Travel - Locations
By: - at July 12, 2014

Top 15 Most Beautiful Mountain Ranges Around the World and How to Enjoy Them

Top 15 Most Beautiful Mountain Ranges Around the World and How to Enjoy Them

Mountains are some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth, they evoke feelings of beauty as well as strength when you think of them standing tall against the skies and spanning for miles. Many have tried to conquer them by scaling their massive peaks, while others spend their lives exploring them. Entire communities have spent their entire lives in mountainous regions, trapping as well as skinning animals and some still do today. Mountains can be places of deep snows and harsh environments but they can also be places to build cabins and sit by the fire to enjoy the snowy weather in comfort.

They are shining examples of nature in its purest form, both fierce and yet comforting at the same time. Some are attracted to mountains for the challenge or for thrills, while others seek them out for a vacation and relaxation. One way or the other, it is mostly for a good time and fun. Here you will find the top 15 most beautiful mountain ranges to visit and things to do while you are there.


15)  Northwest Rocky Mountains of Montana
Though the whole mountain range of the Rockies is over 3,000 miles long and stretches from the upper regions of Canada to lower New Mexico, it is probably in the state of Montana that the mountains are the most beautiful. They stand tall at the western most border of the state and have snowy white caps almost all year long. Only in the summer and the hottest days of spring is there no snow to be found.

The Rockies of Montana
The Rockies of Montana

The Rockies were formed 55 to 80 million years ago during the Laramide orogeny due to several plates shifting directly underneath North America. The area was barren of human life until the end of the Ice Age when humans started to cultivate it. After explorations by some Europeans, most notably Lewis and Clark, the region became popular for mountain men after game and furs. Since then, the land has not become widely populated, and Montana is one of the least populated states. However, there are still wonderful things to do there.

Yellowstone National Park is easily one of the biggest places to visit, sitting close to the town of Livingston. You can go and explore the area either by car or on foot. The park is the home of Old Faithful, a hot water geyser, that is so accurate it's become its own tourist spot located right on the border of Montana and Wyoming. Inns and camp grounds sprinkle the area at competitive prices, so no matter where you stay it's going to be at your own personal comfort level.

Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park
Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park


14)  Matterhorn Region of Italy
In the country of Italy, the mountainous region is known by three names. Mont Cervin by the French,  Matterhorn by the Germans and Italy has their own name for it, Monte Cervin. The highest point of the region is 14,690 feet, making it one of the highest of the Alps. One of the most iconic areas of the Alps, it is a fun place to visit but deadly to climb. Since 1865, more than 500 people have died trying to scale this mountain. However, many more have survived and gone up the rocky surface to see the top.

Matterhorn
Matterhorn Mountain Range

Many have taken the history as fascinating and a challenge, they visit every year. These days there is the Matterhorn Museum to visit, which describes the history from its formation to those who have climbed it. There are also many railroads and cable cars so that you can get around more easily. Resorts like the Sunnegga Ski Resort or Gorner Ridge, both of which are in the town of Zermatt, are open year round and make it the perfect place to visit no matter what month it is.

Sunnegga Ski Resort
The Sunnegga Ski Resort
Courtesy of www.myswitzerland.com


13)  Ko'olau Mountains of Hawaii
There is much more than just surfing and the beach to Hawaii, one of the alternative spots to visit is the Ko'olau Mountain Range. Oddly enough, despite its name and the fact that it's widely considered a range, it is actually only just one mountain. In prehistoric times, the range was a single volcano that erupted several time and grew for almost a million years. Sometime after it became dormant, erosion from the sea claimed most of it and caused it to fall into the ocean. The remaining large rock formation reaches up to 3,100 feet high and is affectionately referred to as “windward” in the native tongue.

Ko'olau Mountains
The Ko'olau Mountains

One of the most interesting places to visit is the Ko'olau Golf Course, it's unique from several of Hawaii's normal locations with its lack of an ocean view and rustic feel. The course is considered hard but a good challenge and harnesses the feeling of golfing in a jungle. It's clearly unorthodox in comparison to the rest of the state and for its one of a kind feel is a must see.

