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U.S. National Forest High Points

Public Land in New Reorganized Forest Units

Showing Fred Beckey's first ascent dates for climbed peaks (8 out of 110, or 7.27%)

RankLand NamePeak Elev-Ft
(Avg)
StateAscent Date
1.Apache-Sitgreaves National ForestMount Baldy-North Peak11,420Arizona 
2.Helena National ForestMount Edith9500Montana 
3.Nez Perce National ForestShe Devil9420Idaho 
4.Malheur National ForestStrawberry Mountain9060Oregon 
5.Tonto National ForestMyrtle Point7980Arizona 
6.Idaho Panhandle National ForestSouth Selkirk Crest7715Idaho 
7.Colville National ForestGypsy Peak7340Washington 
8.National Forests in North CarolinaBalsam Cone6620North Carolina 
9.Nebraska National ForestSoldier Creek Wilderness High Point4750Nebraska 
10.Daniel Boone National ForestPine Mountain-Harlan 2 Benchmark2860Kentucky 
11.Allegheny National ForestAllegheny National Forest High Point2370Pennsylvania 
12.National Forests in AlabamaHernandez Peak-South Slope2250Alabama 
13.Chequamegon-Nicolet National ForestVilas County High Point1905Wisconsin 
14.Chippewa National ForestCass-Chippewa High Point1635Minnesota 
15.Wayne National ForestWayne National Forest High Point1330Ohio 
16.Hiawatha National ForestHiawatha National Forest High Point1119Michigan 
17.Hoosier National ForestBald Knobs-South Slope955Indiana 
18.National Forests in MississippiHolly Springs National Forest High Point730Mississippi 
19.National Forests in FloridaOsceola National Forest High Point198Florida 
20.National Forests in TexasBall Knob HillNullTexas 
20.Mark Twain National ForestBell MountainNullMissouri 
20.Rio Grande National ForestBlanca PeakNullColorado 
20.Okanogan-Wenatchee National ForestBonanza PeakNullWashington 
20.Salmon-Challis National ForestBorah PeakNullIdaho 
20.Chattahoochee-Oconee National ForestsBrasstown BaldNullGeorgia 
20.Dixie National ForestBrian HeadNullUtah 
20.Huron-Manistee National ForestBriar HillNullMichigan 
20.Klamath National ForestCaesar PeakNullCalifornia 
20.Bighorn National ForestCloud PeakNullWyoming 
20.Lassen National ForestCrater PeakNullCalifornia 
20.Fishlake National ForestDelano PeakNullUtah 
20.Caribou-Targhee National ForestDiamond PeakNullIdaho 
20.Humboldt-Toiyabe National ForestDunderberg PeakNullCalifornia 
20.Superior National ForestEagle MountainNullMinnesota 
20.Modoc National ForestEagle PeakNullCalifornia 
20.El Bosque Nacional del YunqueEl ToroNull  
20.Sequoia National ForestFlorence PeakNullCalifornia 
20.Francis Marion-Sumter National ForestFork MountainNullSouth Carolina 
20.Lake Tahoe Basin Management UnitFreel PeakNullCalifornia 
20.Bridger-Teton National ForestGannett PeakNullWyoming1962 v
20.Shoshone National ForestGannett PeakNullWyoming1962 v
20.Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National ForestGilbert PeakNullUtah 
20.Custer National ForestGranite PeakNullMontana 
20.Gallatin National ForestGranite PeakNullMontana 
20.Arapaho and Roosevelt National ForestGrays PeakNullColorado 
20.White River National ForestGrays PeakNullColorado 
20.Black Hills National ForestHarney PeakNullSouth Dakota 
20.Beaverhead-Deerlodge National ForestHilgard PeakNullMontana 
20.Coconino National ForestHumphreys PeakNullArizona 
20.Sawtooth National ForestHyndman PeakNullIdaho 
20.Tongass National ForestKates NeedleNullBritish Columbia/Alaska1946 g
20.Kaibab National ForestKendrick PeakNullArizona 
20.Ashley National ForestKings PeakNullUtah 
20.Stanislaus National ForestLeavitt PeakNullCalifornia 
20.Lincoln National ForestLookout MountainNullNew Mexico 
