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California Fifty Finest

 
California Fifty Finest

Page Type: List

Location: California, United States, North America

Object Title: California Fifty Finest

 

Page By: mrchad9

Created/Edited: Mar 8, 2010 / Feb 7, 2013

Object ID: 602707

Hits: 8852 

Page Score: 84.27%  - 18 Votes 

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Overview

The fifty most prominent peaks in California are collectively known as the California Fifty Finest. These fifty peaks are spread across California and represent the wide range of geological areas throughout the state: the Coastal Ranges (9), Sierra Nevada (7), Mojave Desert (7), Cascades (5), Transverse Ranges (4), Peninsular Ranges (3), Klamath Mountains (3), Warner Mountains (1), and various other desert ranges (11) are all included. The geological diversity and widespread nature of the Fifty Finest contributes to them being a desired objective for some peakbaggers.

Nine of these peaks have a prominence of over 5,000 feet and as a result are known as Ultra-prominence peaks. The last peak on this list, Cone Peak, has a prominence of 2,925 feet, making this a subset of California's 2,000 foot Prominence Peaks.

Most of the peaks are not technically challenging and private property and permitting issues tend to be minimal. Only five peaks require class 3 skills (see table below), with Mount Shasta being the most difficult. Mount Copernicus and Mount Diablo are near driveups, and with a good 4x4 Mount Patterson and San Benito Mountain are as well. Some of the peaks, however, remain strenuous undertakings. Several are very remote, lack water, and require significant mileage and elevation gain.

Private Property: Six of these summits lie on private property or have restricted access (Toro Peak, Double Mountain, Maturango Peak, Loma Prieta, Cobb Mountain, and Copernicus Peak). For most of these peaks this is a non-issue, either no one is around or no one bothers hikers approaching the peaks. In other cases there is, or more specifically there potentially is, the possibility of being hassled or turned away. I have only heard of this occurring at Toro Peak and Loma Prieta- if anyone has had any encounters at the other summits please let me know. Even so trespassing carries some risk of being prosecuted. Specifics of the private property characteristics of each peak are well documented on their individual SummitPost pages.

