Face Mountain

Boundary Ranges Coast Mountains Salmon Glacier
Face Mountain
Face Mountain.jpg
Southeast aspect of Face Mountain
Highest point
Elevation5,052 ft (1,540 m) [1]
Prominence580 ft (180 m) [2]
Isolation1.36 mi (2.19 km) [2]
Coordinates59°28′40″N 135°25′45″W / 59.47778°N 135.42917°W / 59.47778; -135.42917Coordinates: 59°28′40″N 135°25′45″W / 59.47778°N 135.42917°W / 59.47778; -135.42917[1]
Face Mountain is located in Alaska
Face Mountain
Face Mountain
Location of Face Mountain in Alaska
LocationTongass National Forest
Skagway Borough
Alaska, United States
Parent rangeCoast Mountains
Boundary Ranges
Topo mapUSGS Skagway B-2
Easiest routeScrambling[3]

Face Mountain is a 5,052 ft (1,540 m) mountain summit located in the Boundary Ranges of the Coast Mountains, in the U.S. state of Alaska. The peak is situated 4.2 mi (7 km) west-northwest of Skagway, and 4.3 mi (7 km) north of Mount Harding, on land managed by Tongass National Forest. Although modest in elevation, relief is significant since Face Mountain rises above tidewater of Taiya Inlet in less than 2.5 miles (4 kilometres). This geographic feature was named "Parsons Peak" in 1897 by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, and has had variant names "Gnome Mountain", and "The Sphinx" used locally to describe a face in the rock.[1][4] The mountain's present name and summit location was officially adopted in 1985 by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, however USGS maps still show the old name, Parsons Peak, as the summit.[1] Precipitation runoff from the mountain drains into tributaries of Taiya Inlet.


Based on the Köppen climate classification, Face Mountain has a subarctic climate with cold, snowy winters, and cool summers.[5] Weather systems coming off the Gulf of Alaska are forced upwards by the Coast Mountains (orographic lift), causing heavy precipitation in the form of rainfall and snowfall. Temperatures can drop below −20 °C with wind chill factors below −30 °C. This climate supports a glacier north of the summit. The months May through July offer the most favorable weather for viewing or climbing Face Mountain.

Face Mountain with the "face" to right, (formerly Parsons Peak)

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Face Mountain". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  2. ^ a b "Face Mountain - 4,830' Alaska". listsofjohn.com. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  3. ^ "Face Mountain". Bivouac.com. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  4. ^ Frank Norris, The Skagway News, Aug 29, 2017
  5. ^ Peel, M. C.; Finlayson, B. L. & McMahon, T. A. (2007). "Updated world map of the Köppen−Geiger climate classification". Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 11. ISSN 1027-5606.