Ko'olau Golf Course
Ko'olau Golf Course is found in Hawaii.
Courtesy of www.koolaugolfclub.com


12)  Tetons of Wyoming
The Tetons of Wyoming rest North of Montana, the range is part of the whole that makes the Rocky Mountains stretch over two states. Its formation 6 to 9 million years ago makes it relatively young in comparison to others and has left it with a striking view on many sides.

The Tentons of Wyoming
The Tentons of Wyoming

Due to its beautiful location, it has been used as the setting for many mountain, cowboy movies and television shows over the years. Some of these include a movie by the famous John Wayne, The Big Trail. Interestingly enough, this was also his debut film.

It has its own national park called the Grand Teton National Park, the location offers camping and vacation packages as well as tickets for short visits along with several activities. There you can hike, go rafting, camp and go fishing. Just outside the park are several villas for shopping and inns, just in case you are not the camping type or want a more homey places to visit. Several stores carry hand made crafts and items made right in the state.

Grand Tenton National Park
Grand Tenton National Park


11)  Lizard Range of British Columbia, Canada
With such an odd name, it certainly grabs your attention and it's a fun experience. It's one of the smaller mountain ranges on the list and has little striking history to it. However, it is in the present that these mountains are really amazing.

View of Lizard Range Mountains from Fernie, British Colombia in Canada
View of Lzard Range
By waferboard, via Wikimedia Commons

This range hosts the Fernie Alpine Resort, it's original name was once Fernie Snow Valley before it was sold to a Canadian resort company in 1977. The resort has skiing and snowboarding all year round because of the cold weather. It offers unique powder snow for easy skiing in addition to the other fun activities it has to offer. The Fernie Alpine Resort is ranked in the top ten of ski resorts in Canada with almost a dozen lifts all over the mountain to save time for its guests who wish to fully enjoy the snowy location.

Another nice location is the Lizard Creek Lodge in Fernie, British Columbia. Many rooms come with small kitchens and spacey living rooms, endowing them with the feel of an apartment. The design is specific for long stays, either a week or longer, though prices are not constant and will depend on when you visit.


10)  Dolomites of Italy
The range of the Dolomites was first made famous in the time of World War One, at the time the line ran between the Italian and the Austro-Hungarian forces. This line went all along and through the Dolomites, creating such a rich history that several museums were erected celebrating the battles. Most of these can be found at the location of Five Towers or Cinque Torri.

Dolomites of Italy
Dolomites of Italy

Many trails that were made during the war are now walking trails that visitors can enjoy at their leisure, some of these places to visit can take weeks to walk and have several huts along the way that hikers can spend the night in before starting again in the morning. During the winter months there are the classics of skiing and other snow sports. In the summer when there is warm weather, there are attractions, like:  hang gliding, boating and bike riding. Resorts are open all year round for people who are less into exploring the wild areas and enjoy the idea of relaxing in comfort much more. Two such top ranked resorts are the Hotel Lorenzetti and the Hotel Spinale in Madonna di Campiglio.

Madonna di Campiglio
Madonna Di Campiglio
By Luca Capuccini, via Wikimedia Commons


9)  Great Dividing Range of Australia
The Great Dividing Range is Australia's largest mountain range and the third longest land-based range in the world, separating the Eastern coast from the inland. It stretches from the northeastern tip of Queensland, running along the eastern coastline through New South Wales and into Victoria before fading into the central plain at the Grampians, eastern Victoria. Prior to the European settlement in 1788 the ranges were home to the Australian Aboriginal tribes, some decorated caves and trails left by them still exist today.

