Fifty Famous Mountains of Washington

Compiled by Don Beavon and Steve Fry during 2001-2007, Second Draft, 02/01/07

Copyright Don Beavon and Steve Fry, 2007, All Rights Reserved




Mount Rainier

Among the world’s most spectacular mountains dominating a metropolis.


Highest volcano/peak in WA and Cascade Range (14,410 ft).


Dominates the Seattle-Tacoma metropolis skyline and is visible in Eastern WA.


Greatest rise above base (RAB) in conterminous U.S. (12,740 ft).


Most glaciated/snowy mountain in the Lower 48 States (~ 34 sq miles).


Focus and namesake of Mount Rainier National Park (established 1899).


Colossal volume above 2000 meters, largest in WA (17.6 cubic miles).


Longest glacier in the contiguous U.S. (Carbon Glacier, 5.7 miles).


Lahar/mudflow threat to river valley towns such as: Orting & Puyallup.


Mount Adams

Most voluminous mountain in WA (total volume = 185 cubic miles).


Second highest major mountain and volcano in WA (12,276 ft).


Second greatest RAB in WA (10,806 ft).


Volume above 2000 meters (8.6 cubic miles) ranks second in WA.


Centerpiece of Mt. Adams Wilderness (established ~1964).


Mount Baker

Dominant, snowy volcano, visible from Seattle – British Columbia.


Third highest major mountain in WA (10,781 ft).


Second most glaciated landform in the Lower 48 States (~ 20 sq miles).


World record snowfall (Mt. Baker Ski Area, 1140 inches, 1998-1999, 12 mo.)


Stunning namesake of Mt. Baker Wilderness (established ~1984).


Glacier Peak

Most pristine of the major Cascade Range volcanoes.


Beautiful inspiration for the Glacier Peak Wilderness (established 1964).


Fourth highest major mountain in WA (~ 10,540 ft).


Visible from Seattle – Everett.


Bonanza Peak

Highest non-volcanic mountain in the Cascade Range (9511 ft).


Challenging glacier and rock climb.


Mount Stuart

Highest peak in the Stuart Range and Alpine Lake Wilderness (9415 ft).


Dominant peak as seen between Cle-Elum and Ellensburg, along I-90.


Steep, granitic N face offers challenging climbing routes.


Goode Mountain

Highest mountain in the North Cascades National Park (~9220 ft).


Difficult and remote climbing objective.


Steep NE face features a 4650-ft maximum vertical drop (MVD) in 1 mile.


Mount Shuksan

Picture Lake view of NW face is featured in international commercials/ads.

Mt. Shuksan (cont.)

Awesome backdrop for the Mt. Baker Ski Area.


Greatest RAB for a WA non-volcanic mountain (8409 ft).


Largest high, non-volcanic mountain in WA (29.3 cubic miles).


Precipitous and heavily glaciated spectacular mountain. (NE ice to ~ 3550 ft).


Only high WA major mountain to retain its Native name (means Roaring Mtn.)


Jack Mountain

Dominating and high rocky mountain above North Cascades Hwy (Hwy 20).


Highest peak in the Pasayten Wilderness (9066 ft).


Steep, glaciated NE face features a MVD in 1 mile of 4820 ft (10th best in WA).


Silver Star Mountain

Highest and most prominent mountain in the popular WA Pass area (8876 ft).


Peak’s sprawling, granitic spire ridges offer challenging technical climbing.


Eldorado Peak

Spectacular & arctic-like, featuring an ice arête summit and several glaciers.


Popular North Cascades National Park climbing objective.


Longest glacier, non-volcanic peak, in Cascades (McAllister Glacier, 2.5 miles).


Forbidden Peak

Airy West Ridge is considered one of the Fifty Classic Climbs of N America.


Mesmerizing, three cirque/arête rock pyramid, flanked by sizable glaciers.


Cradles the widest glacier in the contiguous U.S. (Boston Glacier, ~ 4.5 miles).


Remmel Mountain

"Lightning Rod of the Pasayten". Prone to lightning strikes and forest fires.


Height (8685 ft) + Prominence (~4365 ft) = 10th best in WA (~13,050 ft).


Highest mountain in WA with a path to the top (8685 ft, former lookout trail).


Mox Peaks, SE Pk.

The most technically difficult peak to scale of WA’s 100 Highest Mountains.


Intimidating E face features a MVD in 0.1 miles of 1800 ft (6th best in WA).


Mount Saint Helens

Famous May 18th, 1980 cataclysmic eruption sheared ~ 1300 ft off its top.


Centerpiece of the Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument.


Most active volcano in the Lower 48 States.


Visitor Centers/Observation Points flank this large (51 cubic miles) volcano.


Popular hiking/climbing objective, when not closed due to dangerous eruptions.


Johannesburg Mtn.

Third/fifth steepest MVD in 1 mile in WA/contiguous US (N face, 5160 ft).


Difficult climb/spectacular peak rising above popular Cascade Pass.


