Center Peak

Coordinates: 36°43′19″N 118°21′46″W / 36.7219282°N 118.3626395°W / 36.7219282; -118.3626395
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Center Peak
North-northeast aspect, by Ansel Adams ca. 1936
Highest point
Elevation12,760 ft (3,890 m)[1]
Prominence427 ft (130 m)[2]
Parent peakMount Bradley (13,270 ft)[3]
Isolation1.42 mi (2.29 km)[3]
ListingSierra Peaks Section
Coordinates36°43′19″N 118°21′46″W / 36.7219282°N 118.3626395°W / 36.7219282; -118.3626395[4]
Center Peak is located in California
Center Peak
Center Peak
Location in California
Center Peak is located in the United States
Center Peak
Center Peak
Center Peak (the United States)
LocationKings Canyon National Park
Tulare County
California, U.S.
Parent rangeSierra Nevada
Topo mapUSGS Mount Williamson
First ascentJuly 5, 1898, by C. B. Bradley[5]
Easiest routeclass 4 scrambling

Center Peak is a 12,760-foot-elevation (3,890-meter) mountain summit located one mile west of the crest of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, in the northeast corner of Tulare County in northern California.[4] It is situated in eastern Kings Canyon National Park, 11 miles (18 km) southwest of the community of Independence, 1.8 miles (2.9 km) south of University Peak, and two miles north of Forester Pass. Topographic relief is significant as the north aspect rises 2,230 feet (680 meters) above Bubbs Creek in one mile. The John Muir Trail which traverses below the west slope of this remote peak provides an approach.


Cornelius Beach Bradley and Robert M. Price, each of the Sierra Club, named it in 1898 when Bradley made the first ascent: "Two of these promontories, standing guard, as it were, the one at the entrance to the valley and the other just within it, form a striking pair, and we named them the Videttes. A third, standing more detached, and in the very center of the mighty cirque at the head of the valley, we named Center Peak."[6][7] The north face was first climbed by David Brower and Hervey Voge on May 22, 1934.[5] The class 5.7 Northwest Arête is considered one of the classic climbing routes in the Sierra Nevada, and was first climbed in 1983 by Claude Fiddler and Vern Clevenger.[1]


According to the Köppen climate classification system, Center Peak is located in an alpine climate zone.[8] Most weather fronts originate in the Pacific Ocean, and travel east toward the Sierra Nevada mountains. As fronts approach, they are forced upward by the peaks, causing them to drop their moisture in the form of rain or snowfall onto the range (orographic lift). Precipitation runoff from the mountain drains into headwaters of Bubbs Creek, a tributary of the South Fork Kings River.

Center Peak seen from the Forester Pass area.
(University Peak upper left)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b John Moynier, Claude Fiddler, 1993, Sierra Classics 100 Best Climbs in the High Sierra, Chockstone Press, ISBN 9780934641609, page 66.
  2. ^ "Center Peak, California". Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  3. ^ a b "Center Peak - 12,762' CA". Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  4. ^ a b "Center Peak". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  5. ^ a b Steve Roper, The Climber's Guide to the High Sierra, 1976, Sierra Club Books, ISBN 9780871561473, page 360.
  6. ^ Cornelius Beach Bradley, Sierra Club Bulletin, 1899, page 272.
  7. ^ Francis P. Farquhar, Place Names of the High Sierra (1926)
  8. ^ Peel, M. C.; Finlayson, B. L.; McMahon, T. A. (2007). "Updated world map of the Köppen−Geiger climate classification". Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 11. ISSN 1027-5606.

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