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Merriam Peak (California)

Coordinates: 37°18′33″N 118°45′55″W / 37.3091265°N 118.7652123°W / 37.3091265; -118.7652123
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Merriam Peak
North aspect
Highest point
Elevation13,103 ft (3,994 m)[1]
Prominence863 ft (263 m)[1]
Parent peakRoyce Peak (13,300 ft)[2]
Isolation0.69 mi (1.11 km)[2]
ListingSierra Peaks Section
Coordinates37°18′33″N 118°45′55″W / 37.3091265°N 118.7652123°W / 37.3091265; -118.7652123[3]
EtymologyClinton Hart Merriam
Merriam Peak is located in California
Merriam Peak
Merriam Peak
Location in California
Merriam Peak is located in the United States
Merriam Peak
Merriam Peak
Merriam Peak (the United States)
LocationFresno County
California, U.S.
Parent rangeSierra Nevada[1]
Topo mapUSGS Mount Hilgard
Type of rockgranitic
First ascentJuly 14, 1933
Easiest routeclass 2+[2] Royce-Merriam saddle

Merriam Peak is a 13,103-foot-elevation (3,994-meter) mountain summit located in Fresno County in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in northern California, United States.[3] It is situated south of the Royce Lakes and north of French Canyon, in the John Muir Wilderness, on land managed by Sierra National Forest. It is set 0.7 miles (1.1 km) south-southeast of Royce Peak, the nearest higher neighbor.[1] Merriam Peak is the 129th highest summit in California.[2] Topographic relief is significant as it rises approximately 3,000 feet (910 meters) above French Canyon in one mile. This mountain was named in 1929 by the California State Geographic Board, and officially adopted in 1930 by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to honor Dr. Clinton Hart Merriam (1855–1942), an American zoologist and naturalist, who served on the U.S. Board on Geographic Names from 1914 through 1925.[3]


According to the Köppen climate classification system, Merriam Peak is located in an alpine climate zone.[4] 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 this mountain drains south into tributaries of the South Fork San Joaquin River.


The first ascent of the summit was made July 14, 1933, by Sierra Club members Lewis Clark, Julie Mortimer, and Ted Waller.[5] They called it "Bastille Peak" in honor of the July 14th French holiday, Bastille Day, unaware that it had previously been named.[6] Class 3 scrambles can be made via the east, south, and southwest aspects.[7] The North Buttress is considered one of the classic climbing routes in the Sierra Nevada.[8]

Established rock climbing routes:[9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Merriam Peak, California". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  2. ^ a b c d "Merriam Peak - 13,103' CA". listsofjohn.com. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  3. ^ a b c "Merriam Peak". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ R. J. Secor, The High Sierra Peaks, Passes, Trails, 2009, Third Edition, Mountaineers Books, ISBN 9781594857386, page 330.
  6. ^ Sierra Club Bulletin, 1935, page 93.
  7. ^ Steve Roper, The Climber's Guide to the High Sierra, 1976, Sierra Club Books, ISBN 9780871561473, page 139.
  8. ^ John Moynier, Claude Fiddler, 1993, Sierra Classics 100 Best Climbs in the High Sierra, Chockstone Press, ISBN 9780934641609, page 194.
  9. ^ Merriam Peak Rock Climbing, Mountainproject.com

External links[edit]