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There are 73,301 named mountains in USA. The highest and the most prominent mountain is Denali.

At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the third largest country in the world by area.

Like Canada, the United State borders three oceans, the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic. The state of Alaska is considered the country’s most northern, western, and eastern state. Although Alaska houses what is considered to be the country’s tallest mountain, if measuring a mountain from sea floor, hawaii’s Mauna Kea stands at over 32,000 feet in elevation, making it the tallest not only in America, but in the world.

Crater Lake

The deepest lake in the states, Crater Lake, is also the seventh deepest in the world and was formed by an enormous volcanic eruption. The huge crater slowly filled with snow and rain water to create the lake. However, the states are also home to the largest freshwater lake in the world - Lake Superior.

The topography and geography of the states varies dramatically throughout the country. The eastern regions generally consist of rolling hills and low-altitude mountains, while the central interior of the country is covered in the Great Plains, or vast plain. The western states, however, are generally characterized by rugged, high-altitude mountain ranges and summits, some of which are active volcanoes. Interestingly, in the western part of the country, the lowest point in the U.S., Badwater Basin is just 84 miles from the highest point in the states, Mount Whitney.


Grand Teton National Park

Generally, the United States can be divided into four major regions:

The Northeast Region

Characterized by broad valleys, rolling hills, and low mountains. This region includes the larger Appalachian Mountain range, including the Catskills and Adirondacks. The five tallest peaks in this region are found within the Presidential range and include Mount Washington, Mount Adams, Mount Jefferson, Mount Monroe, and Mount Madison.

Lake Placid from Whiteface Mountain

The Midwest Region

This region is relatively flat in comparison to other parts of the United States. Generally speaking, this region consists of mostly plains, plateaus, and large lakes. The Ozark Mountains and the Black Hills are the most popular mountains in the midwest portions of the country. Although not significantly high in elevation, these areas offer ample outdoor recreation opportunities and include reputable peaks like Taum Sauk Mountain, Black Elk Peak, and Terry Peak.

The Southern Region

The most prominent geographical features of the southern region is the Appalachian Mountains. The Mississippi River, one of the longest rivers in North America, also travels through the southern part of the states. The south is incredibly diverse and offers several different climatic zones including temperate, subtropical, and arid zones. Some of the tallest peaks in this region include Guadalupe Peak, Clingmans Dome, Mount Mitchell, and Mount Rogers.

Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome

The Western Region

The Western United States contains most of the significant mountain ranges in the country including the Coast Ranges, Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada, and Cascades. The climate is described as semi-arid, but in most mountainous areas the weather is relatively unpredictable and can be hostile. The most prominent and recognizable peaks in the western region include Denali, Mount Foraker, Mount Bona, and Mount Blackburn.

Denali Range

Denali Range

Major Mountain Ranges in the United States

Appalachian Mountains

The Appalachian Mountains run for approximately 1,500 miles along the east coast of the United States. Spanning from Alabama to Maine, the highest point of the Appalachians is Mount Mitchell in North Carolina. The Appalachians once served as a barrier to expansion, and have played an important role in the early history of the United States.

Appalachian Mountains

Notable subranges within the Appalachians include:

Rocky Mountains

Home to to the Continental Divide, the Rocky mountains are one of the most popular mountain ranges for outdoor recreation. In fact, the Rockies are known for their warm, rainy summer and cool, snowy winters. The Rocky mountains form the longest mountain range in North America and are the second longest range in the world. The Rockies span for 3,000 miles north-to-south from New Mexico to Montana, and into Canada. Mount Elbert is the highest point in the Rockies, but the entire range is covered in large expanses of spruce trees and pine, oak, fir, and junip forest. The Rockies are also home to some of the most popular national parks in states including Grand Teton National Park, Glacier National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Yellowstone National Park.

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Notable subranges within the Rocky Mountains:

Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada Mountains run north-to-south along the west coast of the united states. Arguably the most popular mountain range for outdoor recreation in California and Nevada, the Sierra Nevada houses iconic recreation areas like Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, and Lake Tahoe, as well as the tallest trees in the world, sequoias. The Sierra Nevada’s highest point is Mount Whitney, which also happens to be the tallest peak in the contiguous United States. At 400 miles long and 70 miles wide, this fault-block mountain range is an absolute icon of the western United States.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Notable subranges within the Sierra Nevada:

Cascade Range

Stretching clear from the U.S. to Canada, the Cascades run for 700 miles along the northwest coast of the United States. The highest point in the Cascade Range is a stratovolcano in the Ring of Fire, Mount Rainier. Several peaks in the Cascades reach above 10,000 feet in elevation, and are referred to as the High Cascades. This is a popular destination for mountaineering, climbing, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier

Other Notable Ranges in the United States:

Adirondacks: Located in northeast New York, the Adirondacks range from 1,200 feet to over 5,000 feet tall. The tallest peaks, which exceed 4,000 feet, are referred to as the High Peaks. The tallest peak in the Adirondacks is Mount Marcy.

