Besides its big cities, Hollywood, and vast opportunities for road trips, the USA is also well-known for its mountainous terrains. Attracting hikers, cyclists, and rock climbers, and nature enthusiasts from all over the world, millions of visitors come here every year to see the sights, find tranquility, and seek adventure. Interested in being one of them?
Beautiful mountains in the US to visit
They offer the most iconic natural landscapes to explore and conquer.
1. Grand Teton, Wyoming
The Grand Teton is the highest peak of the Teton Range that is located between Wyoming and Idaho. It’s also part of one of the most beautiful national parks in the US, full of alpine lakes and natural springs. Colorful wildflowers on the meadows and sightings of wildlife make this a favorite destination for families, photographers, and nature lovers.
The area has more than 200 miles of trails which are the most visited in the summer when the weather is more comfortable for exploring. The peak is 13,770 feet high and recommended for experienced climbers and hikers because of the increased amount of snow and ice. If you are looking for other activities, skiing on the Grand Teton is quite popular among those not into mountaineering.
2. Mount Washington, New Hampshire
Mount Washington is the most famous peak in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. This is also the tallest mountain top in the Northeast USA with 6,288 feet, offering a view as far as Quebec. During nice weather, it’s clear enough to see New York and the Atlantic Ocean as well, providing visibility of 130 miles in all directions.
A segment of the Appalachian Trail goes through the Presidential Range and a lot of people come here for hiking. While climbing Mount Washington attracts a lot of mountaineers, others who find it too challenging can use a cog railway to reach the summit. Just mind the winds on top that can gain over 200 mph in speed, as measured by the weather observatory there.
3. Mount Shasta, California
Mount Shasta in California is a 14,179 feet-high ice-capped volcano in the Cascades with numerous trails for hiking, biking, and running. Some trails will take you to the waterways, like the Lake Siskiyou Trail and Ney Springs, and Faery Falls. Others will lead you through forested terrains and meadows, like the South Gate Trail and Horse Camp Trail.
This alpine paradise is also a great spot for skiing, camping, fly fishing, and escaping the city scene to engross in untouched nature. It usually takes two days to reach the summit and since there are no official routes, you need to prepare yourself physically for the demanding climb. Since winter is the most dangerous time to climb because of the possibility of avalanches and icy weather, make sure you get proper gear and training, as well.
4. Pinnacle Mountain, South Carolina
You probably heard of the Table Rock summit in South Carolina, but the state’s tallest peak is the Pinnacle Mountain. Located inside the Table Rock State Park, this area has several hiking trails that are not longer than 15 miles, perfect for a relaxing day trip. Even so, climbing to the top of Pinnacle Mountain is not easy since its 4.2-mile trail goes only uphill with lots of steep sections.
Pay attention to wildlife sightings, like snakes on the rocks, bears near the streams, and turtles roaming the forests. The good news is that you can bring your pets as long as you keep them on the leash and close to yourself to avoid an altercation with animals in the area.
5. Denali (Mount McKinley), Alaska
Denali, also known as Mount McKinley, is part of the Alaska Range and the tallest mountain in North America with 20,310 feet above sea level. More than 10,000 lakes and glaciers cover Denali National park, while wildlife is at its peak from June to July. If you want to take your mountain bikes for a ride, this area has one of the most remote trails in the US — the 92 miles-long Denali Park Road.
This mountain is often compared to the Himalayas since barely half of the climbers and mountaineers coming here make it to the top due to the harsh cold weather. To take pictures without making the climb, stop by the Reflection Pond in the morning when the mountain top is at its picturesque self.
6. Mount Elbert, Colorado
At 14,440 feet, Mount Elbert is the tallest peak in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains Range. Located in San Isabel National Forest, you will have plenty of opportunities to hike and admire flora and fauna. Climbing to the top, however, is not recommended for inexperienced climbers.
It’s not about your fitness level, but rather the extreme weather and high risk of avalanche. In ideal conditions, skilled hikers can climb to the summit in around 4–7 hours. The Colorado Trail offers a less challenging hike by the beaver ponds and groves near Twin Lakes where you can camp and swim.
7. Mauna Kea, Hawaii
What makes Mauna Kea different from other beautiful mountains on this list is that it’s an active, although dormant volcano. It’s also the highest one in Hawaii with 13,803 feet above sea level and 33,500 feet from base to peak, making it taller than Everest.
This is a sacred place for Native Hawaiians believed to be the home of divine deities and ancestors. Since the air on top is dry and without clouds, it’s used as an astronomical observation site to measure celestial radiation. Hiking to the true summit is not recommended because Mauna Kea is a sacred site, but you can still hike the available trail which will take you around eight hours to finish.
8. Mount Katahdin, Maine
Mount Katahdin is a short mountain with only 5,269 feet, but it’s special nonetheless. This is the first spot in the US to see the sunrise every day, making it one of the most romantic destinations in the world. Since the whole region is remote, Mount Katahdin is considered a wonderful place for camping and practicing mindfulness.
Climbing to the top can take 8–12 hours and it’s a strenuous hike, but you can try the Saddle Trail for the easier climb. Although the Abol Trail is the shortest and because it may seem the quickest way up, this is a steep route, better taken by experienced hikers.
9. Mount Mitchell, North Carolina
As the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains, Mount Mitchell in North Carolina stands 6,684 feet tall with a dramatic view over the fir forest. If you come to the State Park by car, you can continue for 2.2 miles on foot to the top. It’s not an easy climb, but the view is rewarding enough to forget how hard it was. When the weather is clear, you can see 85 miles in the distance from the summit.
With nine campsites and restaurant service within the national park, Mount Mitchell is a popular vacation destination. Visitors also have the opportunity to go to the observation tower and see falcons and some of the other 90 bird species living in the area.
You will have no problem finding a nice place to explore among these most beautiful mountains in the US. Just keep in mind that some peaks may be too demanding for novice climbers, while others are best visited in summer when meadows bloom and wildlife is awake.
What are your favorite mountains in the US? Please leave a comment below.
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