U.S. National Forest High Points
Public Land in New Reorganized Forest Units
Showing Edward Earl's first ascent dates for climbed peaks (75 out of 110, or 68.18%)
|Rank||Land Name||Peak|| Elev-Ft ||State||Ascent Date|
|1.||Inyo National Forest||Mount Whitney||14,495||California||1986-06-20|
|2.||Pike and San Isabel National Forest||Mount Elbert||14,433||Colorado||1993-09-04|
|3.||Rio Grande National Forest||Blanca Peak||14,345||Colorado||2003-09-01|
|4.||Grand Mesa-Uncompahgre-Gunnison National Forest||Uncompahgre Peak||14,309||Colorado||2006-09-06|
|5.||Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest||Grays Peak||14,270||Colorado|| |
|5.||White River National Forest||Grays Peak||14,270||Colorado|| |
|7.||San Juan National Forest||Mount Wilson||14,246||Colorado||2004-09-01|
|8.||Shasta-Trinity National Forest||Mount Shasta||14,162||California||1994-07-01|
|9.||Sierra National Forest||Mount Humphreys||13,986||California|| |
|10.||Bridger-Teton National Forest||Gannett Peak||13,804||Wyoming||1998-08-06|
|10.||Shoshone National Forest||Gannett Peak||13,804||Wyoming||1998-08-06|
|12.||Ashley National Forest||Kings Peak||13,528||Utah||1986-07-30|
|13.||Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest||Gilbert Peak||13,442||Utah||1991-09-16|
|14.||Chugach National Forest||Mount Marcus Baker||13,176||Alaska|| |
|15.||Bighorn National Forest||Cloud Peak||13,167||Wyoming||2002-08-01|
|16.||Carson National Forest||Wheeler Peak||13,161||New Mexico||1993-09-07|
|17.||Santa Fe National Forest||Truchas Peak||13,102||New Mexico||2003-06-21|
|18.||Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest||Mount Richthofen||12,940||Colorado||2014-09-02|
|19.||Custer National Forest||Granite Peak||12,799||Montana||2002-08-05|
|19.||Gallatin National Forest||Granite Peak||12,799||Montana||2002-08-05|
|21.||Manti-Lasal National Forest||Mount Peale||12,721||Utah||2001-07-02|
|22.||Salmon-Challis National Forest||Borah Peak||12,662||Idaho||2000-07-01|
|23.||Coconino National Forest||Humphreys Peak||12,633||Arizona||1986-06-17|
|24.||Sequoia National Forest||Florence Peak||12,432||California|| |
|25.||Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest||Dunderberg Peak||12,374||California|| |
|26.||Gifford Pinchot National Forest||Mount Adams||12,276||Washington||2000-07-05|
|27.||Caribou-Targhee National Forest||Diamond Peak||12,197||Idaho||2007-08-22|
|28.||Fishlake National Forest||Delano Peak||12,169||Utah||2001-07-06|
|29.||Sawtooth National Forest||Hyndman Peak||12,009||Idaho||2006-08-07|
|30.||Lincoln National Forest||Lookout Mountain||11,580||New Mexico||2002-10-26|
|31.||Stanislaus National Forest||Leavitt Peak||11,569||California||2007-07-04|
|32.||San Bernardino National Forest||San Gorgonio Mountain||11,499||California||1991-07-17|
|33.||Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest||Mount Baldy-North Peak||11,400||Arizona||2001-09-07|
|34.||Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest||Hilgard Peak||11,316||Montana||2007-08-21|
|35.||Dixie National Forest||Brian Head||11,307||Utah||2000-05-06|
|36.||Cibola National Forest||Mount Taylor||11,301||New Mexico||2002-09-29|
|37.||Mount Hood National Forest||Mount Hood||11,239||Oregon||1994-06-28|
|38.||Gila National Forest||Whitewater Baldy||10,895||New Mexico||2002-04-27|
|39.||Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit||Freel Peak||10,881||California||2001-08-15|
|40.||Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest||Mount Baker||10,781||Washington||2000-07-09|
|41.||Coronado National Forest||Mount Graham||10,720||Arizona||2001-09-08|
|42.||Willamette National Forest||Mount Jefferson||10,497||Oregon||2006-07-30|
|43.||Kaibab National Forest||Kendrick Peak||10,418||Arizona|| |
|44.||Eldorado National Forest||Round Top||10,381||California||1998-09-13|
|45.||Deschutes National Forest||South Sister||10,358||Oregon||1994-06-24|
|46.||Bitterroot National Forest||Trapper Peak||10,157||Montana||2000-07-02|
|47.||Angeles National Forest||Mount San Antonio||10,064||California||1991-07-16|
|48.||Tongass National Forest||Kates Needle||10,016||British Columbia/Alaska|| |
|49.||Modoc National Forest||Eagle Peak||9892||California||1995-07-13|
|50.||Wallowa-Whitman National Forest||Sacajawea Peak||9838||Oregon||2004-07-20|
|51.||Boise National Forest||Steel Mountain||9730||Idaho|| |
|52.||Payette National Forest||Mormon Mountain||9545||Idaho|| |
|53.||Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest||Bonanza Peak||9511||Washington||2004-07-17|
|54.||Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest||Mount McLoughlin||9495||Oregon||1995-07-19|
|55.||Helena National Forest||Mount Edith||9480||Montana||2008-07-11|
|56.||Nez Perce National Forest||She Devil||9400||Idaho||2006-08-05 11|
|57.||Lewis and Clark National Forest||Rocky Mountain||9392||Montana|| |
