The California 100--The 100 Highest Peaks
Compiled by Paul Richins, Jr.

[Site Map] [Bookstore] [Home Page] [Rappel to the Bottom]

On the surface, determining which peaks to include in a list of the 100 highest peaks in California seems simple enough. However, it is not always readily apparent whether a given high point is a peak or merely a point or pinnacle on a ridge leading to the main summit. For example, should Starlight Peak and Polemenium Peak be included in the revised list? What about the East and West Horns on Mount Williamson, point 14,125' and point 14,160' or the two sub-peaks on Mount Shasta, points 14,000'+ and 13,840'+ or Day Needle (14,174') and Keeler Needle (14,240')?

To minimize the amount of subjectivity, I used several general guidelines. First of all, for a peak to be considered, it must be named on the USGS maps or have a "commonly used name." Secondly, the peak must meet the dictionary definition of a mountain peak which is, "a great mass of land that projects conspicuously above its surroundings." To put objective parameters on the dictionary definition, the peak was required to have an elevation rise of at least 400 feet above the land bridge (col or pass) connecting it with its closest neighbor peak and be at least one-half mile from its neighbor peak. These screening criterion were useful in determining whether to include or exclude a "peak" in question and resulted in several "named" peaks such as Starlight Peak, Polemenium Peak, Palisades Crest, Aperture Peak and Gendarme Peak, Day Needle and Keeler Needle being excluded from the list.

The following list of the 100 highest peaks in California was compiled from data contained in the newly photo-revised USGS 7.5 minute maps; Steve Roper's, The Climber's Guide to the High Sierra; and R.J. Secor's, The High Sierra. The new 7.5 minute maps adjust, up or down, many elevations from the older 15 minute maps due to more accurate mapping techniques available today. The list is arranged in descending order. Peaks measured in meters have been converted to feet by multiplying by the factor of 3.2808 (39.3701 inches per meter divided by 12 inches = 3.2808). Example: 4200 meters x 3.2808 = 13,779 feet.

All of the peaks are in the Sierra Nevada Range except for Mount Shasta, which is in the Cascade Range, and four peaks in the White Mountain Range. The list includes the peak's rank, name, elevation and region within the state.

Your comments are appreciated. Are there peaks that you believe should be added or dropped? What do you think of the screening criterion? How many of the California 100 have you climbed? Copy and use the list for reference.

 The California 100

Peak Name

Elev.

Region

Peak Name

Elev.

Region

1.

Mount Whitney

14,491

Whitney

51.

Mount Carillon

13,517+

Whitney

2.

Mount Williamson

14,370+

Whitney

52.

Mount Ericsson

13,517+

Whitney

3.

White Mountain

14,246

White Mtns.

53.

Thunder Mtn

13,517+

Whitney

4.

North Palisade

14,242

Palisades

54.

Mount Gayley

13,510

Palisades

5.

Mount Shasta 

14,162

Shasta

55.

Mount Fiske

13,503

Bishop

6.

Mount Sill

14,153

Palisades

56.

Mount Hale

13,494

Whitney

7.

Mount Russell

14,088

Whitney

57.

Mount Pinchot

13,494

Palisades

8.

Split Mountain

14,042

Palisades

58.

Mount Thompson

13,494

Bishop

9.

Mount Langley

14,022

Whitney

59.

Mt Bolton Brown

13,491

Palisades

10.

Mount Tyndall

14,019

Whitney

60.

Jumpoff

13,484

White Mtns.

11.

Middle Palisade

14,012

Palisades

61.

Mount Pickering

13,474

Whitney

12.

Mount Muir

14,012

Whitney

62.

Mount Prater

13,471

Palisades

13.

Thunderbolt Peak

14,003

Palisades

63.

Mount Versteeg

13,451+

Whitney

14.

Mount Barnard

13,989

Whitney

64.

Mount Mills

13,451

Mammoth

15.

Mount Humphreys

13,986

Bishop

65.

