Many mountains located across the USA provide not only a great adventure and sports opportunity, but also some breathtaking views. There’s something about going to the wilderness and exploring it that fulfills us and brings us peace. Some people like the challenge of hiking to icy tops, while others enjoy hiking, cycling, or swimming in some hidden water gems deep in the mountains. With their pristine natural surroundings and undeniably fresh air, mountains in the USA make one of the greatest travel destinations you can make. If you’re an inexperienced traveler, what you need to do is learn how to make your dream of a great vacation a reality. And when it comes to some mountainous destinations around the USA that are worth visiting, the choice is vast. Some of the most beautiful mountains you can visit include the Great Smoky Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada, the Alaska Range, the Cascade Range, Mount Washington, and others. All of them are characterized by stunning views and spectacular nature.
The Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains belong to the Appalachian Mountains, and they are best known for the smoke-like effect, created by the fog present around the mountain tops. They are located in Tennessee and North Carolina and they are preserved by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is one of the most popular ones in the USA. Literally millions of people visit it every year to enjoy the amazing views as well as other activities such as hiking and camping. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience, and you should definitely put it in your planner.
The Rocky Mountains span across British Columbia to New Mexico on more than 3,000 miles. The National Park carrying the same name, on the other hand, has 300 miles of hiking trails. So, if you’re a fan of hiking, you shouldn’t miss out on the stunning beauty of the Rockies, especially in spring and summer, as then you can also enjoy all kinds of different colourful flowers. Besides hiking, there are some cycling trails you can take up, all you need is one of the best mountain bikes, and you’re ready to go! As the mountain range is huge, there is another national park – the Teton National Park, protecting the Teton Mountains, which are also a part of the Rocky Mountains.
The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is located in the Central Valley of California all the way to the Great Basin, encompassing a few more mountains in the Golden State. There are three large and famous national parks in this area, including the Sequoia National Park, the Yosemite National Park and the Kings Canyon National Park. Each of these wonderful parks offers different kinds of activities from hiking, wildlife watching to taking some genuinely stunning photos. The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is also home to the largest alpine lake Tahoe, a few other lakes and rivers as well as valleys, ready to be explored.
Even though the Alaska Range is more remote than other mountain ranges on the list, it’s definitely worth considering it for a visit as it is one of the most incredible mountain ranges. Moreover, the highest mountain peak in the USA is located within this mountain range, making it an exceptional mountain choice. It is 20,310 feet high. The same as with the other mountain ranges, this one also includes some beautiful national parks such as Denali National Park and Preserve and Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, among others. Plenty of things to do here and check out.
The Cascade Mountains take up some parts of Canada, Washington, Oregon and California, meaning western North America. The range is characterized by snow-white mountain tops as well as some volcanoes, such as Mount Saint Helens, which is an active stratovolcano. The last eruption happened in 2008. Moreover, Mount Rainier is the highest point, reaching up to 14,411 feet. The North Cascades, located in Washington is characterized by the undeniable beauty of snow-crowned mountain peaks, forested trails, which lead to icy cold and murmuring waterfalls and lakes of turquoise colour.
Being a part of the White Mountains, Mount Washington is the highest peak in the northeastern part of the USA. Each year, there are millions of climbers who have decided to conquer the top. However, if you’re a fan of beautiful views, but you’re not an experienced climber, there is a way for you to the top as well. Namely, you can take the Mount Washington Cog Railway to get to the summit. Whatever your choice is, the adventure is guaranteed, just in a different way. Also, there’s a weather observatory at the top, which has recorded some of the highest winds ever, reaching up to 200 mph!
Mauna Loa is its sprawling sister volcano and Mauna Kea is the highest of the five active volcanoes located in Hawaii. Just to make some comparison, from the base of the mountain on the ocean floor all the way to the top, reaching 13,845 feet above sea level, Mauna Kea is higher than Mount Everest. Fans of astronomy would definitely opt for visiting it as there is one of the best sites for astronomical observations.
The Elk Mountain Range
The so-called Elk Mountains are located in west-central Colorado, and they contain some of the highest peaks of this country. Many people visit it for hiking, enjoying some fresh air as well as scenic views. A fun fact: the state of Colorado has the biggest number of mountains that exceed 14,000 feet. The Elk Range owns six of these highest peaks – they are many climbers’ favourites. People say that one of the most beautiful peaks is Maroon Bells.
The Maroon Bells are located just a few minutes outside of the famous ski resort, Aspen in Colorado and they are said to be one of the most photographed mountain tops in North America. Its peaks are jagged and red coloured, surrounded by serene National Forest land, making it one of the most fantastic views in the world. It simply can’t be described with words. The whole glacial valley of 14,000-foot peaks is ready to be explored. Although, there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to visiting it. Access by car is limited and you can visit the mountains before the snow. During the summer seasons, there are even buses taking people to Maroon lake.
These mountains are located in the southeastern corner of the New York state and it is one of the most popular destinations where New Yorkers tend to go for a retreat. You can hike through the luscious forest to the breathtaking Catskill waterfalls and gasp in the natural beauty this serene mountain range offers.
Choosing to visit one of the many beautiful mountain ranges in the USA is not an easy task as every range offers something special and unique worth the visit. But, you do have to make a choice, so do your research and have your intention in mind – that will help you make the best decision.