Mount Challenger

Glistening gem of the wild and precipitous Picket Range.


~ 2.5 mile-wide Challenger Glacier coats the mountain’s N & NE slopes.


The most-favored technical, multi-day climbing North Cascades NP destination.


Gilbert Peak

Regionally high (8184 ft) and prominent (~3664 ft) mountain, near White Pass.


AKA Goat Rocks, the massif challenges numerous Pacific Crest Trail hikers.


Apex of the Goat Rocks Wilderness (established ~ 1964).


Prusik Peak

Enchantment Lakes area landmark, with a shear granitic S face.


Technical climbers rock-climbing paradise.


Mount Daniel

Highest peak in WA state’s most populous King County, (~7980 ft).


Focus area for scientific research regarding glacial retreat/dynamics.


Multi-summited, supramajor mountain in the heart of the Alpine Lakes Wild.


Mount Olympus

Spectacular crowning crest of the Olympic Mountains (7969 ft).


Overlooks the Olympic National Park & the most pristine wilderness in WA.


Popular multi-day climbing goal (~ 40 miles roundtrip, ~ 8000 ft elev. gain).


Most glaciated non-volcanic mountain in WA.


Longest glacier, on a non-volcanic peak in WA, (Hoh Glacier, 3.4 miles).


Key viewing attraction at the world-renowned Hurricane Ridge visitor center.


Sloan Peak

Stunning, glaciated peak with nearly 4000 ft of prominence above ridge-level.


Attracts climbers looking for a strenuous glacier and rock ascent.


Colonial Peak

Features WA’s 7th &12th steepest MVD in 1 mile (N/SE faces, 4901ft / 4816 ft).


N face rises dramatically above the North Cascades Hwy/Diablo Lake.


Mount Constance

Imposing and highest Olympic Mountain peak easily visible from Seattle area.


Third highest major mountain in the Olympic Mountains (7756 ft).


A challenging and strenuous rock-climb, includes the "Terrible Traverse".


Greatest RAB in the Olympic Mountains (7212 ft).


Liberty Bell Mtn.

Yosemite-like granitic rock tower, with long vertical faces.


Scenic attraction for North Cascades Hwy travelers, dominating WA Pass.


Technical rock-climbing magnet, featuring Grade V multi-day routes.


Gypsy Peak

WA’s highest mountain east of the Cascades (~7325 ft).


Isolated zenith of the Salmo Priest Wilderness, in NE corner of WA.


Guardian of WA’s only surviving grizzly bear and caribou populations.


Mount Anderson

Hydrographic crest of the Olympic Peninsula.


One of the highest glaciated peaks in the Olympic Mountains (7321 ft).


Eel G. feeds the Elwha River, WA’s longest roadless river valley (25.5 miles).


The famed Enchanted Valley and scenic Anderson Pass lead up to the mtn.


Abercrombie Mtn.

One of WA’s 7 ultramajor mountains (> 5000 feet prominence).


Second highest mountain east of the Cascades (7308 ft).


Summit consists of distinctive, ~500 million year-old, flagstone quartzite.


Bonaparte Mountain

WA’s third highest mountain east of the Cascades (7257 ft).


Supramajor mountain, with popular trail to Forest Service lookout tower.


Davis Peak

Steepest MVD in 1 mile in Lower 48 States (NE face, ~5381 ft).


NE face also features an 1830-foot MVD in 0.1 miles (5th best in WA).


A key backdrop at the Diablo Lake Overlook (North Cascades Highway)


Goat Peak

Popular short hike (5 miles roundtrip) to active Forest Service lookout.


Major mountain with great views of the Pasayten & Lk Chelan-Sawtooth Wild.

Hidden Lk. L.O. Pk.

Likely the best lookout view in WA, featuring the dramatic North Cascades.


Droves of hikers ascend the forest, meadows and boulders to reach the vistas.


Lookout cabin is maintained by a volunteer group, offering a temporary refuge.


Three Fingers

Spectacular supramajor mountain visible from Lynnwood – N Snohomish Co.


Southern cousin peak of Whitehorse Mtn, with 3 distinct summits.


Popular difficult day hike/backpack to S top restored lookout cabin.


E face MVD in 0.1 miles = 1700 ft (8th best in WA).


Whitehorse Mtn.

Supramajor mountain, easily visible from Lynnwood – Smokey Point (on I-5).


NNE face features a MVD in 1 mile of 5185 ft (2nd & 3rd best in WA/Lower US)


Dominates Darrington, and is a popular arduous climbing challenge.


Colossal landform, RAB ~ 6570 ft and volume = 15.3 cubic miles.


Crystal Mountain

Popular destination ski area, with a ski lift to the top.


Only mountain in WA with a summit restaurant (elev. 6840 ft+ / 400 ft+ prom.)


Summit restaurant offers complete meals in summer and snacks in the winter.


Fabulous view of mammoth glaciated Mount Rainier.