Montgomery Peak

13,441

White Mtns.

16.

Mount Keith

13,976

Whitney

66.

Mount Newcomb

13,422

Whitney

17.

Mount Stanford

13,973

Palisades

67.

Mount Haeckel

13,418

Bishop

18.

Trojan Peak

13,947

Whitney

68.

Mount Lamark

13,417

Bishop

19.

Disappointment Pk

13,917

Palisades

69.

Cardinal Mountain

13,396

Palisades

20.

Mount Agassiz

13,893

Palisades

70.

Mount Jepson

13,389

Palisades

21.

Norman Clyde Pk

13,855

Palisades

71.

Kaweah Queen

13,382

Sequoia NP

22.

Junction Peak

13,845+

Whitney

72.

Mount Wallace

13,377

Bishop

23.

Mount LeConte

13,845+

Whitney

73.

Mount Hilgard

13,361

Mammoth

24.

Mount Mallory

13,845

Whitney

74.

Mount Powell

13,360+

Bishop

25.

Caltech Peak

13,832

Whitney

75.

The Thumb

13,356

Palisades

26.

Mount Darwin

13,831

Bishop

76.

Black Giant

13,330

Bishop

27.

Mount Kaweah

13,802+

Sequoia NP

77.

Mount Jordan

13,320+

Whitney

28.

Mount McAdie

13,799

Whitney

78.

Black Mountain

13,291

Palisades

29.

Mount Irvine

13,779+

Whitney

79.

Mount McDuffie

13,282

Bishop

30.

Mount Winchell

13,775

Palisades

80.

Deerhorn Mtn

13,281

Palisades

31.

Mount Morgan

13,748

Mammoth

81.

Royce Peak

13,280+

Mammoth

32.

Mount Gabb

13,741

Mammoth

82.

Picture Puzzle Pk

13,280

Palisades

33.

Bear Creek Spire

13,720+

Mammoth

83.

Mount Bradley

13,264

Whitney

34.

Red Kaweah

13,720+

Sequoia NP

84.

Mount Goethe

13,264

Bishop

35.

Mount Mendel

13,710

Bishop

85.

Feather Peak

13,240+

Mammoth

36.

Mount Abbot

13,704

Mammoth

86.

South Guard

13,231

Palisades

37.

Black Kaweah

13,680+

Sequoia NP

87.

Mount Carl Heller

13,225

Whitney

38.

Midway Mtn

13,665

Whitney

88.

North Guard

13,209

Palisades

39.

Mount Tom

13,652

Bishop

89.

Mount Warlow

13,206

Bishop

40.

Milestone

13,638

Whitney

90.

Mount Emerson

13,204

Bishop

41.

Table Mountain

13,632

Whitney

91.

Mt Julius Caesar

13,200+

Bishop

42.

Birch Mountain

13,602

Palisades

92.

Red Spur Peak

13,186

Sequoia NP

43.

Second Kaweah

13,602

Sequoia NP

93.

Acrodectes Peak

13,183

Palisades

44.

Mount Dade

13,600+

Mammoth

94.

Basin Mountain

13,181

Bishop

45.

University Peak

13,589

Palisades

95.

Striped Mountain

13,179

Palisades

46.

Mount Brewer

13,570

Palisades

96.

Mount Ritter

13,143

Mammoth

47.

Mount Goddard

13,568

Bishop

97.

Mount Baxter

13,136

Palisades

48.

Tunnabora Peak

13,563

Whitney

98.

Diamond Peak

13,126

Palisades

49.

Mount Dubois

13,559

White Mtns.

99.

Red Slate Mtn

13,123+

Mammoth

50.

Cloudripper

13,525

Palisades

100.

Mount Lyell

13,114

Yosemite

Backcountry_Resource_Center--Paul Richins, Jr.
www.jps.net/prichins/backcountry_resource_center.htm

[Site Map] [Bookstore] [Climb to the Top] [Home Page]