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U.S. National Forest High Points

Public Land in New Reorganized Forest Units

Showing Dennis Poulin's first ascent dates for climbed peaks (71 out of 110, or 64.55%)

RankLand NamePeak Elev-Ft StateAscentsAscent Date
1.Inyo National ForestMount Whitney14,498California33752003-07-12
2.Pike and San Isabel National ForestMount Elbert14,433Colorado18662008-09-23
3.Rio Grande National ForestBlanca Peak14,345Colorado3992008-09-26
4.Grand Mesa-Uncompahgre-Gunnison National ForestUncompahgre Peak14,309Colorado435 
5.Arapaho and Roosevelt National ForestGrays Peak14,270Colorado1292 
5.White River National ForestGrays Peak14,270Colorado1292 
7.San Juan National ForestMount Wilson14,246Colorado245 
8.Shasta-Trinity National ForestMount Shasta14,162California14341999-09-11
9.Sierra National ForestMount Humphreys13,986California2002014-07-22
10.Bridger-Teton National ForestGannett Peak13,804Wyoming3462008-07-29
10.Shoshone National ForestGannett Peak13,804Wyoming3462008-07-29
12.Ashley National ForestKings Peak13,528Utah8092006-08-21
13.Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National ForestGilbert Peak13,442Utah1262006-08-22
14.Chugach National ForestMount Marcus Baker13,176Alaska8 
15.Bighorn National ForestCloud Peak13,167Wyoming1542008-07-24
16.Carson National ForestWheeler Peak13,161New Mexico10232008-09-29
17.Santa Fe National ForestTruchas Peak13,102New Mexico98 
18.Medicine Bow-Routt National ForestMount Richthofen12,940Colorado30 
19.Custer National ForestGranite Peak12,799Montana3362008-07-14
19.Gallatin National ForestGranite Peak12,799Montana3362008-07-14
21.Manti-Lasal National ForestMount Peale12,721Utah2752005-07-05
22.Salmon-Challis National ForestBorah Peak12,662Idaho7212006-07-09
23.Coconino National ForestHumphreys Peak12,633Arizona14322005-08-20
24.Sequoia National ForestFlorence Peak12,432California1492014-06-09
25.Humboldt-Toiyabe National ForestDunderberg Peak12,374California174 
26.Gifford Pinchot National ForestMount Adams12,276Washington20932004-08-20
27.Caribou-Targhee National ForestDiamond Peak12,197Idaho1352007-08-04
28.Fishlake National ForestDelano Peak12,169Utah2872005-08-22
29.Sawtooth National ForestHyndman Peak12,009Idaho1552006-08-05
30.Lincoln National ForestLookout Mountain11,580New Mexico1572008-10-06
31.Stanislaus National ForestLeavitt Peak11,569California2962010-09-20 b
32.San Bernardino National ForestSan Gorgonio Mountain11,499California17892005-05-13
33.Apache-Sitgreaves National ForestMount Baldy-North Peak11,400Arizona1012008-10-10
34.Beaverhead-Deerlodge National ForestHilgard Peak11,316Montana32 
35.Dixie National ForestBrian Head11,307Utah3182005-08-21
36.Cibola National ForestMount Taylor11,301New Mexico2472009-10-04 a
37.Mount Hood National ForestMount Hood11,239Oregon19692003-06-14
38.Gila National ForestWhitewater Baldy10,895New Mexico612016-09-13 a
39.Lake Tahoe Basin Management UnitFreel Peak10,881California4982004-07-03
40.Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National ForestMount Baker10,781Washington17872010-07-16
41.Coronado National ForestMount Graham10,720Arizona2152006-11-16
42.Willamette National ForestMount Jefferson10,497Oregon1982004-08-08
43.Kaibab National ForestKendrick Peak10,418Arizona1812013-04-28
44.Eldorado National ForestRound Top10,381California4132008-06-20 b
45.Deschutes National ForestSouth Sister10,358Oregon9261999-08-19
46.Bitterroot National ForestTrapper Peak10,157Montana1562011-07-28
47.Angeles National ForestMount San Antonio10,064California44212004-09-06
48.Tongass National ForestKates Needle10,016Alaska/British Columbia1 
49.Modoc National ForestEagle Peak9892California1502004-07-06
50.Wallowa-Whitman National ForestSacajawea Peak9838Oregon2062003-09-07
51.Boise National ForestSteel Mountain9730Idaho162013-07-31 b
52.Payette National ForestMormon Mountain9545Idaho2 
53.Okanogan-Wenatchee National ForestBonanza Peak9511Washington1522009-07-02
54.Rogue River-Siskiyou National ForestMount McLoughlin9495Oregon3971997-08-20
55.Helena National ForestMount Edith9480Montana742011-07-25
56.Nez Perce National ForestShe Devil9400Idaho1162007-07-21
