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Blue Lake Peak
Blue Lake Peak 7820'.jpg
Blue Lake Peak seen from the North Cascades Highway
Highest point
Elevation 7,800 ft (2,377 m)
Prominence 640 ft (200 m)
Isolation 0.39 mi (0.63 km)
Parent peak Wallaby Peak (7,995 ft)
Geography
Blue Lake Peak is located in Washington (state)
Blue Lake Peak
Blue Lake Peak
Location in Washington (state)
Blue Lake Peak is located in the United States
Blue Lake Peak
Blue Lake Peak
Location in the United States
Location Border of Chelan and Skagit Counties, Washington, United States
Parent range North Cascades
Topo map USGS Washington Pass
Climbing
First ascent September 28, 1946 by Fred Beckey, Jerry O'Neil, Charles Welsh
Easiest route Scrambling

Blue Lake Peak is the unofficial name of a 7,800+ ft summit in the North Cascades Range in the U.S. state of Washington. It is located in the Okanogan National Forest on the shared border of Okanogan County and Chelan County. It is situated south of Early Winters Spires, Liberty Bell Mountain, and Washington Pass. Blue Lake is set below its west slope, and Stiletto Peak is to its south. Blue Lake Peak can be seen from the North Cascades Highway at the Blue Lake Trailhead. Precipitation runoff from Blue Lake Peak drains into tributaries of the Chelan River and Methow River.

Climate

Blue Lake Peak Maple Pass Trail
Blue Lake Peak centered, seen from Maple Pass Trail

Most weather fronts originate in the Pacific Ocean, and travel northeast toward the Cascade Mountains. As fronts approach the North Cascades, they are forced upward by the peaks of the Cascade Range (Orographic lift), causing them to drop their moisture in the form of rain or snowfall onto the Cascades. As a result, the west side of the North Cascades experiences high precipitation, especially during the winter months in the form of snowfall. Because of maritime influence, snow tends to be wet and heavy, resulting in high avalanche danger. During winter months, weather is usually cloudy, but due to high pressure systems over the Pacific Ocean that intensify during summer months, there is often little or no cloud cover during the summer. The months July through September offer the most favorable weather for viewing or climbing this peak.

Geology

The North Cascades features some of the most rugged topography in the Cascade Range with craggy peaks and ridges and deep glacial valleys. Geological events occurring many years ago created the diverse topography and drastic elevation changes over the Cascade Range leading to the various climate differences. These climate differences lead to vegetation variety defining the ecoregions in this area.

Blue Lake Peak
Sunset on Blue Lake Peak

The history of the formation of the Cascade Mountains dates back millions of years ago to the late Eocene Epoch. With the North American Plate overriding the Pacific Plate, episodes of volcanic igneous activity persisted. In addition, small fragments of the oceanic and continental lithosphere called terranes created the North Cascades about 50 million years ago.

During the Pleistocene period dating back over two million years ago, glaciation advancing and retreating repeatedly scoured the landscape leaving deposits of rock debris. The "U"-shaped cross section of the river valleys are a result of recent glaciation. Uplift and faulting in combination with glaciation have been the dominant processes which have created the tall peaks and deep valleys of the North Cascades area.

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