The 7 Highest Summits in the United States +1

Nature lovers are a diverse lot. Some enjoy the laidback setting of calm forests, and others venture into humid jungles or sand dunes. Others want the thrill of hiking or climbing a mountain. Whether for casual viewing from the base or the excitement of reaching a summit few humans have seen up close, here are the tallest mountains in the United States. If we talked only about the top 8 mountains, all would be in Alaska. Therefore, we are giving an honorable mention to one in the contiguous 48 States.

  • Mount Denali, Alaska

    Mount Denali, Alaska

    The tallest mountain in the United States used to be known as Mt. McKinley, after the 25th President of the United States. In 2015, it was renamed Mt. Denali, after an Alaskan indigenous language for the word for “Tall One.” An appropriate name, considering that it is the highest mountain peak in North America. Coming in at 20,310 ft above sea level in the Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska, the peak towers over the surrounding landscape.

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  • Mount Saint Elias, Alaska

    Mount Saint Elias, Alaska

    Mt. Saint Elias sits at the border of Alaska and Yukon, Canada’s westernmost province in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. The peak of Mt. Saint Elias rises to 18,009 ft above sea level. The park itself spans 13.2 million acres, which is the largest national park in the United States. First summited in 1897, on several occasions extreme skiers have taken on the mountain, and the first ski descent was in 2000.

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  • Mount Foraker, Alaska

    Mount Foraker, Alaska

    Also in Denali National Park is Mt. Foraker, known in the local Koyukon language as Menlale, meaning “Denali’s Wife” in reference to the nearby Mt. Denali. Though smaller than its counterpart, Mt. Foraker still comes in at 17,400 ft above sea level - the second-highest peak in the Alaska Range.

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  • Mount Bona, Alaska

    Mount Bona, Alaska

    Mt. Bona is in the Saint Elias Mountain Chain. While it does not reach the heights of its nearby neighbor Mt. Saint Elias, the 16,550 ft massif lifts into the sky covered in ice. Mount Bona is the highest volcano in the United States, a stratovolcano, and the fourth highest in North America.

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  • Mount Blackburn, Alaska

    Mount Blackburn, Alaska

    As the highest peak in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska, dramatic Mt. Blackburn also comes in as the second-highest volcano in the United States (a shield volcano) behind Mount Bona. The 16,390 ft height has presented a challenging climb due to the icefields that cover it, and frequent and ferocious storms continually assault the small number of attempts to climb to the peak each year.

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  • Mount Sanford, Alaska

    Mount Sanford, Alaska

    Mount Sanford is also a shield volcano in the Wrangell Volcanic Field. In fact, it is the third-highest volcano in the United States. The mountain connects to the Sanford Glacier, which rises sharply, giving it one of the steepest gradients in North America. The elevation is 16,237 ft above sea level.

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  • Mount Hubbard

    Mount Hubbard

    Another mountain in the Saint Elias Range, as well as in both the US and Canada, Mt. Hubbard sits at the Alaska-Yukon border. At 14,951 ft above sea level, the mountain was named by the local indigenous people “Moose Tooth.” The eighth-highest peak in the United States, Mount Hubbard is the twelfth-highest peak in Canada.

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  • Mount Whitney

    Mount Whitney

    California’s Mt. Whitney, in the Sequoia National Park and Inyo National Forest, is the tallest mountain in the “lower 48” states. There are both technical climbs and hiking trails on Whitney and a permit program is in place to prevent overuse. The most popular route to climb Mt. Whitney is a 10.7-mile trail from Whitney Portal. Ice axes and crampons are needed in spring, but technical climbing equipment is not usually necessary during summer. The elevation at the summit is 14,494 feet.

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