Alaska Peaks with 5,000 or more feet of Prominence 1

1 © 2003 Adam Helman


Heading explanation:

Peak - peak identity
Region - general peak location within Alaska
Prom - prominence (best current estimate)
Elev - peak elevation
DEM (Digital Elevation Map) - USGS one degree quadrangle containing the peak
Descr - description of key saddle: elevation, location; additional comments regarding peak and/or saddle

All elevations are in feet. Peaks are listed in descending order of their prominences. When a range of values exists for a peak's prominence, the mean value is used for ranking purposes. HP = Highpoint. Island highpoints have unlisted key saddles as it is not meaningful to define a key saddle in such cases. A prominence-based qualifying rule is used for determining parent peaks, i.e. the prominence-based parent (PP) is chosen as distinct from an altitude-based or a saddle-based parent.

Sixty-four peaks are guaranteed at least five thousand feet of prominence. In addition Mount Bear likely merits inclusion. 1

Peak Region Prom Elev DEM Descr
**** ****** ***** **** ***** *****
Denali central south Alaska 20,156-20,189 20,320 mt_mckinley-c Also known as Mount McKinley. North American most prominent point. Saddle is 40-50 m (131-164 ft) in Nicaragua; PP is Aconcagua
Mount Fairweather Southeast Panhandle 12,900-12,988 15,300 mt_fairweather-w see footnote 2
Mount Blackburn eastern south Alaska 11,590-11,690 16,390 mc_carthy-w Skolai Pass: 4,700-4,800 ft at (61 39 00 N, 141 54 30 W); PP is Mount Logan
Mount Hayes eastern south Alaska 11,487 13,832 mt_hayes-w near BM Pisa: 2,345 ft at (63 17 3 N, 149 12 12 W); PP is Denali (Mount McKinley)
Mount Saint Elias Southeast Panhandle 11,184-11,315 18,008 mt_saint_elias-w 2,040-2,080 m (6,693-6,824 ft) in Canada at roughly (60 24 N, 140 55 W); PP is Mount Logan.
Mount Marcus-Baker central south Alaska 10,576-10,776 13,176 anchorage-e 2,400-2,600 ft near Lake Louise and Susitna Lake at roughly (62 1/4° N, 146 1/2° W); PP is Mount Hayes
Shishaldin Volcano Aleutian Islands 9,372 9,372 false_pass-w Unimak Island HP
Redoubt Volcano western south Alaska 9,087-9,187 10,187 kenai-w Lake Clark Pass: 1,000-1,100 ft at (60 48 48 N, 152 43 36 W); PP is Denali (Mount McKinley)
Mount Torbert western south Alaska 8,663-8,713 11,413 tyonek-w Houston Pass: 2,700-2,750 ft at (62 2 42 N, 153 6 24 W) and Mystic Pass: 2,700-2,800 ft at (62 38 39 N, 152 31 42 W); Both passes lead to Denali (Mount McKinley) as PP.
Pavlof Volcano Southwest Peninsula 8,150-8,300 8,200-8,300 port_moller-w 0-50 ft at (55.65 N, 161.417 W); see footnote 4
Mount Veniaminof Southwest Peninsula 8,175-8,225 8,225 chignik-w 0-50 ft at (56 32 15 N, 159 7 36 W); see footnote 4
Mount Hubbard Southeast Panhandle 7,995-8,126 14,950 mt_saint_elias-c see footnote 5
Mount Chamberlin Brooks Range 7,920-8,0206,7 9,020 mt_michaelson-e see footnotes 6,7
Iliamna Volcano western south Alaska 7,816-7,916 10,016 lake_clark-e 2,100-2,200 ft at (60 07 24 N, 153 16 18 W); 2,100-2,200 ft at (60 31 21 N, 153 57 12 W); PP is Redoubt Volcano
Mount Sanford eastern south Alaska 7,637-7,737 16,237 gulkana-e 8,500-8,600 ft at (61 53 36 N, 143 47 18 W) and 8,500-8,600 ft at (62 06 51 N, 144 04 24 W); PP is Mount Blackburn
