The 10 Highest Mountains In The United States

The 10 Highest Mountains in the United States are all located in Alaska and are noted for their glacial settings and icy summits. Popular among mountain climbers and even just the casual tourist, these Mountains are beautiful landscapes for any trip. This article profiles these ten famous peaks.

Content:

  1. Mount Denali - 6190.5 m
  2. Mount Saint Elias - 5489 m
  3. Mount Foraker - 5304 m
  4. Mount Bona - 5044 m
  5. Mount Blackburn - 4996 m
  6. Mount Sanford - 4949 m
  7. Mount Fairweather - 4671 m
  8. Mount Hubbard - 4557 m
  9. Mount Bear - 4520 m
  10. Mount Hunter - 4442 m

1. Mount Denali - 6190.5 m

Mount Denali
View of Mount Denali.

Meaning “The Tall One” in the indigenous Alaskan language, Mount Denali was known as Mount McKinley in honor of the 25th President William McKinley until 2015. It is the highest mountain peak in North America with an elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level and is the most prominent peak in the Denali National Park and Preserve in south-central Alaska. The first ascent up its cliffs was in 1913 when climbers Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, and their team successfully scaled and reached the top after 50 days.

2. Mount Saint Elias - 5489 m

mount saint elias
View of Mount Saint Elias

Located inside the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, on the border of Alaska and the Canadian territory of Yukon, Mount Saint-Elias reaches an altitude of 18,009 feet. This park is the largest in size in the United States, covering an area of more than 13 million acres! Mount Saint Elias was first scaled in 1897 and today is known for its ski slopes, popular with both professional and amateur skiers.

3. Mount Foraker - 5304 m

Mount Foraker
Mount Foraker engulfed in clouds.

The 17,400-foot-high Mount Foraker is situated in the central Alaska Range and was named after former Governor of Ohio Joseph Foraker in 1899. Colloquially known as “Denali’s Wife,” the Mountain was first scaled in 1934, but today it is often passed over for attempts to climb its more famous counterpart, Denali. Protected by the Denali National Park and Preserve, Mount Foraker is also an important natural habitat for many native plants and wildlife animals.

4. Mount Bona - 5044 m

A part of the Saint Elias Mountain Chain, Mount Bona reaches 16,550 ft feet in Eastern Alaska. An important source of ice for the Russell Glacier system and the Klutlan Glacier, which extends into Canada’s Yukon, Mount Bona is almost completely covered in ice, making it a particularly difficult peak to scale. An ice-covered stratovolcano, Mount Bona is the highest volcano in the United States, though it has been dormant since 847 AD!

5. Mount Blackburn - 4996 m

Mount Blackburn
Mount Blackburn.

The highest peak in the Wrangell Mountain Range, Mount Blackburn, reaches 16,390 feet. Due to its proximity to the Gulf of Alaska, the Mountain, unfortunately, experiences some of the worst weather on the continent. Frequent storms and treacherous winter conditions make climbing Mount Blackburn a perilous challenge, and indeed less than 50 attempts to scale it have been attempted. Covered almost entirely by icefields, Mount Blackburn is the main source of Kennicott Glacier. 

6. Mount Sanford - 4949 m

Mount Sanford
Scenic view of Mount Sanford from Willow Lake.

A shield volcano in the Wrangell Volcanic Field, Mount Sanford’s elevation is 16,237 feet, but it is seldom climbed, mainly because its summit is entirely covered by ice. Near the Copper River today, Mount Sanford is a dormant volcano, with its last known eruption predicted to be nearly 12,000 years ago.

7. Mount Fairweather - 4671 m

Mount Fairweather
Mount Fairweather (left) and Mount Quincy Adams (right) from the Pacific Ocean. Image by: LucasBrown via Wikimedia Commons.

Named by Captain James Cook for the pleasant weather encountered at the time of his visit, Mount Fairweather has an altitude of 15,325 feet, and lies within Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve; a part of the Saint Elias Mountain Range, the Mountain lies on the border of Alaska and the western portion of the Canadian province of British Columbia. The first successful climb to the top of Mount Fairweather was in 1931, with the most recent in 2011.

8. Mount Hubbard - 4557 m

Right on the boundary of the Alaska and Yukon border, Mount Hubbard stands 14,951 feet tall and was named in the 1890s after the first president of the National Geographic Society, Gardiner Hubbard. Notable for its large rise above the local terrain, Mount Hubbard is just over 32 kilometers from Disenchantment Bay, while the Hubbard Glacier separates it from Mount Vancouver (the 15th highest in the United States).

9. Mount Bear - 4520 m

Just 7 kilometers west of the Alaska-Yukon border, Mount Bear’s ice peaks contribute to both the Barnard and Klutlan Glaciers; with an elevation of 14,831 feet, the Mountain is protected in the Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and is seldom climbed by mountaineers. The drop from the peak of Mount Bear to the Barnard Glacier is an incredible 10,000 feet!

10. Mount Hunter - 4442 m

Moonflower Buttress, Mount Hunter, Alaska
Moonflower Buttress, Mount Hunter, Alaska.

Approximately 13 kilometers south of Denali, Mount Hunter is also located in the Denali National Park and Preserve and is part of the Alaska Mountain Range, nobly standing at an elevation of 14,573 feet. It is considered by climbers to be among the steepest and most difficult peaks to scale, and attempts to reach the top have seen few successes. Also known by the Indigenous name Begguya, meaning “Denali’s Child”, the team of Henry Mehbohm and Fred Beckey first reached the summit in 1954. 

 The ten highest Mountains in the United States are remarkably all located within the State of Alaska, with some near the borders of Canada; these peaks are all remarkable geological attractions that create wonder and awe not just for scientists and alpinists, but for tourists of any age. Indeed when visiting Alaska, these mountain treasures are not to be missed.

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