Are you hoping to get away and just have a moment’s peace? We here at Add To Bucket List understand that. Many travel experts agree that there’s something that’s undeniably peaceful about spending time out in the wilderness, exploring the many mountain ranges in the U.S. Whether you favor the rugged, snow-capped peaks of the awesome Alaska Range or the “foggy-topped” Great Smoky Mountains, there are quite a few choices.
Many mountain ranges have exceptional hiking and even more memorable scenic views. To help you in making a decision, we have come up with a few contenders. So lace up your hiking boots, fill your water bottle and prepare to venture out to see some of the most breathtaking places the United States has to offer. Here then, are 13 beautiful U.S. mountain ranges.
1. The Rocky Mountains
Also known as The Rockies, the famous Rocky Mountains span an area of 3,000 miles across North America. This major mountain range stretches from Canada to New Mexico. The front range includes the well-known Rocky Mountain National Park.
The park itself is 415 square miles in size. It features 300 miles of hiking trails. The gorgeous Grand Teton National Park is also a part of this range.
2. The Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains is actually an official subrange of the awesome Appalachian Mountains primarily located in Tennessee and North Carolina. This range was named after the famous fog that almost always hovers around the mountain peaks. This range is federally protected by the impressive Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Currently the official most-visited national park in the country, it’s visited by millions of travelers annually.
3. The Alaska Range
The Alaska Range situated in the south central region of Alaska is arguably the most remote mountain range on this list. Nevertheless, veteran visitors say that this range features some of the nation’s “most incredible peaks.” They also praise the national parks that protect this mountain range. They say Denali National Park and Preserve, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and the Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve, which encompass portions of this range, are all beautiful.
4. The Sierra Nevada
Spanning from the Great Basin to California’s Central Valley, The Sierra Nevada mountain range includes a number of mountains located in the Golden West. This mountain range is home to a trio of noteworthy national parks–Kings Canyon National Park, Sequoia National Park, and Yosemite National Park. Each park offers visitors exceptional experiences including hiking, wildlife sightings, and stellar views.
5. The Cascade Range
The Cascade Mountains are found in the western part of North America. They span the states of California, Oregon, Washington, and even the nation of Canada. This rugged range features volcanoes and stunning snow-capped mountains. The highest point is Mount Rainier which rises to an impressive elevation of 14,411 feet. Another highlight is Mount Saint Helens which erupted in 2008.
6. The Uinta Mountains
The scenic Uinta Mountains can be found mainly in the northeastern portion of the state of Utah. Here travelers will find a variety of enjoyable outdoor activities such as boating, camping, fishing, hiking, and white water rafting too. This mountain range is also the home of the popular Dinosaur National Monument, where travelers come to see historic petroglyphs and dinosaur fossils.
7. The Olympic Mountains
You’ll find the Olympic Mountains on the aptly named Olympic Peninsula in Washington. The highest peak, Mount Olympus, towers to an elevation of 7,962 feet. These mountains are mainly within the popular Olympic National Park.
Indeed, this park is in the top ten most-visited national parks in the nation. It neighbors the Twilight-famous Forks. The park is very popular with hikers.
8. The Blue Ridge Mountains
The beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains stretch across much of the eastern US, spanning from Georgia to Pennsylvania. So there are a lot of places where you can go to explore this striking mountain range. Indeed, many of the favored starting points are only a short drive from different East Coast cities One popular option is the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway drive.
9. The California Coast Ranges
These appropriately named mountains are situated along the popular California coast. More specifically, they stretch for 400 miles from Humboldt County to Del Norte. Some say they cover most of California’s “scenic parts.” The noteworthy Santa Lucia Range can be found here. Most notably, it encompasses the beautiful Big Sur region. Cruise the famous Pacific Coast Highway and see the sights.
10. The Adirondack Mountains
The attractive Adirondack Mountains are ensconced in the northeastern portion of the state of New York. They are a popular place for a weekend getaway for many New Yorkers wanting a brief respite from the hubbub of the city. The best time to visit is any time depending on your specific interests. It’s a beautiful spot all year-round.
11. The Sawtooth Range
The stunning Sawtooth Range is thus named due to its jagged peaks. Located in central Idaho, this is a range of the previously-mentioned Rocky Mountains.It’s highest peak is Thompson Peak which towers 10,751 feet into the clouds. Visit the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Here they offer several different activities including camping, kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing and more.
12. The Bighorn Mountains
The mighty Bighorn Mountains stretch across portions of Montana and Wyoming. Travel experts confirm this to be another exceptional mountain locale for travelers seeking outdoor adventures. There’s much to do in Bighorn National Forest. You can go biking, camping, fishing, hiking, and more. If you love scenery then visit picturesque Cloud Peak Wilderness.
13. The White Mountains
Part of the northern Appalachian Mountains, the White Mountains span roughly one quarter of New Hampshire and a little part of Maine as well. The White Mountains offer yet another exceptional escape for mature lovers and those interested in outdoor activities. Not only can you go camping and hiking here, you can also take in the scenery from an alpine coaster, tramway, or vintage railroad.