Mount Tom White eastern south Alaska 7,591-7,697 11,191-11,197 bering_glacier-w 3,500-3,600 ft at (60 33 12 N, 142 30 6 W) and 3,500-3,600 ft at (60 33 12 N, 142 32 54 W); PP is Mount Saint Elias
Mount Kimball eastern south Alaska 7,400-7,550 10,300-10,400 mt_hayes-e near Tangle Lakes: 2,850-2,900 ft at (63 3 42 N, 146 0 0 W); PP is Mount Hayes
Mount Cook Southeast Panhandle 7,360-7,560 13,760 mt_saint_elias-c 6,200-6,400 ft in Canada at (60 13 54 N, 139 55 12 W); PP is Mount Vancouver
Mount Griggs Southwest Peninsula 7,200-7,400 7,600-7,700 mt_katmai-w 300-400 ft saddle at (59 24 3 N, 154 15 12 W); PP is Iliamna Volcano
Mount Foraker central south Alaska 7,200-7,300 17,400 talkeetna-c 10,100-10,200 ft at (63 02 15 N, 151 16 12 W); PP is Denali (Mt McKinley)
Mount Crillon Southeast Panhandle 7,126-7,226 12,726 mt_fairweather-w 5,500-5,600 ft at (58 43 21 N, 137 14 42 W); 5,500-5,600 ft at (58 43 18 N, 137 14 30 W)
Mount Hesperus western south Alaska 6,928-7,028 9,828 lime_hills-c Also known as North Buttress. Saddle: 2,800-2,900 ft at (61 25 00 N, 152 44 6 W); PP is Mount Torbert
Mount Vsevidof Aleutian Islands 6,920 (7,100?) 6,920 (7,100?) umnak-e Umnak Island HP
Mount Bona eastern south Alaska 6,800-7,000 16,500-16,600 mc_carthy-e see footnote 8
Mount Drum eastern south Alaska 6,710-6,810 12,010 gulkana-e 5,200-5,300 at (62 4 45 N, 144 25 12 W); see footnote 9
Makushin Volcano Aleutian Islands 6,680 6,680 unalaska-se Unalaska Island HP
Mount Chiginagak Southwest Peninsula 6,600-6,750 6,900-6,950 ugashik-e 200-300 ft - three saddles at (57 48 48 N, 155 39 0 W), (57 48 9 N, 155 41 48 W), (57 46 21 N, 155 42 24 W); PP is Mt Griggs
Mount Douglas Southwest Peninsula 6,200-6,400 7,000-7,100 afognak-w 700-800 ft saddle at (58 45 6 N, 154 0 42 W); PP is Mt Griggs
unnamed western south Alaska 6,200-6,400 9,300-9,400 lake_clark-e Neacola Range HP. Saddle is Merrill Pass: 3,000-3,100 ft at (61 11 51 N, 153 18 36 W); PP is Mount Hesperus (North Buttress)
Kichatna Spires central south Alaska 6,185-6,285 8,985 talkeetna-w Also known as Cathedral Spires. See footnote 10
unnamed central south Alaska 6,184-6,284 8,084 cordova-c Marshall Pass: 1,800-1,900 ft at (61 5 45 N, 145 29 54 W); PP is Mount Marcus-Baker
Pogromni Volcano Aleutian Islands 6,168-6,268 6,568 unimak-e 300-400 ft located northeast to Shishaldin PP
unnamed eastern south Alaska 6,110-6,210 8,010 valdez-e near Tebay Lakes: 1,800-1,900 ft at (61 10 48 N, 144 23 24 W); PP is Mount Tom White
Mount Igikpak Brooks Range 6,076-6,176 8,276 survey_pass-c Anaktuvuk Pass: 2,100-2,200 ft at (68 8 48 N, 151 42 18 W); PP is Mount Chamberlin
Snow Tower Southeast Panhandle 6,072-6,172 6,572 taku_river-w 400-500 ft at (58 12 00 N, 133 31 24 W)
Truuli Peak central south Alaska 6,012-6,112 6,612 seldovia-e Portage Pass: 500-600 ft at (60 45 45 N, 148 46 30 W); PP is Mount Marcus-Baker
Mount Natazhat eastern south Alaska 5,935-6,035 13,435 mc_carthy-e 7,400-7,500 ft at (61 30 57 N, 141 20 6 W); PP is Mount Bona
Hanagita Peak eastern south Alaska 5,904-6,004 8,504 mc_carthy-w 2,500-2,600 ft at (60 54 48 N, 143 15 24 W); PP is Mount Tom White
Tanaga Volcano Aleutian Islands 5,925 5,925 gareloi_island-se Tanaga Island HP
