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Monument Peak (Washington) facts for kids

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Monument Peak
Monument Peak in Pasayten Wilderness.jpg
Monument Peak seen from Slate Peak
Highest point
Elevation 8,597 ft (2,620 m) NAVD 88
Prominence 1,072 ft (327 m)
Listing List of Highest Mountain Peaks in Washington
Monument Peak is located in Washington (state)
Monument Peak
Monument Peak
Location in Washington (state)
Monument Peak is located in the United States
Monument Peak
Monument Peak
Location in the United States
Parent range Okanogan Range
North Cascades
Cascade Range
Topo map USGS Mount Lago
First ascent 1978 by Fred Beckey and John Roper
Easiest route Scrambling class 3

Monument Peak is an 8,597-foot (2,620-metre) mountain summit located in western Okanogan County in Washington state. It is part of the Okanogan Range which is a sub-range of the North Cascades. The mountain is situated in the Pasayten Wilderness, on land administered by Okanogan National Forest. The nearest higher peak is Mount Lago, 2.42 miles (3.89 km) to the north. Precipitation runoff from Monument Peak drains east into Monument Creek, and west into Eureka Creek, which are both part of the Methow River drainage basin.


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, 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 North 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.


The North Cascades features some of the most rugged topography in the Cascade Range with craggy peaks, spires, 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.

Blackcap and Monument from the lookout
Blackcap Mountain (left) and Monument Peak from Slate 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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