57.Lewis and Clark National ForestRocky Mountain9392Montana47 
58.Flathead National ForestLowary Peak9369Montana15 
59.Lolo National ForestScapegoat Mountain9202Montana14 
60.Fremont-Winema National ForestMount Thielsen9182Oregon3961999-07-05
60.Umpqua National ForestMount Thielsen9182Oregon3961999-07-05
62.Tahoe National ForestMount Lola9148California3552004-07-04
63.Malheur National ForestStrawberry Mountain9040Oregon1792003-09-21
64.Klamath National ForestCaesar Peak8920California3 
65.Los Padres National ForestMount Pinos8831California8552004-09-03
66.Clearwater National ForestRanger Peak8817Idaho/Montana3 
67.Kootenai National ForestSnowshoe Peak8738Montana832010-08-22
68.Lassen National ForestCrater Peak8683California552005-07-30
69.Plumas National ForestMount Ingalls8372California1582004-07-04
70.Mendocino National ForestSouth Yolla Bolly Mountain8094California1072005-08-07
71.Prescott National ForestMount Union7979Arizona2052006-11-17
72.Umatilla National ForestVinegar Hill Northeast7926Oregon72011-08-08 a
73.Tonto National ForestMyrtle Point7920Arizona1372006-11-17
74.Idaho Panhandle National ForestSouth Selkirk Crest7709Idaho482009-06-21 a
75.Colville National ForestGypsy Peak7320Washington512009-06-20 a
76.Black Hills National ForestBlack Elk Peak7231South Dakota10052012-06-03
77.Olympic National ForestMount Fricaba7139Washington36 
78.Six Rivers National ForestSalmon Mountain6956California862004-06-25
79.Ochoco National ForestLookout Mountain6926Oregon1072003-10-10
80.National Forests in North CarolinaBalsam Cone6600North Carolina280 
81.Cleveland National ForestMount Laguna6299California612014-12-05
82.Cherokee National ForestRoan High Knob6285North Carolina/Tennessee4002012-05-18 c
83.White Mountain National ForestWhite Mountain National Forest High Point6142New Hampshire219 
84.George Washington-Jefferson National ForestMount Rogers5729Virginia11032012-05-20 b
85.Monongahela National ForestSpruce Knob4861West Virginia9872012-05-22 e
86.Chattahoochee-Oconee National ForestsBrasstown Bald4784Georgia11572012-05-15 b
87.Nebraska National ForestSoldier Creek Wilderness High Point4740Nebraska5 
88.Siuslaw National ForestMarys Peak4097Oregon3352002-10-23
89.Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National ForestsMount Ellen4083Vermont748 
90.El Bosque Nacional del YunqueEl Toro3524Las Piedras/Río Grande6 
91.Francis Marion-Sumter National ForestFork Mountain3294South Carolina29 
92.Daniel Boone National ForestPine Mountain-Harlan 2 Benchmark2840Kentucky2 
93.Ozark-St. Francis National ForestMagazine Mountain2753Arkansas7712012-05-11 d
94.Ouachita National ForestRich Mountain2681Arkansas732012-05-12 a
95.Allegheny National ForestAllegheny National Forest High Point2360Pennsylvania8 
96.National Forests in AlabamaOdum Point2342Alabama5 
97.Superior National ForestEagle Mountain2301Minnesota5372012-05-31
98.Ottawa National ForestMarquette County High Point1932Michigan8 
99.Chequamegon-Nicolet National ForestVilas County High Point1900Wisconsin25 
100.Huron-Manistee National ForestBriar Hill1704Michigan43 
101.Mark Twain National ForestBell Mountain1702Missouri24 
102.Chippewa National ForestCass-Chippewa High Point1630Minnesota7 
103.Wayne National ForestWayne National Forest High Point1320Ohio5 
104.National Forests in TexasBall Knob Hill1180Texas7 
105.Hiawatha National ForestHiawatha National Forest High Point1112Michigan4 
106.Shawnee National ForestWilliams Hill1064Illinois61 
107.Hoosier National ForestBald Knobs-South Slope950Indiana7 
108.National Forests in MississippiHolly Springs National Forest High Point720Mississippi6 
109.Kisatchie National ForestWebster Parish High Point480Louisiana34 
110.National Forests in FloridaOsceola National Forest High Point195Florida18 

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

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

Compare Climbers: Click 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.


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).


     Preliminary National Forest High Points


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