The California Fifty Finest

RankPeakElevationMean
Prominence
Usual
Route
ClassCountyMountain
Range
LatitudeLongitudeQuad
1Mount Whitney14,49510,080Whitney Trail1Inyo, TulareSierra Nevada36.5785-118.2924Mount Whitney
2Mount Shasta 14,1629,832Avalanche Gulch3Siskiyou Cascades41.4089-122.1949Mount Shasta
3San Jacinto Peak 10,8048,304Round Valley1Riverside Peninsular Ranges33.8147-116.6795San Jacinto Peak
4San Gorgonio Mountain 11,4998,289South Fork1San Bernardino Transverse Ranges34.0992-116.8249San Gorgonio Mountain
5White Mountain Peak 14,2467,196White Mountain Road1Mono White Mountains37.6341-118.2556White Mountain Peak
6Mount San Antonio 10,0646,244Devil's Backbone1Los Angeles, San BernardinoTransverse Ranges34.2892-117.6462Mount San Antonio
7Telescope Peak 11,0486,188Mahogony Flat1Inyo Panamint Range36.1698-117.0892Telescope Peak
8Lassen Peak 10,4575,237Lassen Peak Trail1Shasta Cascades40.4881-121.5048Lassen Peak
9Mount Eddy 9,0255,125From the PCT1Siskiyou, Trinity Klamath Mountains41.3196-122.4791Mount Eddy
10South Yolla Bolly Mountain8,0944,854East Ridge2Tehama Northern CA Coast Ranges40.0364-122.8543South Yolla Bolly Mountains
11Mount Piños 8,8314,800Service Road1Ventura Transverse Ranges34.8128-119.1454Sawmill Mountain
12Junipero Serra Peak 5,8624,472Santa Lucia Trail1Monterey Central CA Coast Ranges36.1456-121.4191Junipero Serra Peak
13Santiago Peak 5,6874,397Holy Jim Trail1Orange, RiversidePeninsular Ranges33.7106-117.5342Santiago Peak
14Eagle Peak9,8924,362Poison Flat Trail2Modoc Warner Mountains41.2835-120.2006Eagle Peak
15Clark Mountain 7,9294,288East Ridge3San Bernardino Mojave Desert Ranges35.5256-115.5886Clark Mountain
16Mount Patterson 11,6734,173Road 1151Mono Sweetwater Mountains38.4367-119.3052Mount Patterson
17Toro Peak 8,7164,016Forest Road 7S021Riverside Peninsular Ranges33.5235-116.4257Toro Peak
18Tin Mountain 8,9534,013West Slopes2Inyo Panamint Range36.8866-117.4561Tin Mountain
19Mount Ritter13,1433,969Southeast Glacier3MaderaSierra Nevada37.6891-119.1996Mount Ritter
20Waucoba Mountain 11,1233,943Northeast Ridge2Inyo Inyo Mountains37.0218-118.0078Waucoba Mountain
21Thompson Peak 8,9943,934Grizzly Lake3Trinity Klamath Mountains41.0005-123.0484Thompson Peak
22Double Mountain 7,9813,841Via Tehachapi Mtn2Kern Sierra Nevada35.0322-118.4851Tehachapi South
23Kingston Peak 7,3363,754North Ridge2San Bernardino Mojave Desert Ranges35.7267-115.9156Kingston Peak
24Pyramid Peak6,7033,723Southeast Ridge2Inyo Amargosa Range36.3918-116.6122East of Echo Canyon
25Maturango Peak 8,8393,659Bendire Canyon2Inyo Argus Range36.1199-117.4956Maturango Peak
26Dry Mountain 8,6743,614East Slope2Inyo Last Chance Range36.9091-117.5979Dry Mountain
27Nopah Point6,3863,581Chicago Valley2Inyo Mojave Desert Ranges36.0176-116.0842Nopah Peak
28Piute Peak 8,4603,507South Slope2Kern Sierra Nevada35.4493-118.3883Piute Peak
29San Benito Mountain 5,2413,491OHV Trail1San Benito Central CA Coast Ranges36.3697-120.6444San Benito Mountain
30Loma Prieta 3,7863,436Loma Prieta Road1Santa Clara Central CA Coast Ranges37.1111-121.8442Loma Prieta
31New York Mountains HP7,5323,349Keystone Canyon3San Bernardino Mojave Desert Ranges35.2587-115.3112Ivanpah
32Granite Mountains HP4,3473,347South Trailhead2Riverside Mojave Desert Ranges33.9702-115.0728Palen Pass
33Funeral Peak 6,3843,324East Ridge2Inyo Amargosa Range36.1032-116.6239Funeral Peak
34Avawatz Mountain6,1543,304East Ridge1San Bernardino Mojave Desert Ranges35.5127-116.3316Sheep Creek Spring
35Breckenridge Mountain7,5483,271Forest Road 28S071Kern Sierra Nevada35.4507-118.5843Breckenridge Mountain
36Ord Mountain 6,3093,259Ord Mountain Road1San Bernardino Mojave Desert Ranges34.6749-116.8151Ord Mountain
37Cobb Mountain 4,7403,219Pinewood Way1Lake Northern CA Coast Ranges38.8075-122.7406Whispering Pines
38Glass Mountain 11,1803,210East Slopes1Mono Glass Mountain Range37.7749-118.7086Glass Mountain
39Hines Peak 6,7163,208Sisar Canyon1Ventura Transverse Ranges34.5107-119.0756Topatopa Mountains
40Goosenest 8,2803,180Bob Rath Road Trail1Siskiyou Cascades41.7202-122.2225Grass Lake
41Freel Peak10,8813,146Trout Creek1Alpine, El DoradoSierra Nevada38.8576-119.9002Freel Peak
42Bully Choop Mountain 6,9743,136Bully Choop Mtn Rd1Shasta, Trinity Klamath Mountains40.5552-122.7669Bully Choop Mountain
43Copernicus Peak 4,3803,120Mt Hamilton Road1Santa Clara Central CA Coast Ranges37.3469-121.6299Lick Observatory
44Mount Diablo 3,8493,119Summit Trail1Contra Costa Central CA Coast Ranges37.8816-121.9141Clayton
45Olancha Peak12,1233,103From the PCT2Inyo, TulareSierra Nevada36.2651-118.1181Olancha
46Keynot Peak11,1013,063Union Wash2Inyo Inyo Mountains36.7076-117.9624New York Butte
47Butt Mountain 7,8702,970Carter Creek Trail1Tehama Cascades40.2176-121.3859Humboldt Peak
48King Peak 4,0882,948Lightning Trail1Humboldt Northern CA Coast Ranges40.1568-124.1242Honeydew
49Crater Peak 8,6832,943Thousand Lakes Valley2Shasta Cascades40.6981-121.6189Thousand Lakes Valley
50Cone Peak 5,1552,925Cone Peak Trail1Monterey Central CA Coast Ranges36.0519-121.4963Cone Peak

Album

Tehachapi Mountains from the east
Double Mountain
Bully Choop Mountain
Bully Choop Mountain

Resources

The peak list provided here is based on data from USGS Topographic Maps, SummitPost Pages, and these links:

COHP page on California prominence (including CA completion maps) by Adam Helman and Edward Earl

Lists of John by John Kirk

Peakbagger page on California prominence by Greg Slayden

Peaklist page on California prominence by Aaron Maizlish

Images

Telescope PeakCalifornia Fifty Finest