Mount Erie (Washington)
Mount Erie from Burrows Bay
|Elevation||1,273 ft (388 m) NAVD 88|
|Prominence||1,273 ft (388 m) |
|Location||Skagit County, Washington, U.S.|
|Easiest route||Paved Road|
The mountain itself was first explored in the 1960s by local climbers, including Dallas Kloke. The mountain is known for its climbing as well as the view from the summit. Mount Erie is a city park operated by the City of Anacortes and the summit is accessible via a single-lane, paved road from the base. At 1,273 feet (388 meters) tall, Mount Erie is the highest point on Fidalgo Island. Mount Baker, which lies about 43 miles to the northeast, can easily be seen from Mount Erie. On a clear day, Mount Rainier can be seen in the southeast, approximately 117 miles distant.
Located near the Fidalgo Complex in the San Juan Islands of Washington Mt. Erie has a unique and somewhat puzzling composition. Mt. Erie is thought to have been formed during the Jurassic period (155-170 Ma.) by invasive volcanic flows creating batholithic masses of diorite, which also helped to create the island arcs associated with the San Juan Islands. By the end of the late Jurassic period the area experienced uplift and erosion and was subjected to intense folding and faulting. At this point most of the deposited Paleozoic and Mesozoic sediments had been eroded away exposing the plutons of diorite, which is the primary igneous rock found on Mt Erie.
At some point the diorite pluton experienced intrusion by gabbro dikes associated with the formation of oceanic seafloor, indicating that the area may have experienced periods of submersion as the Juan de Fuca plate subducted underneath the North American plate accreted the area. This whole process of constant uplift and erosion followed by accretion is thought to have created the unique ophiolites associated with the San Juan Islands and primarily the Fidalgo Complex located near the mountain.
During the Quaternary Period the area experienced many glacial periods and retreats and such evidence for the glacial erosion of Mt. Erie itself can be observed at the summit of the mountain as large striations in the diorite and gabbro. These periods of glacial erosion were separated by warming trends and continue to present day.
- "Park". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey.
- "Mount Erie, Washington". Peakbagger.com.
- Majors, Harry M. (1975). Exploring Washington. Van Winkle Publishing Co. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-918664-00-6.
- "Climbing Area: Mount Erie". Washington Climbers Coalition. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
- "Mount Eerie". SummitPost.org. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- "The Geology of the San Juan Islands (Historical Geology)". University of Washington Publications in Geology. 2006-03-26. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- Brown, E.H.; Housen, B.A.; Schermer, E.R. (2007). "Tectonic evolution of the San Juan Islands thrust system, Washington" (PDF). GSA Field Guides 9: 143–177. doi:10.1130/2007.fld009(08).