Mountains have a way of drawing you in like a magnet, whether you want to view them, walk up them, or perhaps climb them. We’ve seen some unbelievable mountains and dreamed about visiting a few. Still, it’s the 10 mountains ranges listed below that truly take the imagination to new heights— and quite literally. After virtually hiking with us, leave a comment about your own personal experiences with us, or let us know which other natural wonders we may have missed.
1) Canadian Rockies Mountains, Canada
The Canadian Rockies comprise the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains range. They are older than the American Rockies and are formed from over thrusting. They are the eastern part of the Canadian Cordillera, extending from the Interior Plains of Alberta to the Rocky Mountain Trench of British Columbia. The southern end borders Idaho and Montana of the USA. The northern end is at the Liard River in northern British Columbia. The Canadian Rockies house five national parks, out of which four of them along with other provincial parks form a combination of a single UNESCO World Heritage Site that consists of beautiful mountain landscapes, lakes, canyons, waterfalls, glaciers, peaks, limestone caves as well as fossils. Mount Robson is the highest peak of the Canadian Rockies and climbing it is considered a challenge. These beautiful mountains are a haven for hikers and walkers alike.
2) Andes Mountains, Peru
The Andes is the longest continental mountain range in the world. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about 7,000 km (4,300 mi) long, about 200 km (120 mi) to 700 km (430 mi) wide (widest between 18° south and 20° south latitude), and of an average height of about 4,000 m (13,000 ft.). The Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.
3) The Himalayas, India
The Himalayan range is home to some of the planet’s highest peaks, including the highest, Mount Everest. This spectacle of awesome dimensions …the 3000 kilometer long towering mountain range with tiers of rock, ranges upon ranges, sky scraping peaks and canyons. The Himalayas include over a hundred mountains exceeding 7,200 meters (23,600 ft.) in height. The Himalayas have profoundly shaped the cultures of South Asia. Many Himalayan peaks are sacred in both Hinduism and Buddhism. It stretches through Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan. This is where earth meets the sky!
4) Chugach Mountain Range, Alaska
The Chugach Mountains of southern Alaska are the northernmost of the several mountain ranges that make up the Pacific Coast Ranges of the western edge of North America. The highest point of the Chugach Mountains is Mount Marcus Baker, at 12,884 feet (3,927 m), but with an average elevation of 4,006 feet (1,221 m), most of its summits are not especially high. Even so its position along the Gulf of Alaska ensures more snowfall in the Chugach than anywhere else in the world; an annual average of over 1500 cm (600 in).
5) Tetons Mountains, North America
The Teton Range is a mountain range of the Rocky Mountains in North America. The Mountains are not only impressive due to their drastic rise directly from the valley floor, but also in their accessibility and the views their summits offer. The Teton Mountains are unique because they have no foothills. They are open year-round, offering skiing in the winter and hiking, backcountry adventures and mountain climbing in the summer. There is a multitude of hiking trails ranging from .5 mile to over 35 miles in length. A north-south range, it is mostly on the Wyoming side of the state’s border with Idaho, just south of Yellowstone National Park. Most of the east slope of the range is in Grand Teton National Park.
6) Southern Alps Mountains, New Zealand
Southern Alps, mountain range on South Island, New Zealand. It is the highest range in Australasia. The term “Southern Alps” generally refers to the entire range, although separate names are given to many of the smaller ranges that form part of it. Making up the loftiest portion of the mountains that extend the length of the island, the Alps extend from Haast Pass, at the head of Wanaka Lake, northeastward to Arthur’s Pass. Glaciers descend from the permanently snow-clad top of the range, and major rivers, including the Rakaia, Rangitata, and Waitaki, drain eastward across the Canterbury Plains. The Alps divide the island climatically, the forested western slopes and narrow coastal plain of Westland being much wetter than the eastern slopes and the wide Canterbury Plains.
7) The Dolomites Mountains, Italy
The Dolomites are a mountain range located in north-eastern Italy. It is a part of Southern Limestone Alps and extends from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley (Pieve di Cadore) in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley (Val Sugana). The Dolomites are nearly equally shared between the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino.
8) Japanese Alps, Japan
The Japanese Alps encompass the Hida Mountains, the Kiso Mountains and the Akaishi Mountains. These towering ranges include several peaks exceeding 3,000 m (9,843 ft.) in height, the tallest after Mount Fuji. Honshu, the main island of Japan, has a mountainous spine comprised of several ranges of peaks, notably the North, Central and South Alps. Made famous in the late 1800s by the Reverend Walter Weston, an Englishman who introduced alpine hiking into Japan. The Japan Alps, as they became known, provide endless opportunities for hiking and birding at a range of altitudes.
9) Sierra Nevada Mountains, California
The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in the Western United States, between the Central Valley of California and the Basin and Range Province. The vast majority of the range lies in the state of California, although the Carson Range spur lies primarily in Nevada. It runs 400 miles north-to-south, and is approximately 70 miles across east-to-west. Notable Sierra features include Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America; Mount Whitney at 14,505 ft., the highest point in the contiguous United States; and Yosemite Valley sculpted by glaciers out of 100-million-year-old granite. The Sierra is home to three national parks, 20 wilderness areas, and two national monuments. These areas include Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon National Parks, and Devils Postpile National Monument.
10) Tian Shan Mountains, Kyrgyzstan
Tien Shan, is a large system of mountain ranges located in Central Asia. Its name is Chinese for “Celestial Mountains.” Stretching about 1,500 miles (2,500 km) from west-southwest to east-northeast, it mainly straddles the border between China and Kyrgyzstan and bisects the ancient territory of Turkistan. The highest peak in the Tian Shan is Victory Peak, 7,439 meters (24,406 ft.). The Tian Shan is located in the border region of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of western China. It also contains some of the largest glaciers outside the Arctic poles. Compared to the likes of the Himalaya the range is also relatively unexplored – particularly by those outside the former Soviet Union block. The range is surrounded by huge arid flatlands.