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U.S. National Forest High Points

Public Land in New Reorganized Forest Units

Showing Sarah Bucken's first ascent dates for climbed peaks (0 out of 110, or 0%)

RankLand NamePeak Elev-Ft StateAscentsAscent Date
1.Angeles National ForestMount San Antonio10,064California3159 
2.Inyo National ForestMount Whitney14,498California2659 
3.Gifford Pinchot National ForestMount Adams12,276Washington1571 
4.Mount Hood National ForestMount Hood11,239Oregon1468 
5.Pike and San Isabel National ForestMount Elbert14,433Colorado1422 
6.Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National ForestMount Baker10,781Washington1312 
7.San Bernardino National ForestSan Gorgonio Mountain11,499California1307 
8.Shasta-Trinity National ForestMount Shasta14,162California1130 
9.Coconino National ForestHumphreys Peak12,633Arizona1065 
10.Arapaho and Roosevelt National ForestGrays Peak14,270Colorado955 
10.White River National ForestGrays Peak14,270Colorado955 
12.Chattahoochee-Oconee National ForestsBrasstown Bald4784Georgia935 
13.George Washington-Jefferson National ForestMount Rogers5729Virginia874 
14.Monongahela National ForestSpruce Knob4861West Virginia802 
15.Carson National ForestWheeler Peak13,161New Mexico789 
16.Black Hills National ForestBlack Elk Peak7231South Dakota783 
17.Deschutes National ForestSouth Sister10,358Oregon695 
18.Los Padres National ForestMount Pinos8831California613 
18.Ozark-St. Francis National ForestMagazine Mountain2753Arkansas613 
20.Ashley National ForestKings Peak13,528Utah606 
21.Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National ForestsMount Ellen4083Vermont577 
22.Salmon-Challis National ForestBorah Peak12,662Idaho545 
23.Superior National ForestEagle Mountain2301Minnesota439 
24.Lake Tahoe Basin Management UnitFreel Peak10,881California376 
25.Grand Mesa-Uncompahgre-Gunnison National ForestUncompahgre Peak14,309Colorado326 
26.Fremont-Winema National ForestMount Thielsen9182Oregon311 
26.Umpqua National ForestMount Thielsen9182Oregon311 
28.Rogue River-Siskiyou National ForestMount McLoughlin9495Oregon305 
29.Rio Grande National ForestBlanca Peak14,345Colorado301 
29.Eldorado National ForestRound Top10,381California301 
31.Cherokee National ForestRoan High Knob6285North Carolina/Tennessee292 
32.Bridger-Teton National ForestGannett Peak13,804Wyoming270 
32.Shoshone National ForestGannett Peak13,804Wyoming270 
34.Custer National ForestGranite Peak12,799Montana269 
34.Gallatin National ForestGranite Peak12,799Montana269 
36.Tahoe National ForestMount Lola9148California263 
37.Siuslaw National ForestMarys Peak4097Oregon257 
38.Dixie National ForestBrian Head11,307Utah246 
39.Manti-Lasal National ForestMount Peale12,721Utah223 
40.Fishlake National ForestDelano Peak12,169Utah220 
41.National Forests in North CarolinaBalsam Cone6600North Carolina214 
42.Stanislaus National ForestLeavitt Peak11,569California210 
43.White Mountain National ForestWhite Mountain National Forest High Point6142New Hampshire181 
44.Cibola National ForestMount Taylor11,301New Mexico176 
45.San Juan National ForestMount Wilson14,246Colorado171 
46.Willamette National ForestMount Jefferson10,497Oregon168 
47.Prescott National ForestMount Union7979Arizona166 
48.Coronado National ForestMount Graham10,720Arizona158 
49.Wallowa-Whitman National ForestSacajawea Peak9838Oregon146 
50.Malheur National ForestStrawberry Mountain9040Oregon143 
51.Sierra National ForestMount Humphreys13,986California142 
52.Plumas National ForestMount Ingalls8372California139 
53.Kaibab National ForestKendrick Peak10,418Arizona138 
54.Humboldt-Toiyabe National ForestDunderberg Peak12,374California125 
55.Okanogan-Wenatchee National ForestBonanza Peak9511Washington119 
56.Modoc National ForestEagle Peak9892California118 