|58.||Flathead National Forest||Lowary Peak||9369||Montana|| |
|59.||Lolo National Forest||Scapegoat Mountain||9202||Montana|| |
|60.||Fremont-Winema National Forest||Mount Thielsen||9182||Oregon||2000-07-12|
|60.||Umpqua National Forest||Mount Thielsen||9182||Oregon||2000-07-12|
|62.||Tahoe National Forest||Mount Lola||9148||California||2001-08-14 17|
|63.||Malheur National Forest||Strawberry Mountain||9040||Oregon||2003-07-31 17|
|64.||Klamath National Forest||Caesar Peak||8920||California|| |
|65.||Los Padres National Forest||Mount Pinos||8831||California||1997-10-12 09|
|66.||Clearwater National Forest||Ranger Peak||8817||Idaho|| |
|67.||Kootenai National Forest||Snowshoe Peak||8738||Montana||2008-07-14|
|68.||Lassen National Forest||Crater Peak||8683||California||2005-07-08 15|
|69.||Plumas National Forest||Mount Ingalls||8372||California||2001-08-14 12|
|70.||Mendocino National Forest||South Yolla Bolly Mountain||8094||California||2001-08-12|
|71.||Prescott National Forest||Mount Union||7979||Arizona||1998-11-28|
|72.||Tonto National Forest||Myrtle Point||7960||Arizona||1999-05-30|
|73.||Umatilla National Forest||Vinegar Hill Northeast||7926||Oregon|| |
|74.||Idaho Panhandle National Forest||South Selkirk Crest||7709||Idaho||2009-07-31|
|75.||Colville National Forest||Gypsy Peak||7320||Washington||2005-07-06|
|76.||Black Hills National Forest||Harney Peak||7242||South Dakota||2009-05-21 10|
|77.||Olympic National Forest||Mount Fricaba||7139||Washington|| |
|78.||Six Rivers National Forest||Salmon Mountain||6956||California||1995-07-21|
|79.||Ochoco National Forest||Lookout Mountain||6926||Oregon||2003-07-31 07|
|80.||National Forests in North Carolina||Balsam Cone||6600||North Carolina|| |
|81.||Cleveland National Forest||Mount Laguna||6299||California||1994-05|
|82.||Cherokee National Forest||Roan High Knob||6285||North Carolina/Tennessee||2004-10-23|
|83.||White Mountain National Forest||White Mountain National Forest High Point||6142||New Hampshire|| |
|84.||George Washington-Jefferson National Forest||Mount Rogers||5729||Virginia||2010-10-11 14|
|85.||Monongahela National Forest||Spruce Knob||4861||West Virginia||1997-04-12|
|86.||Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests||Brasstown Bald||4784||Georgia||2002-11-15|
|87.||Nebraska National Forest||Soldier Creek Wilderness High Point||4740||Nebraska|| |
|88.||Siuslaw National Forest||Marys Peak||4097||Oregon||2009-04-06 09|
|89.||Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests||Mount Ellen||4083||Vermont||2013-07-14 11|
|90.||El Bosque Nacional del Yunque||El Toro||3533|| || |
|91.||Francis Marion-Sumter National Forest||Fork Mountain||3294||South Carolina||2001-10-18 12|
|92.||Daniel Boone National Forest||Pine Mountain-Harlan 2 Benchmark||2840||Kentucky|| |
|93.||Ozark-St. Francis National Forest||Magazine Mountain||2753||Arkansas||2007-12-20 13|
|94.||Ouachita National Forest||Rich Mountain||2681||Arkansas||2007-12-19 17|
|95.||Allegheny National Forest||Allegheny National Forest High Point||2360||Pennsylvania|| |
|96.||Superior National Forest||Eagle Mountain||2301||Minnesota||2001-02-18|
|97.||National Forests in Alabama||Hernandez Peak-South Slope||2240||Alabama|| |
|98.||Ottawa National Forest||Marquette County High Point||1932||Michigan|| |
|99.||Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest||Vilas County High Point||1900||Wisconsin|| |
|100.||Huron-Manistee National Forest||Briar Hill||1706||Michigan|| |
|101.||Mark Twain National Forest||Bell Mountain||1702||Missouri|| |
|102.||Chippewa National Forest||Cass-Chippewa High Point||1630||Minnesota|| |
|103.||Wayne National Forest||Wayne National Forest High Point||1320||Ohio|| |
|104.||National Forests in Texas||Ball Knob Hill||1180||Texas|| |
|105.||Hiawatha National Forest||Hiawatha National Forest High Point||1112||Michigan|| |
|106.||Shawnee National Forest||Williams Hill||1064||Illinois||2011-10-29 15|
|107.||Hoosier National Forest||Bald Knobs-South Slope||950||Indiana|| |
|108.||National Forests in Mississippi||Holly Springs National Forest High Point||720||Mississippi|| |
|109.||Kisatchie National Forest||Webster Parish High Point||480||Louisiana||2008-01-16 11|
|110.||National Forests in Florida||Osceola National Forest High Point||195||Florida|| |
Front Runners List: Click here to see list completion progress by climbers that log their climbs using Peakbagger.com.
Compare Climbers: Click here to compare ascents of up to 5 climbers working on this list.
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.
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).
Links Preliminary National Forest High Points
Map Showing Location of Peaks
= Peaks climbed by Edward Earl = Unclimbed peaksClick on a peak to see its name and a clickable link.
(Map only shows peaks ranked by clean prominence)
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