When we’re talking about impressive mountain ranges, there is no doubt that the USA should take center stage. The country has an outstandingly diverse terrain and every corner will offer something different. With steep, jagged peaks, pastoral fields, lush forests, and rugged coasts, you will never get bored exploring the vast outdoors here. If you are looking for the best mountain views, though, here’s a little inspiration for you.
Great Smoky Mountains: Atmospheric sunrises
Located in Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains are a part of the Appalachian Mountains. They are known to be some of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. Dating back about 480 million years, their impressive history is only rivaled by their impressive appearance. The lingering fog that inspired their name lends these mountains a mysterious air. However, there is plenty to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Also, it is the most visited national park in the country—besides marveling at the misty peaks. From camping and horse riding to fishing, wildlife viewing, and, naturally, hiking, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss out on Charlies Bunion for some of the best views of the mountains!
Cascade Mountains: A serene scenery
Stretching across several states, the next notable destination for mountain-lovers are the Cascade Mountains with their jagged, snowy peaks that contrast beautifully with their serene lake sceneries. The highest point of the range—the volcanic Mount Rainier located in Washington—is nothing short of breathtaking. In addition, Mount Rainier National Park has an impressive number of trails to choose from, so you can get the best views of the mountain while exploring fields full of wildflowers, sky-blue lakes surrounded by evergreens, rugged mountain paths, or even crystal clear rivers embedded in the rocky terrain. For those who are well-versed mountaineers, trying some of the climbing trails of the volcano is also an option, though it is undoubtedly a challenge!
Mount Katahdin: A unique experience
Located in Maine, Mount Katahdin may not look especially unique at first glance, but the highest point of the state is certainly one of a kind among the rest of the US mountains. This remote location will take you far away from civilization and let you experience real wilderness, which is something that is getting rarer and rarer nowadays. However, Mount Katahdin is unique in one more aspect: it is one of the first points in the country that receive sunlight in the morning. Experiencing the sunrise at this spot will thus truly be something to remember!
Bighorn Mountains: Big adventures
The next notable US mountain is a real treat for nature enthusiasts. The Bighorn Mountains, stretching into parts of Wyoming and Montana, have everything one might be looking for in a mountain trip. This part of the Rocky Mountains boasts exciting wildlife, combined with charming wildflower fields and lakes abundant in fish. The outdoor activities to choose from leave little to be desired; you can go horse riding, fishing, picnicking, mountain biking, and even skiing. Hike a couple of trails in the Bighorn National Forest and take in the serene nature!
Teton Range: Jagged peaks and cool lakes
If you don’t feel like going home just yet and are ready to explore more in the area, not too far from the previously mentioned Bighorn Mountains, also in Wyoming, you will find the Teton Range, another gem that should be on every mountain lover’s bucket list. With its highest peak, Grand Teton at 13,775 feet, it is a sight to behold. While looking at the snow-capped peaks from a distance is sure marvelous, this area is also a treat for mountaineers. However, even if you’d rather stick to safer activities, you don’t have to worry. There are plenty of hiking trails that provide a diverse range of views. Go for the Emma Matilda Lake trail for lovely views adorned by wildflowers, or check out the Taggart Lake Loop for a laid-back stroll.
Alaska Range: Impressive heights
If you want something off the beaten path and are not afraid of the cold, heading north to the Alaska Range will be an unforgettable adventure. Taking in this 400-mile mountain range at once would be quite the undertaking, so focusing on one of its most notable peaks would be a better idea. Being the single tallest mountain peak of the North American continent, Denali, or Mt. McKinley as it was formerly called, might not be the mountain that you want to attempt to climb, but the scenery of the area is certainly worth the visit. Take a wilderness tour to observe the native wildlife, or check out mountain bikes and explore the area’s trails on two wheels. More adventurous individuals can even consider conquering the rushing waters on a rafting session.
Elk Mountains: Winter sport fun
Colorado’s share of the Rocky Mountains is another notable US destination that many consider the most beautiful part of the state. The range of Elk Mountains may not be ideal for mountain climbing but it still has a lot to offer. For a challenging hike, head to Gothic Mountain, for a less strenuous walk, check out the Judd Falls trail that is perfect for families, too. You can also spend a few days at Crested Butte—a real mountain paradise with a small-town atmosphere, perfect for both relaxation and an active holiday. You can play winter sports to your heart’s content during the colder part of the year and enjoy the magnificent festivities around the holidays, too!
Lewis Range: Trails abound
Yet another section of the Rocky Mountains we must mention can be found in Montana. The Lewis Range is just one of the amazing wonders of the Glacier National Park that is a well-known destination among hikers. The national park itself boasts more than 700 miles of hiking trails, and the Lewis range has no scarcity in this aspect either. The highest point of the national park is Mount Cleveland, and it’s a must-visit spot when you’re in the area. Stay wary of the wildlife, though, and always follow the rules and cautions. The Glacier National Park is known to be home to animals like grizzly bears and Canadian lynxes, so keep that in mind.
California Coast Ranges: A scenic road trip
A rather different destination from the previous ones is the California Coast Ranges. It’s one of the most beautiful mountains in the USA. This mountain is guarding the West Coast of the country. It’s the perfect destination for those who like to combine nature exploration with road tripping. You can explore over 600 miles of the rugged coast of California. Just take on the Pacific Coast Highway route that starts from San Francisco and ends in San Diego. On the way, you can marvel at the rocky coastlines. However, be sure to take plenty of rest stops to truly take the scenery in. Don’t skip Big Sur that offers the perfect opportunity for camping. And be sure to add the Piedras Blancas State Marine Reserve to your itinerary, especially if you are an animal lover.
From time to time, we all need to get away from the world and reconnect with nature instead. So, when the time to wind down comes, consider exploring breathtaking mountain sceneries. It is better than mingling with the city crowds this time around. The US is undoubtedly a hikers’ paradise. With impressive mountain ranges on all sides, anyone visiting is truly spoiled for choice. While each mountain is unique in its own way, they have one thing in common – the breathtaking view.