57.Lincoln National ForestLookout Mountain11,580New Mexico115 
58.Bighorn National ForestCloud Peak13,167Wyoming110 
59.Tonto National ForestMyrtle Point7920Arizona108 
60.Sequoia National ForestFlorence Peak12,432California107 
61.Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National ForestGilbert Peak13,442Utah106 
61.Sawtooth National ForestHyndman Peak12,009Idaho106 
63.Bitterroot National ForestTrapper Peak10,157Montana101 
64.Caribou-Targhee National ForestDiamond Peak12,197Idaho88 
65.Ochoco National ForestLookout Mountain6926Oregon86 
66.Mendocino National ForestSouth Yolla Bolly Mountain8094California85 
67.Nez Perce National ForestShe Devil9400Idaho84 
68.Santa Fe National ForestTruchas Peak13,102New Mexico80 
69.Six Rivers National ForestSalmon Mountain6956California77 
70.Apache-Sitgreaves National ForestMount Baldy-North Peak11,400Arizona76 
71.Helena National ForestMount Edith9480Montana62 
72.Kootenai National ForestSnowshoe Peak8738Montana60 
73.Ouachita National ForestRich Mountain2681Arkansas59 
74.Lassen National ForestCrater Peak8683California49 
75.Gila National ForestWhitewater Baldy10,895New Mexico47 
76.Cleveland National ForestMount Laguna6299California46 
76.Shawnee National ForestWilliams Hill1064Illinois46 
78.Colville National ForestGypsy Peak7320Washington40 
79.Lewis and Clark National ForestRocky Mountain9392Montana38 
80.Idaho Panhandle National ForestSouth Selkirk Crest7709Idaho36 
81.Huron-Manistee National ForestBriar Hill1706Michigan32 
82.Olympic National ForestMount Fricaba7139Washington30 
82.Kisatchie National ForestWebster Parish High Point480Louisiana30 
84.Medicine Bow-Routt National ForestMount Richthofen12,940Colorado25 
85.National Forests in AlabamaHernandez Peak-South Slope2240Alabama24 
86.Beaverhead-Deerlodge National ForestHilgard Peak11,316Montana23 
87.Francis Marion-Sumter National ForestFork Mountain3294South Carolina22 
88.Chequamegon-Nicolet National ForestVilas County High Point1900Wisconsin21 
89.Mark Twain National ForestBell Mountain1702Missouri18 
90.Boise National ForestSteel Mountain9730Idaho13 
90.National Forests in FloridaOsceola National Forest High Point195Florida13 
92.Flathead National ForestLowary Peak9369Montana11 
93.Chugach National ForestMount Marcus Baker13,176Alaska7 
93.Ottawa National ForestMarquette County High Point1932Michigan7 
95.Umatilla National ForestVinegar Hill Northeast7926Oregon6 
96.Lolo National ForestScapegoat Mountain9202Montana5 
96.Chippewa National ForestCass-Chippewa High Point1630Minnesota5 
98.El Bosque Nacional del YunqueEl Toro3524 4 
98.Allegheny National ForestAllegheny National Forest High Point2360Pennsylvania4 
98.Hoosier National ForestBald Knobs-South Slope950Indiana4 
101.Nebraska National ForestSoldier Creek Wilderness High Point4740Nebraska3 
101.Hiawatha National ForestHiawatha National Forest High Point1112Michigan3 
101.National Forests in MississippiHolly Springs National Forest High Point720Mississippi3 
104.Payette National ForestMormon Mountain9545Idaho2 
104.Klamath National ForestCaesar Peak8920California2 
104.Wayne National ForestWayne National Forest High Point1320Ohio2 
104.National Forests in TexasBall Knob Hill1180Texas2 
108.Tongass National ForestKates Needle10,016Alaska/British Columbia1 
108.Clearwater National ForestRanger Peak8817Idaho1 
108.Daniel Boone National ForestPine Mountain-Harlan 2 Benchmark2840Kentucky1 

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

Multiple Ascents Grid: Click for a grid showing all of Sarah Bucken's ascents of peaks on this list (including up to 10 rounds of repeats).

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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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