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Ruby Mountain (Washington) facts for kids

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Ruby Mountain
Ruby Mountain's west aspect seen from the North Cascades Highway.jpg
Ruby Mountain, east aspect
Highest point
Elevation 7,412 ft (2,259 m) NAVD 88
Prominence 3,888 ft (1,185 m)
Isolation 4.24 mi (6.82 km)
Parent peak Red Mountain (7,658 ft)
Ruby Mountain is located in Washington (state)
Ruby Mountain
Ruby Mountain
Location in Washington (state)
Parent range North Cascades
Topo map USGS Ross Dam
First ascent 1916 Tommy Thompson
Easiest route Scrambling

Ruby Mountain is a prominent 7,412-foot (2,259-metre) mountain summit located in the North Cascades Range of Washington state. It is situated in Ross Lake National Recreation Area which is part of the North Cascades National Park Complex. The Diablo Lake Overlook along the North Cascades Highway is at the foot of the mountain. The nearest higher peak is Colonial Peak, 4.2 miles (6.8 km) to the southeast. Precipitation runoff on the east side of the mountain drains into Ross Lake via Ruby Creek, whereas the west side of the mountain drains into Diablo Lake via Thunder Creek.


Ruby Mountain 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 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. Due to its temperate climate and proximity to the Pacific Ocean, areas west of the Cascade Crest very rarely experience temperatures below 0 °F (−18 °C) or above 80 °F (27 °C). 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. Because of maritime influence, snow tends to be wet and heavy, resulting in high avalanche danger.


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

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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