Turtleback Mountain, Washington

Prominence: 1489 ft, 454 m

Elevation: 1520+ feet, 463+ meters

True Isolation: 5.03 mi, 8.09 km
Elevation Info:Elevation range: 1520 - 1525 ft
    (5-foot closed contour)
NAVD88 Elevation: 1524 ft / 464 m
    (Range 1524 - 1529 ft)
Peak TypeHill
Latitude/Longitude (WGS84)48° 39' 45'' N, 122° 58' 16'' W
48.662455, -122.971127 (Dec Deg)
502126 E 5389934 N, Zone 10 (UTM)
CountryUnited States
County/Second Level RegionSan Juan

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Lists that contain Turtleback Mountain:
     Washington State Peaks with 1000 feet of Prominence (Rank #313)

Ascent Info

Total successful ascents logged by registered users: 54
     Show all viewable ascents/attempts (Total: 52)

Selected Trip Reports:
     2014-03-18 by John Morrow
     2015-01-21 by James Barlow (GPS Track)
     2016-05-03 by Randy Furnas
     2017-04-04 by Duncan Lennon
     2017-10-14 by Greg Slayden (GPS Track)
     2018-08-25 by Jason Santos
     2020-09-08 by Fred Beavon
     2020-11-14 by Susan Shih (GPS Track)

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Turtleback Mountain is the highest point on the western lobe of Orcas Island, and also represents a high point for conservation of wild places in Washington. In 2006 the San Juan Islands land bank and many other contributors raised $17 million to purchase the land surrounding the mountain from a foundation, saving this landmark from development into expensive private homes. The result is a huge tract of wild public land, accessed by a network of maintained hiking trails--a true recreational gem.

Arcane peak stat trivia: Turtleback is the second most-prominent peak in the contiguous US states that is located on an island, but is not the island high point. Only Silver Peak on Catalina Island, CA beats it out. Both Turtleback and Silver have key cols very near sea level, at a notable isthmus on double-lobed islands.

The summit of Turtleback is accessed from the Raven Ridge trail and is a 2.5 mile hike from either the North or South public trailheads. An overgrown old logging road leads west from a trailside clearing to the rocky dome of the true summit point. There are no views from the summit plateau, but lots of nice, open mossy forest.

The "gazebo", a cabin built by former landowner Norton Clapp at the summit, appears to have been removed by the new public land managers. It may have been located in the clearing just east of the Raven Ridge trail near the top, and trees now block views from that site.

Hiking to the summit from the south is the more scenic option, passing over the sub-peak of open, rocky, Ship Peak and its sweeping views.

Dynamic Map

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ProminenceKey Col Page  (Detailed prominence information)
  Clean Prominence: 1489 ft/454 m
  Optimistic Prominence: 1494 ft/455 m
  Line Parent: Mount Pickett
  Key Col: 31 ft/9 m
IsolationIsolation Page  (Detailed isolation information)
   Distance: 5.03 mi/8.09 km
   Isolation Limit Point: 48.6733, -122.8625
Nearest Higher Neighbor in the PBC database:
    Little Summit  (E)
RangesContinent: North America
Range2: Pacific Ranges
Range3: Northwest Coast Islands
Range4: Inside Passage Islands
Range5: San Juan Islands
Drainage BasinsStrait of Georgia
Pacific Ocean
IslandOrcas Island
Topo MapEastsound O48122f8 1:24,000
Data SourceGPS Reading or LIDAR

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