Isanotski Peaks Aleutian Islands 5,835-5,935 8,135 false_pass-w 2,200-2,300 ft located west to Shishaldin PP
Sovereign Mountain central south Alaska 5,849-5,899 8,849 talkeetna_mtns-c near Lake Leila: 2,950-3,000 ft at (61 52 00 N, 147 18 42 W); Tahneta Pass: 2,950-3,000 ft at (61 53 42 N, 147 19 36 W); PP is Mount Marcus-Baker
unnamed central south Alaska 5,732-5,832 6,532 seward-c 700-800 feet southeast of Divide, Alaska; PP is Truuli Peak
Frosty Peak Southwest Peninsula 5,743-5,763 5,803 cold_bay-e 40-60 ft saddles at (55.25 N, 162.80 W); PP is Pavlof Volcano
unnamed Aleutian Islands 5,710 5,710 adak-ne Great Sitkin Island HP
Mount Cleveland Aleutian Islands 5,675 5,675 samalga_island-w Chuginadak Island HP
Devils Paw Southeast Panhandle 5,584-5,684 8,584 taku_river-w 2,900-3,000 ft at (59 50 12 N, 136 39 24 W); 2,900-3,000 ft as White Pass
Mount Wrangell eastern south Alaska 5,563-5,663 14,163 gulkana-e see footnote 12
Mount Seattle Southeast Panhandle 5,494-5,676 10,350-10,400 mt_saint_elias-c see footnote 13
Mount Russell central south Alaska 5,470-5,570 11,670 talkeetna-c 6,100-6,200 ft at (62 52 36 N, 151 47 48 W); PP is Mount Foraker
Mount Steller eastern south Alaska 5,300-5,500 10,500-10,600 bering_glacier-w 5,100-5,200 ft at (60 36 6 N, 143 8 48 W); PP is Mount Tom White
Mount Foresta Southeast Panhandle 5,340-5,440 11,040 mt_saint_elias-c 5,600-5,700 ft at (60 13 33 N, 139 27 06 W)
unnamed Southeast Panhandle 5,390 5,390 sitka-e Baranof Island HP
unnamed eastern south Alaska 5,317-5,417 8,517 bering_glacier-c unnamed summit near or within the Granite Range. Saddle is 3,100-3,200 ft at (60 50 33 N, 142 22 48 W); PP is Mount Saint Elias
Mount Miller eastern south Alaska 5,200-5,400 10,700-10,800 bering_glacier-c 5,400-5,500 ft at (60 26 12 N, 141 54 54 W); PP is Mount Saint Elias
unnamed Aleutian Islands 5,283 5,283 amukta-e Carlisle Island HP
Bashful Peak central south Alaska 5,205-5,305 8,005 anchorage-c 2,700-2,800 ft at (61 02 48 N, 148 48 44 W); PP is Mount Marcus-Baker
unnamed eastern south Alaska 5,165-5,265 8,365 nabesna-w unnamed summit in the Mentasta Range. Saddle is 3,100-3,200 ft at (62 31 12 N, 143 20 54 W); PP is Mount Wrangell
Mount Deborah central south Alaska 5,139-5,239 12,339 healy-e 7,100-7,200 ft at (63 36 18 N, 146 56 48 W); PP is Mount Hayes
unnamed western south Alaska 5,136-5,236 8,336 lime_hills-e Telaquana Pass: 3,100-3,200 ft at (60 56 33 N, 153 28 6 W) and 3,100-3,200 ft at (60 56 39 N, 153 28 24 W); PP is the unnamed Neacola Range HP
Mount Gareloi Aleutian Islands 5,160 5,160 gareloi_island-se Gareloi Island HP
unnamed western south Alaska 5,134 8,488 lime_hills-e Sled Pass: 3,354 ft at (61 38 30 N, 153 43 24 W); PP is Mount Hesperus (North Buttress)
Mount Augusta Southeast Panhandle 5,015-5,146 14,070 mt_saint_elias-w 8,924-9,055 ft at (60 19 51 N, 140 41 24 W); PP is Mount Saint Elias
unnamed eastern south Alaska 5,015-5,115 6,915 valdez-e near Richardson Highway: 1,800-1,900 ft at (61 26 51 N, 145 6 12 W); PP is Mount Kimball; see footnote 14
Mount Bear eastern south Alaska 4,989-5,1201 14,831 mc_carthy-e see footnote 1
Korovin Volcano Aleutian Islands 5,030 5,030 atka-ne Atka Island HP