The Brothers

Classic, near-primordial flat-topped pyramid, as seen from Seattle.


Dominant, Olympic supramajor mountain, as viewed from Puget Sound region.


Favorite and relatively high Olympic Mountains climbing goal (6842 ft).


Mount Angeles

Massive and dominant landform rising above the Port Angles area.


Popular day-scramble, accessible year-round (during safe snow conditions).


Great top panorama of Olympics & Strait of Juan de Fuca + Canada/Cascades.


Oregon Butte

Highest peak in WA’s Blue Mountains (~6390 ft) + > 2,000 ft prominence.


Active Forest Service lookout cabin, with 100+ mile views of the Cascades.


Baring Mountain

Terrifying N face features a 2000-ft MVD in 0.1 miles (tied for 2nd best in WA).


This supramajor mountain’s stunning N face appears overhanging from Hwy 2.


Big Four Mountain

Major mountain that features a precipitous 4000-ft NE face.


N face harbors the heavily visited Big Four Ice Caves (2-mile roundtrip hike).


Scenic standout along the Mountain Loop Highway.


Mount Index

MVD in 0.1 miles for W & ENE faces rank 1st & 2nd in WA (2150 ft / 2000 ft).


Most dramatic landform along WA’s Hwy 2.


Supramajor mountain. Middle Peak is one of the most difficult to ascend in WA


Popular Lake Serene trail leads hikers beneath Index’s overhanging ENE face.


Mount Ellinor

Renowned easy/moderate hike/scramble in the SE Olympic Mountains.


Excellent views of the rugged Olympics, Puget Sound and distant Mt. Rainier.


SE slope offers famous ~ 1000-ft drop glissade, in mid-late spring.


Mount Spokane

Supramajor mountain that serves as a backdrop for the city of Spokane.


WA’s only 100 highest supramajor mountain with a paved road to the top.

Mt. Spokane (cont.)

Summit Vista House attracts a plethora of sightseers.


E slope is site of the Mt. Spokane Ski Area.


Finishing line for the annual ~ 35-mile Spokane to Mt. Spokane foot/bike race.


Hurricane Hill

Possibly the most climbed mountain in WA, near Hurricane Ridge Visitor Ctr.


3-mile roundtrip paved trail leads multitudinous visitors to the 5757-ft top.


RAB > 5000 ft, with sweeping Olympic views, including Elwha River valley.


Mount Pilchuck

Mammoth (9 cubic miles), classic pyramid as seen from Everett/Granite Falls.


Likely the most-ascended lookout mountain in WA (via rough trail).


Former site of the Mt. Pilchuck Ski Area. Prominence exceeds 2000 feet.


Mount Si

Likely the most popular mountain hike in WA; most stay below hazardous top.


Training ground for exercise enthusiasts, hikers & climbers (~3500 ft elev. gain)


Dramatic W face towers above the town of North Bend and I-90.


Tiger Mountain

Home of the "Issaquah Alps", an extremely popular hiking area.


Gentle supramajor mountain, trailhead is ~ ½-hour from Seattle (via I-90).


Dog Mountain

Famous for its supreme wildflower display, during ~ late May.


Marvelous views of the Columbia Gorge.


Accessed via the popular Pacific Crest Trail.


Former Puppy Lookout site, ~ 440 ft below summit, attracts throngs of hikers.


Mount Constitution

Highest mountain in the San Juan Islands (2407 ft).


Moran State Park paved road leads thousands of visitors to the top, annually.


Summit tower/observation area offers splendid vistas of the San Juans + more.


Mount Erie

Namesake of Mt. Erie Park. Renowned rock climbing routes (on S faces).


Low mountain (1273 ft) with paved road to top.



  1. Scott Dobrowolski, of Renton, WA, developed the Famous Mountains of WA idea during ~ 1982.
  2. Up-to-date U.S.G.S topographic maps were used for elevations and measurements.
  3. RAB = Rise Above Base (Height elevation – Base elevation).
  4. 2000 meters = ~ 6562 ft. 2000 meters is the ~ snowline of Rainier, as seen from Seattle.
  5. MVD = Maximum Vertical Drop.
  6. Major mountains feature at least 1000 ft prominence above ridge-level.
  7. Supramajor mountains feature at least 2000 ft prominence above ridge-level.
  8. Ultramajor mountains feature at least 5000 ft prominence above ridge-level.
  9. Kinnerly Peak, in Montana, has a MVD in 1 mile of ~ 5380 ft (a basic tie with Davis Peak).


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  3. Beavon, Don, "Johannesburg, Cascade, The Triplets", Pack & Paddle magazine, Sep 2000, pp.14-15.
  4. Beavon, Don, "Mt. Rainier Solo Winter Ascent, Feb. 14-15, 2002", 2/16/02 e-mail, pp. 1-2.
  5. Beavon, Fred, "28th Annual Mount Erie Trail and Road Race", 9/5/2002 email, p. 1.
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