National ForestWhitewater Baldy10,895New Mexico 
 Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National ForestMount Baker10,781Washington 
 Willamette National ForestMount Jefferson10,497Oregon 
 Kaibab National ForestKendrick Peak10,418Arizona 
 Eldorado National ForestRound Top10,381California 
 Bitterroot National ForestTrapper Peak10,157Montana 
 Tongass National ForestKates Needle10,016British Columbia/Alaska 
 Wallowa-Whitman National ForestSacajawea Peak9838Oregon 
 Boise National ForestSteel Mountain9730Idaho 
 Payette National ForestMormon Mountain9545Idaho 
 Okanogan-Wenatchee National ForestBonanza Peak9511Washington 
 Helena National ForestMount Edith9480Montana 
 Nez Perce National ForestShe Devil9400Idaho 
 Lewis and Clark National ForestRocky Mountain9392Montana 
 Flathead National ForestLowary Peak9369Montana 
 Lolo National ForestScapegoat Mountain9202Montana 
 Klamath National ForestCaesar Peak8920California 
 Clearwater National ForestRanger Peak8817Idaho 
 Kootenai National ForestSnowshoe Peak8738Montana 
 Lassen National ForestCrater Peak8683California 
 Umatilla National ForestVinegar Hill Northeast7926Oregon 
 Idaho Panhandle National ForestSouth Selkirk Crest7709Idaho 
 Colville National ForestGypsy Peak7320Washington 
 Olympic National ForestMount Fricaba7139Washington 
 National Forests in North CarolinaBalsam Cone6600North Carolina 
 Cleveland National ForestMount Laguna6299California 
 Cherokee National ForestRoan High Knob6285North Carolina/Tennessee 
 White Mountain National ForestWhite Mountain National Forest High Point6142New Hampshire 
 Nebraska National ForestSoldier Creek Wilderness High Point4740Nebraska 
 Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National ForestsMount Ellen4083Vermont 
 El Bosque Nacional del YunqueEl Toro3524  
 Francis Marion-Sumter National ForestFork Mountain3294South Carolina 
 Daniel Boone National ForestPine Mountain-Harlan 2 Benchmark2840Kentucky 
 Ouachita National ForestRich Mountain2681Arkansas 
 Allegheny National ForestAllegheny National Forest High Point2360Pennsylvania 
 National Forests in AlabamaHernandez Peak-South Slope2240Alabama 
 Ottawa National ForestMarquette County High Point1932Michigan 
 Chequamegon-Nicolet National ForestVilas County High Point1900Wisconsin 
 Huron-Manistee National ForestBriar Hill1706Michigan 
 Mark Twain National ForestBell Mountain1702Missouri 
 Chippewa National ForestCass-Chippewa High Point1630Minnesota 
 Wayne National ForestWayne National Forest High Point1320Ohio 
 National Forests in TexasBall Knob Hill1180Texas 
 Hiawatha National ForestHiawatha National Forest High Point1112Michigan 
 Shawnee National ForestWilliams Hill1064Illinois 
 Hoosier National ForestBald Knobs-South Slope950Indiana 
 National Forests in MississippiHolly Springs National Forest High Point720Mississippi 
 Kisatchie National ForestWebster Parish High Point480Louisiana 

Front Runners List: Click here to see list completion progress by climbers that log their climbs using

Compare Climbers: Click here to compare ascents of up to 5 climbers working on this list.

List Description

National Forests and National Grasslands are publically-owned lands in the United States managed by the U.S. Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The 300,000 square miles of Forest Service land is managed for logging, grazing, habitat protection, and outdoor recreation. Sometimes confused with National Parks, National Forests are quite different—Forests are bigger, generally less popular, don’t charge entry fees, and allow managed resource extraction in addition to tourist activities.

There are about 155 named National Forests and 20 National Grasslands. However, this list of National Forest high points is based on a new reorganized list of 109 USFS-managed entities. It also only considers publicly-owned USFS land and no private or public inholdings.

Forest Reorganization

Over the past couple decades the Forest Service has been streamlining and consolidating their operations, and the actual management of their lands is now done by 112 new “combined forests”. Essentially, the USFS saw no distinctions between National Forests and National Grasslands, and no reason to honor traditional National Forest boundaries, so they re-organized their holdings as they saw fit to best manage their land.

Some traditional National Forests survived the re-org intact (for example, the Gifford-Pinchot NF, the White Mountain NF), but others were combined, sometimes into entities with bureaucratic names (for example, “National Forests in Texas”, “Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit”). Most of the former National Grasslands were merged into these new combined National Forests. The old National Forest names may still appear on signs and maps, but organizationally they don’t really exist anymore.

The high point list shown here uses 110 of these new National Forest entities, including the one in Puerto Rico. The only 2 excluded are a new USFS unit entirely composed of former National Grasslands (the Dakota Prairie Grasslands) and the relatively new Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, both of which never had any traditional National Forest land in them.

One advantage of using this new, smaller list of National Forest high points is that many uninspiring peaks in lowlands areas are no longer on the list. For example, the new “National Forests in Mississippi” entity used to be six forests (Holly Springs, Bienville, DeSoto, Delta, Tombigee, Homochitto). In this case, the USFS desire for organizational efficiency aligns nicely with the interests of peakbaggers who prefer “real” mountains.


National Forests tend to have extremely convoluted boundaries. Many of them have a “proclaimed boundary” that may be somewhat regular, but only portions of the land within the proclaimed boundary are actually owned by the USFS. Much of this private land is on the edges of National Forests, but there are also many private inholdings surrounded by public land. There are also cases where an important mountain summit (Mount Washington, NH and Mount Mitchell, NC, for example) are within inholdings that are State Parks and not USFS land. The government is engaged in a long-term effort to purchase inholdings from willing sellers, but this is a very slow process.

This list only shows highpoints located on public Forest Service land. Higher land located on private property within the proclaimed boundary is ignored. Please e-mail the webmaster if you see any errors where a high point on private land is listed.


Thanks to Roy Schweiker and David Olson, who did much original research on a preliminary list (see link below).


     Preliminary National Forest High Points


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