With a country this big, it’s no surprise you can find many beautiful mountains in the United States.
Some of the most beautiful cities in the US can attribute their vanity to these towering rocks keeping them safe. But, with nearly 100 mountains for your viewing pleasure, which ones are worth your time and money?
Find out the 25 most breathtaking peaks and mountain ranges the Land of the Free has to offer below.
25 Beautiful Mountains in the United States
Table of Contents
- 25 Beautiful Mountains in the United States
- 1. Mount Moran, Wyoming
- 2. Mount Rainier, Washington
- 3. Mt Hood, Oregon
- 4. Maroon Bells, Colorado
- 5. Mauna Kea, Hawaii
- 6. Kenai Mountains, Alaska
- 7. Uinta Mountains, Utah
- 8. Blue Ridge Mountains
- 9. Mount Saint Elias, Alaska
- 10. El Capitán, California
- 11. Denali, Alaska
- 12. Sierra Nevada Mountains, California & Nevada
- 13. Half Dome, California
- 14. Mount Mitchell, North Carolina
- 15. Adirondack Mountains, New York
- 16. The Cascade Range, Washington
- 17. Mount Whitney, California
- 18. Mount Shasta, California
- 19. Pikes Peak, Colorado
- 20. Wasatch Mountains, Utah
- 21. Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina and Tennessee
- 22. Olympic Mountains, Washington
- 23. White Mountains, New Hampshire
- 24. The Sawtooth Range, Idaho
- 25. Bighorn Mountain, Wyoming
- Beautiful Mountains in the United States Frequently Asked Questions
- Where can I go to see beautiful mountain scenery in the United States?
- What are some popular activities to do in the mountains in the United States?
- Is it necessary to have special equipment or training to enjoy the mountains in the United States?
- Beautiful Mountains in the United States | Final Thoughts
Whether you’re looking for something in the central states, Hawaii, or Alaska, there is a mountaintop with your name written on it.
1. Mount Moran, Wyoming
You can find these spiky peaks at Grand Teton National Park in the northwestern state of Wyoming. The park is an outdoor lover’s dream, with glacial lakes, diverse wildlife, lush green plains, and, of course, the pièce de résistance, the eight-peak Mt Moran.
The mountain is about 13,770 feet high and offers amazing scenes no matter the season. In winter, the peaks are coated in a thick blanket of snow that trickles down to offer great snow sports terrains.
In the warmer months, you’re more likely to see the park come alive when the wildlife and blooms come and say hi.
Photo by Terence Burke on Unsplash
2. Mount Rainier, Washington
Mount Rainier in Washington State is one of the more well-known mountains in the states due to its incredible views, glacial landscapes, and active volcano.
The mountain is about 14,410 feet high and is the highest volcanic peak in the US. Mount Rainier park has the most extensive alpine and glacial volcanic system outside of Alaska. There are plenty of hiking, biking, and scenic drive routes to give great viewing points of the gigantic peaks while you’re there.
Photo by Joshua Peacock on Unsplash
3. Mt Hood, Oregon
Mount Hood in Oregon is definitely up there as one of the most beautiful mountains in the United States. It stands at 11,249 feet and borders the Hood River and Clackamas counties.
The mountain top is a stratovolcano that you can see from Mt. Hood National Forest. The green forest offers excellent hiking trails, campgrounds, and fishing spots.
Mount Hood Meadows is a ski resort not too far from the mountain which offers almost year-round skiing and snowshoe terrains.
Photo by NOAA on Unsplash
4. Maroon Bells, Colorado
Colorado is home to one of the most beautiful lakes in the US — the Maroon Lake. Sitting perfectly in the background, you’ll find the peaks of Maroon Bells.
As you can imagine, the jagged peaks got their names from their dark crimson color and bell-shaped forms. The lake and mountains are surrounded by leafy alpine trees and vibrant wildflowers.
It is a great place to digital detox for a few days, as there are plenty of scenic hiking routes, boating activities in the lake, and campgrounds for a night under the stars.
Photo by David Rupert on Unsplash
5. Mauna Kea, Hawaii
Moving away from the central US and more toward the sea, you’ll find the 13,796 feet tall dormant volcano of Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
The sacred history of Mauna Kea runs deep as it is the place of gods, goddesses, and the last resting place of many native Hawaiians. Today, it is used for astronomical observations by scientists from over 11 counties.
While guests aren’t allowed to use the telescopes, you’ll still get unbelievable panoramic night sky views once up there.
Image by Adrian Malec from Pixabay
6. Kenai Mountains, Alaska
The Kenai Mountains in Homer, Alaska, is a mountain range in the Kenai Peninsula. It has an elevation of 4,280 feet, and its highest point stands at 6,612 feet.
This area has many glacier-carved lakes and hiking trails that give excellent views of the peaks — especially when they’re topped with snow. However, both the mountains and the fjords bring crowds. You can occasionally see a few whales, dolphins, and sea lions in the waters of the fjords.