Brooks Range: Located in far northern North America, the Brooks Range stretches for nearly 700 miles from northern Alaska into Canada’s Yukon Territory. This region is mostly uninhabited, but contains notable peaks like Mount Isto, Mount Hubley, and Mount Chamberlin.

Ozarks: The Ozarks form the largest range between the Appalachians and the Rockies, however the highest point is Buffalo Lookout, which sits at just over 2,000 feet in elevation.

Alaska Range: The Alaska range is home ot the tallest peak in the United States, Denali, and is considered to be the tallest mountain range in the states.



Hiking in the United States

Hiking is one of the best ways to see and experience the mountains in the United States. There are generally ranger stations, offices, visitor centers or online links to trails and guides in most of the major mountain ranges and outdoor destinations.

There are over 236,000 miles of hiking trails located on Federal, and State land and over 34 million people enjoy the terrain in the states each year. Incredible trails can be found from the high-peaks and dense forests of the western states to the valleys and prairies of the central U.S., and the rolling hills and dramatic coastline of the eastern states.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Tips for hiking in the states:

  • Stay on marked trails
  • Let the slowest person in your party set the pace
  • Let friends and family know where you’re going and when to expect your return
  • Create an emergency plan before you set out on your adventure
  • Take frequent breaks and enjoy the scenery
  • Bring and drink plenty of water
  • Research and plan for weather conditions
  • Wear appropriate footwear and clothing, particularly in high-altitude areas
  • Find out which animals frequent the areas you’re traveling to and prepare encounters with wildlife

American Mountaineer Accomplishments

  • Tom Hornbein: Completed the first ascent of the West Ridge of Mount Everest.
  • James Whittaker: The first American to summit Mount Everest.
  • Fred Beckey: Completed the most first ascents of any North American climber.
  • Ed Viesturs: The only American to climb all 14 of the world’s 8,000m peaks and the fifth to do so without using any supplemental oxygen.

American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club was established in 1902 as an elite adventurers club, but has since transformed into a resource for discussing environmental policy, high altitude safety, climbing innovation, expeditions, and world exploration. The American Alpine Club helps the states balance land use with preservation efforts and includes information on wilderness management, registration, huts, and roads.

St. Mary Lake

St. Mary Lake

U.S. highest points

Tetons Sunset

Grand Teton National Park

USA Ski Resorts

For skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, there are more than 500 ski resorts in the USA. They are located throughout the country, but the greatest number of areas for skiing in the USA mountains are in the west in the state of Colorado, which also brought together the largest of them. On the administrative map, the country’s other major ski states are California, New Mexico, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, New York, Vermont, and Wyoming.

However, the largest ski resort in the USA is Park City in Utah with more than 250 km (155 mi) of slopes and more than 40 ski lifts in total. It is also the main ski resort near Salt Lake City, the capital of the state.

Other 25+ major areas for skiing in the USA with more than 100 km (62 mi) of slopes and more than 10 ski lifts each include the following in descending order of size (most of them are in Colorado unless otherwise noted):

The three main ski resorts near Washington, D.C., the capital of the USA, are Liberty Mountain, Whitetail, and Roundtop with up to 10 km (6 mi) of slopes and more than several ski lifts. The main ski resort near New York, the largest city in the country, is Mountain Creek–Vernon with more than 20 km (12 mi) of slopes and more than 10 ski lifts. The main ski resort near Los Angeles, the largest US city on the west coast is Mt. Baldy, which has more than 20 km (12 mi) of slopes and more than 10 ski lifts. The nearest ski resorts to the other 8 largest cities in the USA are the following ones:

Arizona Snowbowl

Arizona Snowbowl

Check the USA ski resorts map in the World Mountain Lifts section of the site. It includes information about open ski lifts / slopes in the USA in real-time with opening dates and hours. There are also year-round cable cars, funiculars, cog railways, aerial tramways, and all other types of mountain lifts.

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