The Great Dividing Range of Australia
Great Dividing Range of Australia
By Fir0002,via Wikimedia Commons

A popular town in the region is the area of Bright, which is not exactly a town but a large range of land that offers many cottages and small apartments to stay at. It‘s a peaceful atmosphere that can help you avoid being trapped in a cramped hotel for days, many of the small houses for rent offer weekend or week-long packages for prices as low as a few hundred dollars. There are also many festivals in the Bright area but the specialization is cycling. There are several races that take place in the area over different months and they are so popular, many of them have grown into full fledged festivals.


8)  Canadian Rockies of Banff, Canada
In the northern country of Canada, the Rockies are comprised of the Canadian region of Banff. The Canadian Pacific railway, completed in 1855, runs through it for the transportation of goods and for commerce. There are five national parks within the area of the Canadian Rockies and four of them are locked together by borders. The four parks that are interlocked are Banff, Yoho, Kootenay and Jasper. The final and fifth park, Waterton, is located away from them to the south. The four previously mentioned together make the Canadian Rocky Mountain Park World Heritage site, a nice place to visit.

Canadian Rockies of Banff
Canadian Rockies in Banff.

There are over 100 hotels in the area and some are specialized for certain needs. The Georgetown Inn in Canmore is specifically for couples and rated the number one romantic getaway of the area. Paradise Lodge on Lake Louise is more for full families with large rooms and fully stocked kitchens. More than just the large hotel, there are also several cabins to rent if you desire space and privacy.

Georgetown Inn, Canada
Georgetown Inn, Canada
Courtesy of www.booked.net


7)  Sierra Nevada of California
Running 400 miles north to the west and over 70 miles wide, the Sierra Nevada range is not the largest in the world or even the country. However, it does have the tallest peak in the United States at 14,505 feet.

Sierra Nevada in California
Sierra Nevada in California

Today, the area has three national parks: Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Caynon. There are also 20 wilderness areas and two national monuments, one of which is the Devil’s Postpile National Monument. With about ten towns in the region, there are several places to stop and relax for the night while sightseeing. Many of the towns are worth exploring with out of the way museums and art galleries that are gems to run across.

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park

One of the cities that is great for a visit is Reno, gambling is legal there and it provides fun that is more than just snowboarding or ski resorts. There is also an active nightlife in the downtown district to keep things fresh and energetic for you.


6)  Andes of Peru
The Andes is recorded at being the longest mountain range in the entire world at 4,300 miles long and 120 miles wide, its peaks have an average height of about 13,000 feet. Besides being the longest, it is almost the tallest as well. It is beaten only by the ranges of Asia in height and has over 50 volcanoes spread throughout the region.

The Andes of Peru and the Ancient Incan City of Machu Picchu
The Andes

Due to the area being so large, it is no surprise that is has so many different things going for it. Hiking trails are spread all over and there are many cities as well as buildings to be explored that belonged to the Incas years ago. Aside from just random buildings and abandoned cities  is the Inca Temple of the Sun, known as Qoricancha-Templo del Sol found in the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu. This historic landmark was made by the Inca people who had the desire to study the sky.

For an area that is still active, the Plaza de Armes is great to visit. Originally built by the Incas, it is now a bustling shopping center in Cuzco. If you want history mixed with local flavor, it’s a great place to go for a souvenir or two.


5)  Japanese Alps of Japan
The Alps of Japan are actually several different mountain ranges that were first named by William Gowland, an archeologist who was famous for his finding in Japan. The area comprises of the Hida Mountains, Akaishi Mountains and the Kiso Mountains. Aside from just tourism, it is a place to visit and travel to for those on pilgrimages. People on a spiritual journey go to the highest peaks for enlightenment and good health, one of the common destinations is Mount Ontake.

Japanese Alps
Japanese Alps

The Chubu Sangaku National Park is a well known tourist spot that offers transportation between locations for ease of travel. Around the base of the Alps, there are seven different cities that all have different sight seeing spots including forests, castles, ski resorts and local commerce.

Many festivals take place over the year for different holidays and seasons, giving any visitor plenty of activities as well as nice shows to enjoy no matter when they come by to visit.