Photo by Jerad Hill on Unsplash
7. Uinta Mountains, Utah
This chain of mountains stretches from Utah to Wyoming. They are the highest mountains in Utah, with King’s Peak, the highest peak, reaching 13,528 feet.
The area is popular with backpackers, horse packers, and hikers. Don’t be surprised if you see a few ATV or 4×4 tracks here, either. In winter, the snow-covered 600 million-year-old pre-Cambrian rocks make excellent slopes for skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
Photo by Caleb Jack on Unsplash
8. Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains feature in some of the most beautiful towns in America. That’s right — towns plural. This mountain range stretches across Maryland, Tennessee, South Carolina, and more.
These rocks are over a billion years old, making them some of the oldest peaks in the world. You can explore the area’s natural history by walking along the hiking trails and waterfalls.
Or, if you’re only here for a limited amount of time, the scenic drive is just as good, with a few roadside waterfalls partially in view.
Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash
9. Mount Saint Elias, Alaska
Mount St. Elias looms over Alaska and Canada and is the second-highest mountain in both at over 18,008 feet high.
The mountain can definitely be considered a hidden gem, as most people won’t ever see it. You can only reach certain areas by bush plane or boat. I’d leave the summit to the experts as the mountain has the nickname ‘Man Eater’.
For now, we can appreciate the beauty of the mountain from a distance instead.
10. El Capitán, California
This mountain in Yosemite National Park stands 3,600 feet tall and overlooks the national park proudly.
What sets these mountains apart are their nearly vertical monoliths that are sometimes featured in films. If you’re a rock climber, you’ll enjoy these cliffs instead of the 10 – 15 hour hiking trails.
The mountain is fabled to be the home of a few mountain goats. Look out for a few on your visit.
11. Denali, Alaska
Denali is part of the Alaskan Range of mountains in Denali National Park and Preserve. Not only that, but one of its peaks, Mount McKinley, is the highest mountain in North America.
The region is home to the native Koyukon people, who gave the mountain’s name (the tall one) in their original Koyukon Athabaskan language.
You can visit the 20,310 feet high peak for epic off-roading, hiking, and river rafting. It is also a popular mountain to prepare for climbing Mount Everest.
Photo by sterlinglanier Lanier on Unsplash
12. Sierra Nevada Mountains, California & Nevada
Not to be mistaken with the Sierra Nevada Mountain in Spain, the majority of this mountain range is in California. A small section of the Carson Range spur lies in Nevada.
One of the best ways to explore the mountain range is to take a scenic drive on one of the 22 mountain pass roads. You’ll get to see all kinds of amazing natural vistas.
Note: The mountain pass roads are usually closed during winter or heavy snow months.
Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay
13. Half Dome, California
This granite half-dome, which stands at an elevation of 8,846 feet, is in Yosemite National Park. It is part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, with its highest peak reaching 8,838 feet. It is quite a strenuous hike as it takes about 10 – 12 hours to complete the out-and-back hike.
It is also a popular rock climbing site. If you plan to explore it this way, you’ll need to get a Wilderness Climbing Permit and carve out one to two days to complete it.
14. Mount Mitchell, North Carolina
Mount Mitchell is the highest Appalachian Mountain peak at 6,684 feet. You can hike this amazing peak at Mount Mitchell State Park nearby Asheville.
It is a wonderful place to go camping, picnicking, or birdwatching for a quick break away. Depending on the season, there is also a restaurant, concession stand, and lounge for guests to recharge. The exhibits explaining more about the park and mountain are open all year round.
Photo by Airam Dato-on on Unsplash
15. Adirondack Mountains, New York
Most people visit the state of New York for the city. But if you need a tranquillity break, the Adirondack Mountains are just what the doctor ordered.
These mountains have beautiful clear lakes perfect for boating, hiking and snowmobile trails, and 14 waterfalls to explore. It’s also close to many towns and villages that offer a lot of indoor activities.
In winter, the area comes alive with an international festival and carnival that features tasty foods and winter games in the nearby towns.
Photo by Gary Yost on Unsplash
16. The Cascade Range, Washington
The Cascade Range is a beautiful group of mountains in California, Oregon, Washington, and Canada.
The mountain range includes the spear-shaped North Cascades and the volcanic High Cascades that form part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. You can hike the mountains from the beautiful North Cascades National Park for a peaceful view of the mountain ranges.
Don’t forget to bring along your leashed pet for a good ol’ bonding time in nature.
Photo by Gavin on Unsplash
17. Mount Whitney, California
Mount Whitney is about 14,505 feet high and overlooks sunny California. It is the highest part of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.
If you decide to hike all the way up, expect the trip to take 7 to 8 hours if you’re a moderate hiker. I wouldn’t recommend this hike to beginners as it does get strenuous. However, if you do complete it, it is one of the most rewarding challenges you can do.
Photo by Nico on Unsplash
18. Mount Shasta, California
Yet another volcano on this list. Mount Shasta is in Siskiyou county and is considered the ‘home of the Creator’ and a sacred site, according to the local Native American tribes.
