Skip down to the introduction to P2000s, the P1000s, the P500s
The California Mountain Atlas
is a compendium of all summits in the state with 500' of
prominence. This Atlas lists 4,106 summits (as of 6/25/06).
In order to appreciate the work in this atlas it helps to understand a
few key concepts about topographic prominence and orometry. The
data is organized in a logical manner that takes some getting used
to. All mountains referenced in these pages include a precise
name, elevation, prominence, and coordinate. Lists are
organized by orometric groups, and by lineage cell. Most lists
are further sorted by prominence value. None of these concepts
are particularly hard to grasp, but it can seem a bit counter-intuitive
first. Prominence and orometric groupings are purely geographical
functions, so you will not find many lists in these pages sorted
by political subdivision.
you have difficulty navigating this site, I suggest you do three
things: 1) Look at the California Introduction Page,
which describes the different sets of mountains based on prominence
2) take a few minutes to familiarize
yourself with the 167 lineage cells by examining the graphical
map of the Lineage cells, and 3) read the theory section
The California P2000s:
Cailfornia has 163 summits with 2000' of clean prominence, which
represent an interesting assortment of hiking challenges that are
well-distributed across the different geographies of the state.
In 2002, I researched and completed the first listing of the California
P2000s. This was based on extensive prior research by Andy Martin
(for the Top 50) and Edward Earl. In 2003 this project was
extended to include all of the United States. Information about
the 1234 US P2000 summits is on the US
It is important to orient yourself to the California P2000s by way of
understanding the organization of the California Mountain Atlas.
Several hikers are making significant progress toward hiking all of the
summits on the list (7 are more than half way). You can track
your own progress by registering (free) at listsofjohn.com, and track the
leaders on the Prominence
Front Runner List.
California has 972 summits
with 1000' of clean prominence. I have created custom lists
and maps for the P1000s, which are separated by lineage group, similar
to the P500s below.
There are 4106 summits in California with 500' or more of
interpolated prominence (error range peaks with less than 500' of
interpolated prominence are not tracked). This atlas provides
lists and maps to all of the summits.
Organization of this data is based on two
divisions for ease of use: Firstly, the data is organized around
eight groups of
summits, each named after their highpoint (Southern California is
grouped together.) The map on the right should serve as a
Secondly, the lists of P500s all derive from the P2000 Lineage
Cell. Every P2000 summit (167) has a specific lineage area of
lesser summits around it. This is based on some non-arbitrary
rules that are described in the theory
section. It is really not necessary to understand the theory -
look at some of the cell maps (generated with Topo! software) for a
visual understanding of the hierarchical organization.
Within each lineage cell below, I have listed the number
of corresponding summits with 500' prominence or greater, and the links
to the corresponding maps.
The Eight Groups:
Because of the peculiar geography of California
are largely intuitive. Eddy and Piños represent the Coast
and south of San Francisco Bay. Lassen and Shasta comprise the
northeast corner of the state including the Cascades, the Warners and
the northern end of the Sierra north of the Feather River.
the entire Sierra Nevada is included under Whitney, which also includes
a few Trans-Sierra and High Desert Ranges. White/Telescope
the Inyo, Panamints, and other Trans-Sierra ranges west of Death
Valley. Gorgonio on the list below includes Antonio and Jacinto -
i.e. all of Southern California.
- Charleston and Jefferson Group
these are the California fragments of the lineage for Charleston Peak,
NV and Mt. Jefferson, NV.
This includes all ranges east of Death Valley and in the east Mojave.
- Eddy Group:
Coast ranges north of San Francisco Bay and West of I-5 to the Oregon
- Gorgonio Group:
The combined lineage areas for San Gorgonio, San Jacinto and San
including all of Southern California south of Soledad Pass (Antelope
The Northernmost edge of the Sierra - north of Beckwourth Pass, the
and the Warner Mtns., and basin and range country of extreme
Group: The Coast Ranges south of San Francisco Bay to
Pass, and including the Tehachapi Mtns. as far as
East of I-5 and NW of the Pit River, a comparatively small area.
- White/Telescope Groups
High desert ranges east of the Owens Valley and west of Death Valley.,
particularly the Inyo Mountains and the Panamint Range.
The entire Sierra Nevada south of Beckwourth Pass and north of
Pass. Group also includes Trans-Sierra ranges (east of
west of CA-6) and a large section of the High Mojave around China Lake
and the Avawatz Mtns.
Finished - Dec.
23, 2003: 504 mountains
The Coast ranges south from San Francisco Bay to
and Soledad Pass. To find a mountain
in the Coast Ranges first identify a Lineage Group on the California
Lineage Cell Map. Then click on the name of the lineage cell
below for the table, or to the right for a Topo! generated lineage
map. Click here for the
California Lineage Cell Guide Map.
California Groups (San
Gorgonio, San Antonio, San Jacinto)
Finished - January 21, 2004: 635
The Southern California Groups include California mountains in
the P5000 cells of San Antonio, San Gorgonio, and San Jacinto.
This comprises everything south of Soledad Pass (the Antelope Freeway)
near Palmdale, including many desert ranges in the low Mojave and
Colorado Deserts. The cells average 27 peaks each.
Finished - December 10, 2004: 1184
This group includes the Sierra Nevada from Beckwourth Pass south
Tehachapi Pass, including the
trans-Sierra ranges, bounded on the East by Owens Valley, plus some
of the High Mojave near China Lake and the Avawatz Mtns.
The Mt. Whitney P2000 Lineage Cell is monstrous, with
187 peaks. I have no idea why the highest peak gets the most
P500s in its cell - its a peculiarity specific to the landform of the
In future revisions I hope to add some
of the data not on the USGS 7.5' maps, such as unofficial names
provided by RJ Secor and others, and additional spot elevations.
Help from a Sierra buff would be
Cells marked (Mojave) and (Trans) are not in the Sierra proper (see
guide map above) all
other cells are.
and Telescope Groups
Finished - Dec.
12, 2003: 184 mountains
The area East of Owens Valley and West of Death Valley,
South, including the White Mountains, Inyo Mountains and Panamint
Range, among others.
Finished - Dec. 5, 2004: 286
The Lassen group includes most of Northeastern California,
except the Shasta Region. On the West side, the group extends
the Pit River, south to Lake Shasta and down the Sacramento
River. On the southern side, the border starts at Beckwourth Pass
(the Mt. Lassen KS) and goes down the Middle Fork of the
Feather River to the Sacramento Delta. This group include the
Sutter Buttes. On the East Side, the
group includes Modoc and Lassen Counties. Logically extended, the
Lassen Group would continue into Nevada, and include all of Central and
Finished - Feb. 5, 2004: 137
The Shasta group is a smallish
region of Northern California around Mt. Shasta to the Oregon
border. The area is bounded on the west by the Sacramento
River and I-5, on the north by the Klamath River, and on the south by
the Pit River and Lake Shasta. The area is mostly volcanic, with
a few areas of high-density summits especially in the foothills north
of Lake Shasta and to the east of Mt. Shasta. Because of the
frequency of prominent cinder cones north of Mt. Shasta, there are
several small cells in the region.
and Jefferson, NV Groups (partial)
Finished January 25, 2005: 295
The Eastern Mojave and ranges north and east of
Finished - June 25, 2006: 888
The Eddy Group includes the Coast Ranges west of Interstate 5 from near
the Oregon Border to the San Francisco Bay. Included at the end
of this set
are the cells north of the Klamath River (McLoughlin, OR Group).