“Northwest Lamarck”

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 37.19673°N / 118.67359°W
Additional Information County: Fresno
Activities Activities: Hiking
Additional Information Elevation: 13464 ft / 4104 m
Sign the Climber's Log


WARNING!: This page’s days are numbered. It is my intention to have the information here incorporated within the main Mt. Lamarck page.

“Northwest Lamarck” is an unnamed California Thirteener just 0.2 miles northwest of 13,417' Mt. Lamarck (which does not itself have 300' of prominence). I would have preferred that the name “Mt. Lamarck” be placed atop 14,464' “Northwest Lamarck” instead, as it is the highest point on this relatively broad ridge. Perhaps though, this was just a good-natured jab directed at a brilliant scientist who unfortunately had the wrong theory for explaining the evolution of species (evidence of such evolution was obvious even back in 1815, but it took a true genius to identify the correct mechanism.)

To climb Mt. Lamarck and not “Northwest Lamarck” would seem a strange choice. The ridge connecting them is easy and has excellent views of Mts. Darwin, Mendel and “Steven Jay Gould” to the west, as well as the precipitous drop down the east wall of the ridge itself.

Getting There

The obvious access is from North Lake via Lamarck Col. Take 395 to Bishop, then 168 (Lake Sabrina Road) west for 17.8 miles. Turn right on the North Lake Road, follow this to its end, drop your gear and buddies at the trailhead, retreat 0.8 miles to park your car, and then jog back before you get ditched.

Take the Lamarck Lakes trail to Upper Lamarck Lake, then continue on the use trail to Lamarck Col. Scramble up the easy class 2 left (west) side of the ridge, over insignificant Mt. Lamarck, and on to the summit of the ridge.

I highly recommend R. J. Secor’s The High Sierra, Peaks Passes & Trails (now in its third edition). This is the definitive climbing guide to the Sierra and was the source for many of the details on my SummitPost pages.

Red Tape

Like most places in the Sierra, you need a Wilderness Permit for overnight camping in the summer. North Lake gets a fair amount of use, so book early.

Detailed information on permits, regulations and trailhead access can be found on Matthew Holliman’s excellent Eastern Sierra logistics page.


I usually spend a night above Upper Lamarck Lake on the day I drive in rather than car camp. From there, it’s easy to move camp up to the lake just below Lamarck Col (best campsites are above and northeast of the lake) and bag Peak 13,172, Mt. Lamarck and “Northwest Lamarck” all in the same day. Although this area is treeless and somewhat desolate, it’s still a nice place to return to from a big climbing day, particularly after the sun heels over.

I’ve seen a lot of people climbing Ice-9 and Mt. Darwin from this lake as well, but I would suggest moving your camp over Lamarck Col to the highest lakes in the Darwin Canyon for those objectives.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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hgrapid - Jul 1, 2012 12:05 pm - Hasn't voted

North Lamarck maybe higher?

On Google Earth TM, I discovered that about 0.2 miles north of the summit you noted was a bump even 6' higher than that, about 13,470'. The issue is that it involves a small 100% exposed Class 3 knife edge. I made that summit, but it was tough: 37.198845°N / 118.676026°W


schmed - Jul 2, 2012 12:08 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: North Lamarck maybe higher?

Hi hgrapid, Thanks for this information. How did you determine that this location was 6' higher? Was this based on Google Earth data or your own estimation while standing atop the summit? For my California Thirteeners project (see http://www.vulgarianramblers.org/ca_13ers.php) my RidgeWalker program reviewed the underlying Digital Elevation Model (DEM) on which Google Earth is based, and it found the highest point in the vicinity to be at 37.1967°N, 118.6736°W (i.e., the point I refer to as "NW Lamarck". Please see: http://www.vulgarianramblers.org/methodology.php for more details. I've hiked along this ridge from Lamarck Col twice, and it didn't seem like the crest to the NW of NW Lamarck had any higher summits. However, I'll be sure to check this out again the next time I go over Lamarck Col. Best Regards, - Chris


hgrapid - Jul 2, 2012 1:03 pm - Hasn't voted

Google Earth

I got this from Google Earth which showed the coordinates I provided to be higher.


schmed - Jul 2, 2012 1:19 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Google Earth

Google Earth isn't meant for displaying elevations to that level of detail. I've found all kinds of strange anomalies in the past while poking around with Google Earth. I think it's better to use the DEM source data (which has enough problems of its own). FYI


schmed - Jul 2, 2012 1:31 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Google Earth

Another issue is the vertical datum being used. I believe Google Earth uses the NAVD 88, which puts elevations a bit higher than the NGVD 29 used for the official spot elevations that appear on USGS quadrangles, etc. For example, Mt. Whitney has an elevation of 14,505' using NAVD 88, whereas it's official spot elevation is only 14,491.


hgrapid - Jul 2, 2012 4:03 pm - Hasn't voted

Good point

You seem to know your stuff. The point you refer to as NW Lamarck at 14,464' I think shows up on Google Earth at 14,464'. I was comparing your spot to the other one. Like I said, I know why USGS did not mark the spot I am referring to, due to the knife edge. It seemed higher to me.

Viewing: 1-6 of 6



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

John Muir WildernessMountains & Rocks
Sequoia/Kings Canyon NPMountains & Rocks
Evolution GroupMountains & Rocks
California ThirteenersMountains & Rocks