Brian Rachford's Minnesota peak bagging page

Minnesota's got peaks? With a suitable definition of "peak", yes it does. Particularly in the northcentral and northeast parts of the state, there are significant terrain features that rise several hundred feet above their surroundings. If you apply the 300-foot rule to this terrain, there are actually quite a few separate peaks in Minnesota.

I only lived in Minnesota for a bit under one year and will likely never live there again (nothing personal), but that was long enough to take an interest in this subject. I suppose it was mostly that I was going through peak withdrawl after living in Wyoming and Colorado for 13 years, but this turned out to be an interesting project.

Good information about the highest peaks in Minnesota simply did not exist in fall 2004 when I was starting this project. Named peaks, yes, but it turns out that most of the interesting peaks are unnamed. Using the large-scale Fisher maps (very much like Trails Illustrated maps, but you buy them flat), I spent a lot of time trying to identify the 10 highest "ranked" peaks in Minnesota using the 300-foot rule, which defines a separate peak as one that rises at least 300 feet above the highest connecting saddle to a higher peak. It turns out that there are actually a lot of peaks in northern Minnesota that satisfy this criterion.

I was living south of the Twin Cities and made the long drive up to the Arrowhead three times and ended up making certain ascents of 5 out of the top 6 peaks. Now that I'm living out West again, I decided to go ahead and put this information up on the web.

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File last modified: 14 December 2005

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