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Best summit views?

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:29 pm
by c9h13no3
Hi, first legit post.

It's pretty easy to find the tallest mountain, or ones with super fun scrambles. But what makes for a great summit view seems kinda subjective.

I prefer a summit that has views *of* big mountains, rather than the view from the biggest mountain itself. I think my favorite summit view so far has been Cloud's Rest for the epic view of Mt Clark, Half Dome, and all that granite. And if I put my hipster moustache away for a moment, drive ups like Glacier Point & Minaret Summit are both pretty darn impressive even if I didn't have to earn the view.

And yeah, I get that on the summit of Mount Goddard you can use your fancy zoom lens to see every peak from Ritter to Whitney. But the tiny blurry triangle on the horizon doesn't really do it for me. Or maybe I'm just not doing it right, and I need to get a pair of binoculars.

So I'm sorta compiling a list of places known for their views. A few examples I've heard I've listed below, but I'd be curious what your favorites & thoughts on the subject are.

- Mt Sill (Secor's fav for the up close view of the Palisades, I'd think Sky Haven might be better)
- Windy Point (Ansel Adams thought it was worth a trip?)
- Mt Bago
- Alta Peak

Re: Best summit views?

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:13 pm
by bobby49
White Mountain Peak, Mount Whitney, Kilimanjaro

Re: Best summit views?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:49 am
by limpingcrab
The view from Palmer Mountain (near road's end in Kings Canyon) is pretty flippin' awesome for the reason you describe. It's not an impressive mountain itself, but it has an amazing view of the great western divide and other areas nearby.

I did really like the view from Goddard just for the expansive 360 degree view with nothing blocking it in any direction. They were small and blurry, but seeing the high peaks in Yosemite and Farewell Gap in Mineral King from a single point was pretty cool.

The Obelisk is awesome because there are so many impressive features nearby like the entire depth of the Kings River Canyon and the Gorge of Despair area.

Basically, I've been more impressed with west side summits because you see the impressive mountains rather than stand on the impressive mountains. Any summit in the middle fork of the Kaweah drainage is a drool-fest for climbers, and I'm biased towards this area because it's home.

Re: Best summit views?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:25 am
by rightstar76
Awesome photograph and campsite.

Re: Best summit views?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:44 am
by c9h13no3
Yeah, from what I've read, the standard way to find a good view of the Sierra crest is to pick a prominent west side peak just off the crest (Goddard :P). For a similar reason, I'd think desert peaks like Black Mountain or Keynot Peak would be a pretty sweet climb in winter for the view of the east side covered in snow (altho I hear they're terrible sand slogs).

Also, that is an epic campsite (the online nitpicker wants to complain about it being windy).

Re: Best summit views?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:55 pm
by DiamondEyedJack
Caltech Peak is pretty rad....views sweep from Goddard to Guyot and beyond, as well as the peaks above the east side passes like Mary Austin, Split, Cardinal etc. It is also a nice vantage point overlooking Kern Canyon. Easy class 1 or 2 maybe, a short hike from the JMT and just under 14k. Only negative is that Gregory's Monument blocks some of the panorama to the NE. Awesome picture, limpingcrab.

Re: Best summit views?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:47 pm
by cslaght
I like Mitchell Peak as well. And what is really nice is that it is quick. I could leave my house in Visalia at 6 AM, and be back in town before 2 PM. High views with low work that one.

Re: Best summit views?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:40 pm
by longri
Mount Whitney.

Re: Best summit views?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:06 pm
by Flamingo
At the absolute top of my list is Arrow Peak and Mount Brewer. Both are west side peaks set apart from the Sierra Crest, and both have huge prominence.

In the category of "easy to reach summits", I would add Mitchell Peak in SEKI. It's an easy 1/2 day hike leading to great views of the Kings-Kaweah Divide, Monarch Crest, and Sierra Crest.

Re: Best summit views?

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:26 am
by paul
One of the best views I've had in the Sierra was from a point on a ridge, not even a summit. It's about 1 1/2 miles east of Mt Shinn and about a mile south of Ward Mtn, reached with an easy walk-up (or in my case, ski-up) from Red Rock Basin. You are perched above the canyon of the So. fk San Joaquin and looking at a bunch of peaks to the east; also looking almost right up the canyon of Piute creek and French you have views out to the west over Dinkey lakes and such, to the south over Red Mtn Basin. It was a real surprise, we had expected just a nice view but this was outstanding.
And yeah, Whitney of course - but you have to spend some time up there to really appreciate it because you can just see so much from there. Camp on the summit.