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Cathedral Rock (Washington) facts for kids

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Cathedral Rock
Cathedral Rock 27700.JPG
Cathedral Rock
Highest point
Elevation 6,724 ft (2,049 m)
Prominence 1,084 ft (330 m)
Isolation 1.71 mi (2.75 km)
Cathedral Rock is located in Washington (state)
Cathedral Rock
Cathedral Rock
Location in Washington (state)
Cathedral Rock is located in the United States
Cathedral Rock
Cathedral Rock
Location in the United States
Location Alpine Lakes Wilderness
Kittitas County,
Washington state, U.S.
Parent range Cascade Range
Topo map USGS Mount Daniel
Type of rock Andesite
First ascent Between 1882-1896 by James Grieve
Easiest route class 3-4 scrambling

Cathedral Rockis a 6,724 ft (2,050 m) mountain located in the Cascade Range, in Kittitas County of Washington state. It is situated within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, on land managed by Wenatchee National Forest. Its nearest higher peak is The Citadel, 1.7 mi (2.7 km) to the southwest, and the dominant mountain in the area, Mount Daniel, rises 2.2 mi (3.5 km) to the west-northwest. Precipitation runoff from the peak drains into tributaries of the Yakima River.


Cathedral Rock is located in the marine west coast climate zone of western North America. Most weather fronts originate in the Pacific Ocean, and travel northeast toward the Cascade Mountains. As fronts approach, they are forced upward by the peaks of the Cascade Range, causing them to drop their moisture in the form of rain or snowfall onto the Cascades (Orographic lift). As a result, the west side of the Cascades experiences high precipitation, especially during the winter months in the form of snowfall. 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.


A peaceful paddle

Cathedral Rock is an intrusive andesite volcanic complex. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness features some of the most rugged topography in the Cascade Range with craggy peaks and ridges, deep glacial valleys, and granite walls spotted with over 700 mountain lakes. 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.

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 last glacial retreat in the Alpine Lakes area began about 14,000 years ago and was north of the Canada–US border by 10,000 years ago. The "U"-shaped cross section of the river valleys are a result of that 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 Alpine Lakes Wilderness area.

Climbing Routes

Established climbing routes on Cathedral Rock:


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