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Washington State Triple Divide Points

Minimum basin size of 100 square miles

RankPeak Elev-Ft Basin 1Basin 2Basin 3Range (Level 5)Ascents
1.Mount Rainier - Southeast Crater Rim14,200PuyallupNisquallyColumbiaMount Rainier Area251
2.Mount Cameron - Middle Peak7120DosewallipsDungenessElwhaNorth-Central Olympic Mountains11
2.West Peak - Northeast Ridge7120QuinaultDosewallipsElwhaCentral Olympic Mountains4
4.Ruth Mountain - Northeast Ridge6800NooksackSkagitFraserSkagit Range23
5.Mount Noyes6173QuinaultQueetsElwhaCentral Olympic Mountains6
6.Del Campo Peak - North Ridge6120SkagitStillaguamishSnohomishMountain Loop Area1
7.Dishpan Gap North5892SkagitColumbiaSnohomishGlacier Peak-North Stevens Pass Area6
8.Bear Pass Peak - South Slope5800HohQueetsElwhaCentral Olympic Mountains2
9.Windy Gap North5520PuyallupDuwamishColumbiaSouth Cascade Crest13
10.Hoh-Elwha-Quillayute Triple Divide5250QuillayuteHohElwhaNorthwest Olympics3
11.Meadow Mountain - Northeast Peak5125DuwamishLake WashingtonColumbiaSouth Cascade Crest10
12.South Silver Peak5040Lake WashingtonColumbiaSnohomishSouth Cascade Crest101
13.Chehalis-Skokomish-Quinault Triple Divide4480ChehalisQuinaultSkokomishSouthern Olympic Mountains1
14.Columbia-Nisqually-Deschutes Triple Divide3800Deschutes [WA]NisquallyColumbiaMount Rainier Area4
15.Peak 37603760ChehalisQuinaultHumptulipsSouthern Olympic Mountains0
16.Lookout Peak - South Ridge3400ChehalisDeschutes [WA]ColumbiaMount Rainier Area4

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List Description

To be on this list, a peak must be the triple divide point of three basins of rivers that reach marine water, and the smallest of these basins must be over 100 square miles. This last condition excludes what could easily be hundreds of peaks that are triple divides that involve tiny coastal creeks. Even some relatively well-known rivers like the Hamma-Hamma have areas under 100 square miles.

Mount Rainier, if taken as single massif, is the triple divide of the Columbia, Puyallup, and Nisqually. But there is a small crater at the summit of Rainier that forms a small (35 acre) basin that neither drains to the ocean nor is over the size threshold. So the three triple divides on the Rainier crater rim (Puyallup-Nisqually-Crater; Nisqually-Columbia-Crater; and Puyallup-Columbia-Crater) do not make this list.

So, with Rainier excluded, the remainder of the list is almost entirely a bunch of very obscure and unnamed hills, points, and sub-peaks. Del Campo Peak is the only well-known summit on the list, and Mount Noyes in the Olympics the only other one that even has an official name. West Peak, a major Olympic summit, is very close to being a triple divide (the Olympic Climbers Guide says so), but looking closely at the map shows that the real hydrographic junction is a couple hundred yards northest of the summit.

For the jaded Washington peakbagger looking for a new challenge, this list might be a worthwhile objective—it has an innate geographic appeal to it, and a manageable number of peaks, most of which are rarely climbed or even known about.


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