Triple Divide Peak (Montana)
|Triple Divide Peak|
View from Triple Divide Peak
|Elevation||8,020 ft (2,440 m) |
|Prominence||180 ft (55 m) |
|Parent peak||Norris Mountain|
|Listing||Mountains in Flathead County
Mountains in Glacier County
|Parent range||Lewis Range|
|Topo map||USGS Mount Stimson, MT|
Triple Divide Peak (8,020 feet (2,444 m)) is located in the Lewis Range, part of the Rocky Mountains in North America. It is located in Glacier National Park in the state of Montana in the United States. The summit of the peak, the hydrological apex of the North American continent, is the point where two of the principal continental divides in North America converge, the primary Continental Divide of the Americas and the Northern or Laurentian Divide, and is the world's only ocean triple divide point.
Water that falls at the summit can flow either to the Pacific, Atlantic, or Arctic oceans (when Hudson Bay is considered an Arctic tributary). The International Hydrographic Organization (in its current unapproved working edition only  of Limits of Oceans and Seas) defines the Hudson Bay, with its outlet extending from 62.5 to 66.5 degrees north (just a few miles south of the Arctic Circle) as being part of the Arctic Ocean, specifically "Arctic Ocean Subdivision 9.11."
Discounting Antarctica and its ice sheets, only one other continent (Asia) borders three oceans, but the inward-draining Endorheic basin area of Central Asia from western China to the Aral and Caspian Seas is so vast that any Arctic and Indian Ocean tributaries are never within proximity of each other. Thus, North America's status of having a single location draining into three oceans is unique in the world.
Rainfall on the southwestern side of the peak enters Pacific Creek, which in turn enters Nyack Creek, the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, the Flathead River through Flathead Lake, the Clark Fork River into Pend Oreille Lake, the Pend Oreille River, and the Columbia River which empties into the Pacific near Astoria, Oregon.
The northern slope of the mountain sheds water into Hudson Bay Creek, which then drains into Medicine Owl Creek and Red Eagle Creek. It then empties into Saint Mary Lake, which feeds the St. Mary River, which in turn flows into the Oldman River, the South Saskatchewan River, the Saskatchewan River, and the Lake Winnipeg system, drained by the Nelson River which empties into Hudson Bay. (Some sources, however, consider Hudson Bay to be part of the Atlantic and, thus, Snow Dome – partially in Jasper National Park, on the border of the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, Canada – to be the continent's sole hydrological apex.)
Moisture on the southeastern slopes feeds into Atlantic Creek, which in turn enters the North Fork of Cut Bank Creek, Cut Bank Creek, the Marias River, and the Missouri River which joins the Mississippi River before emptying into the Atlantic's Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans.
- "Triple Divide Peak, Montana". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "Triple Divide Peak". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "Triple Divide Peak, Montana" (Map). TopoQuest (USGS Quad). Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "Ocean Triple Divide Points". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
- "IHO Publication S-23 Limits of Oceans and Seas; Chapter 9: Arctic Ocean". International Hydrographic Organization. 2002. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
- Sanford, Robert W. (2010). Our World's Heritage: Creating a Culture Worthy of Place in Canada's Western Mountain Parks. Athabasca University Press. p. 160. ISBN 978-1-897425-57-2.
- Canada's watersheds, The Canadian Atlas Online
- The North Saskatchewan River, Great Canadian Rivers
- Holtz, Mathilde Edith; Bemis, Katharine Isabel (1917). Glacier National Park: Its Trails and Treasures (PDF). New York: George H. Doran.