Picket Range

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Picket Range
Mount Degenhardt 26001.JPG
Mount Terror (left skyline), Inspiration Peak (center) and McMillan Spires (right center) from the south
Highest point
Peak Luna Peak
Elevation 8,311 ft (2,533 m)
Coordinates 48°49′51″N 121°16′24″W / 48.83083°N 121.27333°W / 48.83083; -121.27333Coordinates: 48°49′51″N 121°16′24″W / 48.83083°N 121.27333°W / 48.83083; -121.27333
Country United States
State/Province Washington
Parent range North Cascades
Picket Range at the head of Luna Creek, looking west (1960)

The Picket Range is a small, extremely rugged subrange of the North Cascades in the northwestern part of the American state of Washington. It is entirely contained within North Cascades National Park. It is about 6 miles (9.7 km) long, running northwest-southeast, and lies north of the Skagit River, west of Ross Lake, and east of Mounts Baker and Shuksan. There are at least 21 peaks in the range over 7,500 ft (2,300 m) high.[1]

Swedish American Lage Wernstedt of the U.S. Forest Service mapped the Picket Range in the 1920s and named it for its resemblance to a picket fence (and not for George Pickett). Wernstedt was also apparently responsible for the names of the main peaks, including Mt. Challenger, Fury, Terror, and Phantom. These names first appeared on maps in 1931.[1][2]

There are few trails in the Picket Range, and any excursion there has a strong wilderness character. Most of the access points are characterized as steep brush thick valleys, with little open terrain. Many of the peaks are challenging rock climbs. The rock is biotite gneiss, formed by metamorphism of sedimentary and volcanic rocks about 100 million years ago.[1]

The picket range is home to many of the North Cascades' classic climbs and many of its best technical climbs. The rugged terrain has attracted many photographers to the range, creating some of the most spectacular images in the national park. The rugged and sharp peaks are unmatched in steepness and jaggedness by any other ranges in the lower 48 American states. This has made it a popular area in the National Park, and has contributed to the Cascades' title of "The American Alps".

Picket Range from Trappers Peak 1990

Highest Peaks of the Picket Range[edit]

Mountain Height First ascent
(ft) (m)
Luna Peak 8,311 2,533 1938
Mount Fury 8,292 2,527 1938
Mount Challenger 8,207 2,501 1936
Mount Terror 8,151 2,484 1932
McMillan Spire 8,004 2,440 1940
Mount Degenhardt 8,000 2,438 1931
Whatcom Peak 7,574 2,309 1936
The Chopping Block 6,819 2,078 1932

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Beckey, Fred W. (1995). Cascade Alpine Guide: Rainy Pass to Fraser River. The Mountaineers Books. pp. 94–128. ISBN 978-0-89886-423-6. 
  2. ^ Childs, Geof. "Lage Wernstedt The forgotten giant". methownet.com. methownet. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 

External links[edit]