1Mount Bear has its key saddle in the Yukon at (61 17 30 N, 140 56 00 W) with an elevation of 2,960-3,000 meters = 9,711-9,842 feet using the online 115F07 50,000:1 Canadian map without contour elevations and with a 40 meter contour interval. Nearby Icefall Peak (3,490 meters) and Mount Craig (4,050 meters) have known elevations, whence contour-counting enables determination of the saddle elevation.

The saddle elevation straddles the 5,000 foot prominence cutoff of 9,831 feet. The uncertainty in vertical coordinate is stated as greater than 20 meters for the Canadian map. Since the prominence cutoff is at the upper end of the possible elevation range, it is likely (but not guaranteed) that Mount Bear has 5,000 feet of prominence.

2Grand Pacific Pass at (59 12 30 N, 137 17 00 W) is a candidate key saddle enroute to Mount Logan as prominence parent. An online Canadian map shows a saddle elevation of 720-740 meters = 2,362-2,428 feet.

A slightly lower, and hence more likely key saddle exists at (60 49 N, 136 21 W), near Champagne, Yukon Territory. Although its elevation of 2,312-2,400 feet overlaps with Grand Pacific Pass, a simple model for the distribution of the true (but currently unknowable) saddle elevations indicates an 89.5% probability that this Champagne-based saddle is the Mount Fairweather key saddle.

The indicated prominence of Mount Fairweather is based upon a minimum key saddle elevation of 2,312 feet and a maximum of 2,400 feet since at least one saddle must be no higher than the latter.

The Champagne, Yukon saddle also lies along the Mount Orizaba to Mount Logan saddle walk. The remaining low elevation saddles known to lie along the latter walk are not relevant to the present discussion as they are NOT located along the Mount Fairweather to Mount Logan walk:

2,368-2,500 feet southeast of Atlin Lake; 2,500-3,000 feet Dease Lake/Stikine Divide;
2,316-2,400 feet near Summit Lake; 2,450-2,500 feet near Arctic/Pacific Lakes.

4Due to overlap of their respective possible elevation ranges, it is uncertain whether Pavlof Volcano or Veniaminof Volcano is higher or which has greater prominence. The peak with lesser prominence has (55.65 N, 161.417 W) as its key saddle and located in-between the two. The peak with greater prominence has (56 32 15 N, 159 7 36 W) as key saddle, with the prominence parent being Redoubt Volcano to the northeast.

5The Mount Hubbard key saddle is 2,080-2,120 m (6,824-6,955 ft) in Canada at (60 39 57 N, 139 18 24 W) on a saddle walk north to both Mount Lucania and Mount Vancouver as potential prominence parents. A Mount Lucania - Mount Vancouver saddle walk remains higher on the Lucania side of the Hubbard-Lucania-Vancouver saddle junction. Therefore Mount Lucania is the Mount Hubbard prominence parent.

Accurate Canadian maps are required to find a more precise value for the key saddle elevation.

6Nearby Mount Isto, on the demarcation_pt-w DEM quadrangle, has a published elevation of 8,975 feet. If this value as well as the published 9,020 feet elevation of Mount Chamberlin are accurate, then Mount Isto has 4,382 feet of prominence with Mount Chamberlin as its prominence parent. If in truth Mount Isto is higher than Mount Chamberlin, then Mount Isto is the Brooks Range highpoint with a corresponding prominence of nearly eight thousand feet.

The indicated prominence for Mount Chamberlin is based upon a key saddle as McDougall Pass at (67 42 N, 136 27 W) in the northern Yukon Territory.

7A saddle walk to the Mount Chamberlin prominence parent is quite long and circuitous. The Yukon River, and all of its feeding tributaries, must be bypassed by traversing well east, and then south, through the Yukon Territory. Furthermore the Mackenzie River, draining into the Arctic Ocean, and its feeding tributaries, must be bypassed as well. These geographic constraints mandate a circuitous saddle walk that leads to a prominence parent in the southeast Alaska panhandle that is roughly described as follows.

A table containing all 1,891 members (both peaks and saddles) of the Mount Chamberlin - Mount Fairweather saddle walk is given here. In the table, UNCHECKED elevations are indicated by a blank field in the final column. The table is large, 197 kilobytes - a fact to be noted if using a standard modem connection.

