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The Chugach Mountains of southern Alaska are the northernmost of the several mountain ranges that make up the Pacific Coast Ranges of the western edge of North America. The range is about 250 miles (402 km) long and 60 miles (97 km) wide, and extends from the Knik and Turnagain Arms of the Cook Inlet on the west to Bering Glacier, Tana Glacier, and the Tana River on the east. It is bounded on the north by the Matanuska, Copper, and Chitina rivers. The highest point of the Chugach Mountains is Mount Marcus Baker, at 13,094 feet (3,991 m), but with an average elevation of 4,006 feet (1,221 m), most of its summits are not especially high.[1] Even so its position along the Gulf of Alaska ensures more snowfall in the Chugach than anywhere else in the world, an annual average of over 1500 cm (600 in).[2]

Chugach Mountains
Chugach Panorama Alaska.jpg
View of the Chugach Mountains from the Glenn Highway north of Anchorage
Highest point
Peak Mount Marcus Baker
Elevation 13,094 ft (3,991 m)
Coordinates 61°26′14″N 147°45′10″W / 61.43722°N 147.75278°W / 61.43722; -147.75278
Dimensions
Length 300 mi (480 km) E-W
Geography
Country United States
State Alaska
Range coordinates 61°10′N 145°20′W / 61.167°N 145.333°W / 61.167; -145.333Coordinates: 61°10′N 145°20′W / 61.167°N 145.333°W / 61.167; -145.333
Parent range Pacific Coast Ranges
Alpine lakes in the Chugach Mountains
A peak in the Chugach Mountains

The mountains are protected in the Chugach State Park and the Chugach National Forest. Near to Anchorage, they are a popular destination for outdoor activities.

The Richardson Highway, Seward Highway, Portage Glacier Highway, and the Glenn Highway run through the Chugach Mountains. The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel of the Portage Glacier Highway provides railroad and automobile access underneath Maynard Mountain between Portage Lake and the city of Whittier on Prince William Sound.

Contents

HistoryEdit

The name "Chugach" comes from Chugach Sugpiaq "Cuungaaciiq," Alaska Natives inhabiting the Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound on the south coast of Alaska. The Chugach people are an Alutiiq (Pacific Eskimo) people who speak the Chugach dialect of the Alutiiq language. In 1898 United States Army Captain William R. Abercrombie spelled the name "Chugatch" and applied it to the mountains.[1] It is possible that the Koniagmiut (Sugpiat or Alutiit of the Kodiak Archipelago and the Alaska Peninsula) may also have called these northern Sugpiat "Cuungaaciirmiut" in ancient times but it is also possible that this was a neologism during Russian times.

MountainsEdit

The twelve highest peaks in the Chugach Mountains are listed below:

Rank Name Elevation Prominence Coordinates
1 Mount Marcus Baker 13,094 feet (3,991 m)[3] 61°26′16″N 147°45′02″W / 61.43778°N 147.75056°W / 61.43778; -147.75056
2 Mount Thor 12,132 feet (3,698 m)[4] 61°29′10″N 147°08′50″W / 61.48611°N 147.14722°W / 61.48611; -147.14722
3 Mount Valhalla 11,850 feet (3,612 m)[5] 61°27′36″N 147°04′45″W / 61.46000°N 147.07917°W / 61.46000; -147.07917
4 Mount Witherspoon 11,745 feet (3,580 m)[6] 61°23′43″N 147°12′05″W / 61.39528°N 147.20139°W / 61.39528; -147.20139
5 Mount Einstein 11,401 feet (3,475 m)[7] 61°21′26″N 147°05′47″W / 61.35722°N 147.09639°W / 61.35722; -147.09639
6 Mount Tom White 11,155 feet (3,400 m)[8] 60°39′09″N 143°41′44″W / 60.65250°N 143.69556°W / 60.65250; -143.69556
7 Icing Peak 10,955 feet (3,339 m)[9] 61°32′10″N 147°42′17″W / 61.53611°N 147.70472°W / 61.53611; -147.70472
8 Mount Grace 10,540 feet (3,213 m)[10] 61°19′06″N 147°53′14″W / 61.31833°N 147.88722°W / 61.31833; -147.88722
9 Mount Goode 10,384 feet (3,165 m)[11] 61°19′38″N 147°59′02″W / 61.32722°N 147.98389°W / 61.32722; -147.98389
10 Mount Steller 10,082 feet (3,073 m)[12] 60°31′07″N 143°05′59″W / 60.51861°N 143.09972°W / 60.51861; -143.09972
11 Mount Gannett 9,629 feet (2,935 m)[13] 61°14′32″N 148°11′36″W / 61.24222°N 148.19333°W / 61.24222; -148.19333
12 Mount Miller 8,694 feet (2,650 m)[14] 60°26′48″N 142°20′12″W / 60.44667°N 142.33667°W / 60.44667; -142.33667

Other important peaks in the Chugach Mountains include:

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Chugach Mountains". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  2. ^ Steep, Freeskiing Documentary, 2007
  3. ^ "Mount Marcus Baker". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  4. ^ "Mount Thor". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  5. ^ "Mount Valhalla". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  6. ^ "Mount Witherspoon". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  7. ^ "Mount Einstein". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  8. ^ "Mount Tom White". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  9. ^ "Icing Peak". Chugach Mountains. peakbagger.com. 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  10. ^ "Mount Grace". Chugach Mountains. peakbagger.com. 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  11. ^ "Mount Goode". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  12. ^ "Mount Steller". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  13. ^ "Mount Gannett". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  14. ^ "Mount Miller". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  15. ^ "Mount Michelson". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  16. ^ "Mount Billy Mitchell". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  17. ^ "Mount Palmer". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  18. ^ "Eagle Peak". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  19. ^ "Polar Bear Peak". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  20. ^ "Ptarmigan Peak". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  21. ^ "Flattop Mountain". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-07-25.