20.Ochoco National ForestLookout MountainNullOregon 
20.Flathead National ForestLowary PeakNullMontana 
20.Ozark-St. Francis National ForestMagazine MountainNullArkansas 
20.Ottawa National ForestMarquette County High PointNullMichigan 
20.Siuslaw National ForestMarys PeakNullOregon 
20.Payette National ForestMormon MountainNullIdaho 
20.Gifford Pinchot National ForestMount AdamsNullWashington1945 e
20.Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National ForestMount BakerNullWashington1939 e
20.Pike and San Isabel National ForestMount ElbertNullColorado 
20.Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National ForestsMount EllenNullVermont 
20.Olympic National ForestMount FricabaNullWashington 
20.Coronado National ForestMount GrahamNullArizona 
20.Mount Hood National ForestMount HoodNullOregon1955 a
20.Sierra National ForestMount HumphreysNullCalifornia 
20.Plumas National ForestMount IngallsNullCalifornia 
20.Willamette National ForestMount JeffersonNullOregon1965 c
20.Cleveland National ForestMount LagunaNullCalifornia 
20.Tahoe National ForestMount LolaNullCalifornia 
20.Chugach National ForestMount Marcus BakerNullAlaska 
20.Rogue River-Siskiyou National ForestMount McLoughlinNullOregon 
20.Manti-Lasal National ForestMount PealeNullUtah 
20.Los Padres National ForestMount PinosNullCalifornia 
20.Medicine Bow-Routt National ForestMount RichthofenNullColorado 
20.George Washington-Jefferson National ForestMount RogersNullVirginia 
20.Angeles National ForestMount San AntonioNullCalifornia 
20.Shasta-Trinity National ForestMount ShastaNullCalifornia 
20.Cibola National ForestMount TaylorNullNew Mexico 
20.Fremont-Winema National ForestMount ThielsenNullOregon 
20.Umpqua National ForestMount ThielsenNullOregon 
20.Prescott National ForestMount UnionNullArizona 
20.Inyo National ForestMount WhitneyNullCalifornia1963 j
20.San Juan National ForestMount WilsonNullColorado 
20.Clearwater National ForestRanger PeakNullIdaho 
20.Ouachita National ForestRich MountainNullArkansas 
20.Cherokee National ForestRoan High KnobNullNorth Carolina/Tennessee 
20.Lewis and Clark National ForestRocky MountainNullMontana 
20.Eldorado National ForestRound TopNullCalifornia 
20.Wallowa-Whitman National ForestSacajawea PeakNullOregon 
20.Six Rivers National ForestSalmon MountainNullCalifornia 
20.San Bernardino National ForestSan Gorgonio MountainNullCalifornia 
20.Lolo National ForestScapegoat MountainNullMontana 
20.Kootenai National ForestSnowshoe PeakNullMontana 
20.Deschutes National ForestSouth SisterNullOregon 
20.Mendocino National ForestSouth Yolla Bolly MountainNullCalifornia 
20.Monongahela National ForestSpruce KnobNullWest Virginia 
20.Boise National ForestSteel MountainNullIdaho 
20.Bitterroot National ForestTrapper PeakNullMontana 
20.Santa Fe National ForestTruchas PeakNullNew Mexico 
20.Grand Mesa-Uncompahgre-Gunnison National ForestUncompahgre PeakNullColorado 
20.Umatilla National ForestVinegar Hill NortheastNullOregon 
20.Kisatchie National ForestWebster Parish High PointNullLouisiana 
20.Carson National ForestWheeler PeakNullNew Mexico 
20.White Mountain National ForestWhite Mountain National Forest High PointNullNew Hampshire 
20.Gila National ForestWhitewater BaldyNullNew Mexico 
20.Shawnee National ForestWilliams HillNullIllinois 

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.

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.

Inholdings

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.

Acknowledgments

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

 


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