Thankfully you can still visit it (while being respectful), as there are many lakes, hiking trails, waterfalls, and springs to explore. Visit McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park for a quiet day and explore the hot spring-fed waterfall Theodore Roosevelt called the world’s eighth wonder.
Note: if you plan on climbing the mountain, be very careful as some spots can be tricky, even for expert hikers and especially in bad weather.
Photo by Marco Bicca on Unsplash
19. Pikes Peak, Colorado
This mountain is best explored by car on the Pikes Peak Highway. That way, you get the best views down the winding roads alongside the giant peaks.
The mountain stands in the Pikes Peak National Forest at 14,115 feet high. Because it is so close to Colorado Springs, there are many things to do around the area besides hiking or biking to the mountain’s top.
Enjoy animal spotting, fishing, and a lesson from a ranger about the park and mountain’s history and geological makeup.
Photo by Jeff Brown on Unsplash
20. Wasatch Mountains, Utah
Wasatch mountain is responsible for many Utahns’ outdoor fun. If they’re not mountain biking or hiking, they’re skiing down the side of it.
The Wasatch mountains offer beautiful views no matter where you are in Northern Utah. But for winter fun, go to Park City or Salt Lake City for the best ski resorts and views.
Photo by Brandon Green on Unsplash
21. Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina and Tennessee
Do you know why this mountain range is called the Smoky Mountains? It’s because that’s how it looks. These mountains often have a foggy haze thanks to the water and hydrocarbons from the trees, creating breathtaking views when the sun sets or rises.
You can see this haze from the hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But that’s not the only thing to see while you’re here. The park is full of wildflowers, wildlife, and Cades Cove, where drivers can go for some wildlife spotting.
Photo by Chris Ried on Unsplash
22. Olympic Mountains, Washington
The Olympic Mountains of Washington stand at 7,980 feet high, with the Pacific Ocean swaying just below. This mountaintop is covered in valleys with lush trees and in thick snow in other parts.
If you’re looking for a great time alone in nature, this mountain is the place to be. Many visitors choose to stay in the coastal and rainforest area. The national park also offers a bit more to do besides hiking the mountain, like whale watching, stargazing, and camping.
So, prepare to explore different parts of the park like the Olympic hot springs that look at the mountain from every angle.
Photo by Beau Horyza on Unsplash
23. White Mountains, New Hampshire
The White Mountains have one of the most dazzling and clear lakes in the USA — Lake Winnipesaukee. So it is here that you can make your outdoor dreams come to life.
The best time to visit this 6,288-foot high peak is spring or mid-fall. This avoids the sticky heat of the summer but still allows you ample daylight to hike and explore the captivating outdoors.
Spend your time here hiking, fishing, kayaking, or taking amazing shots of the changing leaves in autumn.
Photo by Katie Constantine on Unsplash
24. The Sawtooth Range, Idaho
The Sawtooth Range is part of the Rocky Mountains of Idaho. The name is quite fitting when you look at the row of sharp jagged peaks protruding from the mountaintop.
While it may look dangerous, these peaks offer unique hiking options with varying difficulties that even beginners can try. You’ll see a few babbling creeks, dark blue lakes, and miles of green landscapes and trees along your walk.
There are nearly 400 alpine lakes along this mountain range, each offering a different view and activity. Why not bring your camping gear and make a short trip of it?
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash
25. Bighorn Mountain, Wyoming
The state of Wyoming has many fantastic mountains to scour, and Bighorn is one of them. You can get a good look at these cliffs in the Bighorn National Forest in Sheridan, WY.
The park has all kinds of outdoor fun, from horseback riding to fishing and sledding among the different greenery. Here you’ll find meadows, forests, desert lands, and waterfalls all coexisting harmoniously.
The mountain overlooks it all at 13,167 feet which you can reach either by hiking or by taking the horseback riding trail over a few days.
Photo by Perry Merrity II on Unsplash
Beautiful Mountains in the United States Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I go to see beautiful mountain scenery in the United States?
There are many beautiful mountain ranges in the United States, and you can see breathtaking mountain scenery in many different parts of the country. Some popular destinations for mountain scenery include the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, the Sierra Nevada in California, the Appalachian Mountains in the East, and the Cascades in the Pacific Northwest.
What are some popular activities to do in the mountains in the United States?
Some popular activities to do in the mountains in the United States include hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding, and camping.
Is it necessary to have special equipment or training to enjoy the mountains in the United States?
Depending on the activity you are planning to do, you may need special equipment or training. For example, if you are planning to go rock climbing, you will need climbing gear and it is recommended to have some climbing experience or take a lesson. Similarly, if you are planning to go skiing or snowboarding, you will need the appropriate equipment and it is recommended to take a lesson if you are a beginner. However, for activities such as hiking, you may not need any special equipment or training, although it is always a good idea to be properly prepared and equipped for any outdoor activity.
Beautiful Mountains in the United States | Final Thoughts
As you can see, the United States has no shortage of natural beauty, from rivers and lakes to captivating mountains. Each mountain top has a unique character with great exploration activities regardless of the season.
Now you wouldn’t want to miss these fantastic places on your next road trip along all of the US states, would you?