Proceeding east from Mount Chamberlin, the saddle walk crosses the international boundary, the 141st meridian, at roughly 68 1/2° N, entering the Yukon. The walk continues east between the 68th and 69th parallel, to roughly the 137th meridian, passing over several possible key saddles whose UNCHECKED elevations range from 1,345 feet upwards. The lowest UNCHECKED saddle elevation, 1,345 feet, is located at (68 38 00 N, 139 32 30 W), and is a candidate for the Mount Chamberlin (and hence Brooks Range) prominence saddle.

The walk proceeds south, and then southwest, re-crossing the 140th meridian at roughly 65 1/2° N. The walk turns yet again east, and also southeast, crossing the 135th meridian at roughly 64 1/2° N. The walk proceeds nearly due east, reaching the 131st meridian at roughly 64° N and near the Yukon - Northwest Territory boundary.

The walk continues southeast over the spine of the Selwyn Range, reaching its easternmost extent at roughly 62° N and 129 1/4° W. The walk turns south, and then southwest, crossing the 61st parallel at the 132nd meridian, prior to heading yet again southeast to cross the 60th parallel (and enter British Columbia) at the 131st meridian.

The walk continues south to the 59th parallel, and begins a final turn west towards the Gulf of Alaska, encountering a three-way saddle junction as the (UNCHECKED elevation) 6,706 foot peak at (5953'30"N 13618'30"W).

From this junction a west fork of the saddle walk leads to Mount Fairweather, the lowest point along this fork being Grand Pacific Pass at 720-740 meters = 2,362-2,428 feet.

From this junction a northwest fork of the saddle walk leads to, in turn, Mount Hubbard, Mount Vancouver, Mount Logan (via Mount Steele), Mount Lucania and, ultimately, Mount Blackburn back in interior Alaska. Of all these potential Mount Chamberlin prominence parents, the saddle walk to Mount Hubbard has the highest lowpoint. Furthermore, prior to reaching any of these peaks, the northwest fork of the saddle walk reaches its lowpoint as the 2,312-2,400 foot saddle at (60 49 00 N, 136 21 00 W) near Champagne, Yukon Territory.

A simple model for the distribution of the true (but currently unknowable) pair of saddle elevations indicates an 89.5% probability that the Champagne-based saddle is the lower of the two. The prominence parent of Mount Chamberlin is currently ambiguous as either Mount Fairweather (likely, 89.5% probability), or Mount Hubbard (10.5% probability).

Accurate Canadian maps are required to find more precise elevations for several possible key saddles of Mount Chamberlin as found along the walk east through the northern Yukon and west of the Mackenzie River delta. These potential key saddles lie in the quasi-rectangular region delimited by the 68th and 69th parallels and the 138th and 140th meridians.

8There are two possible Mount Bona key saddles, both in Alaska -

The prominence parent of Mount Bona is Mount Logan.

9After passing through its key saddle, the Mount Drum saddle walk splits at an unnamed 14,013 foot subpeak of Mount Wrangell. The north walk leads to Mount Sanford with a lowest saddle of 8,500-8,599 feet. The south walk leads to Mount Blackburn with a lowest saddle of the same elevation range. Thereby the prominence parent of Mount Drum is ambiguous as either Mount Blackburn or Mount Wrangell.

10There are two candidate key saddles for the Kichatna Spires -

Since Houston and Mystic Passes have the same lowest possible elevation, the Kichatna Spires prominence parent is ambiguous as either Mount Foraker or Mount Hesperus.

12The Mount Wrangell saddle walk to Mount Sanford has a lowest saddle of 8,500-8,600 feet. The saddle walk to Mount Blackburn has a lowest saddle of the same elevation range. Thereby the prominence parent of Mount Wrangell is ambiguous as either Mount Blackburn or Mount Sanford.

13Mount Seattle, at 10,350 feet, lies on the international boundary. A second peak is located 1 1/2 miles southeast at 10,300-10,400 feet. I consider these two as forming a prominence island for the purposes prominence determination. Saddle is 1,440-1,480 meters = 4,724-4,856 feet at (60 1 30 N, 139 2 0 W) as identified on the 115B03 50,000:1 Canadian map.

The indicated prominence is based upon a minimum elevation of 10,350 feet for this island (Mt Seattle), and a maximum elevation of 10,399 feet (unnamed peak immediately southeast).

14This unnamed 6,915 foot summit has not to my knowledge been previously assigned to a 5,000 foot list. Nevertheless it is completely enclosed by a 1,900 foot contour.


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