Junipero Serra Peak or Junípero Serra Peak (accent over the i), is the highest mountain in the Santa Lucia Mountains of California. It is also the highest peak in Monterey County. It is named after Franciscan Friar Junípero Serra, founder of the California Missions.
It was originally named Santa Lucia Peak, as it is the highest point in the range of the same name. Wanting to honor Junípero Serra, the Native Daughters of the Golden West
had bestowed his name upon a Sierra Nevada
peak in 1905. However, the Sierra Club
recommended that the name be transferred to Santa Lucia Peak. The United States Board on Geographic Names
officially approved the name change in 1906, finding that Junípero Serra was familiar with the Santa Lucia Mountains, but in all likelihood he had never encountered the Sierra Nevada.
The peak is also sometimes called Pimkolam, its ancient Salinan Native American name.
Since the peak is over 5,000 feet (1,500 m), temperatures in winter are low enough to support snowfall and relatively high amounts of precipitation compared to the Salinas Valley and places farther east in the Coast Ranges.
Along with much of the southern Ventana Wilderness, Junipero Serra was burned extensively in the 2008 Indians fire.