4)  Chugach Mountains of Alaska
The Chugach Mountains of southern Alaska are the most northern set of the several mountain ranges that make up the Pacific Coast Ranges of the western edge of North America. Its length of 250 miles reaches from east to west, extending from the Knik and Turngain Arms of the Cook Inlet on the west to Bering to the Tana Glacier along to the Tana River on the east.

Chugach Mountains
Chugach Mountain Range

The highest point of the Chugach Mountain is Mount Marcus Baker at 12,884 feet, residing along the Gulf of Alaska ensures an annual average of over 600 inches of snowfall.

The name Chugach is from an Eskimo tribal name recorded by Russian explorers, which wrote them as Chugatz and Tchougatskoi until Captain William R. Abercrombie of the United States Army spelled the name Chugatch in 1898 and applied it to the range.

The mountains are protected in the Chugach State Park and the Chugach National Forest. They are known for their popularity when it comes to outdoor activities, like the World Extreme Skiing Championship that is annually held in Chugach Mountains near Valdez.


3)  Himalayas of India and Asia
With a name that means “dwelling in snow” or “abode of the snow” it's certainly obvious what to expect in this place to visit. A cold and snowy location, it is famous for the highest peak in the world, Mt. Everest. The whole range started its development over 70 million years ago when a plate started to move at only 15 cm per year. Thrusting up into the mountain range that we know today at the Himilayas, the rocky formation continues to grow at a pace that is actually very fast for mountains. They rise about 5 mm per year and while this does not seem like very much, it means many people can actually watch the still active mountains develop. As one of the still active ranges, this is an interesting development to be able to observe as the years pass.

Himalayas of India and Asia
Himalayas.

There are several ways to experience the range, either by free exploring or by taking guided tours that are offered all year long. Going through lush jungles, wide rivers and amazing cliffs provides adventure to any that might want to find it. It is easily a land of beauty that you can get lost in, you might find yourself happy if you do.


2)  Tian Shan of Kyrgyzstan
This region has many different names by the locals, all with several meanings. It is alternatively spelled Tien Shan and commonly called Heavenly Mountains or Empyrean God. The surroundings are quite large and striking, truly deserving the names that they have earned over the years. With a majestic beauty unlike any other, the area offers a calm and serene atmosphere. It's a perfect place for people who wish to get away from everyday life and relax. There are also many legends surrounding the heavenly mountains, including the tale of immortality-granting peaches. One of the common attractions is the legends themselves, seeing them told and performed in the area’s many theaters. The festivals in the capital Bishtek are especially popular and there are several almost every month. Several renditions of legends are done annually, including legends about the origins of Santa Claus in December.

The Tian Shan
The Tian Shan
By Chen Zhao, via Wikimedia Commons


1)  Southern Alps of New Zealand
These mountains were named by Captain James Cook in 1770, the range covers almost all the way along New Zealand's south island even though it's not the tallest or longest range in the world. Its development has continued up to today from the past 45 million years and in the last five years the growth has been the fastest for the region.

The Southern New Zealand Alps
The Southern New Zealand Alps
By Jason Hopwood, via Wikimedia Commons

The area is widely protected and almost inaccessible for the purpose of preservation. However, it is still a wonderful place to visit because of its beauty and activities. In Queenstown, many hot air balloon tours are given to see the mountains and not disturb them. There is also a growing tour made after the world hit movies, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which shows the locations where shooting took place.


Final Words
Each of the mountains mentioned here is truly a glorious sight to behold and a wonderful place to visit. With so many ranges that span around the world, anyone would be hard pressed to find a more comforting place to stay. Like a mother that wraps you up in her arms on a cold day then shares a hot cup of cocoa with you, the resorts of the areas are all very warm and inviting. Beautiful lands await you to come and see them, holding natural delights that need to be seen in order to be believed. Animals of all types and various interesting plants are there to be captured by your camera, in order to help you create memories that will last you for the rest of your life.

Challenges await those that would wish to conquer these snowy rocks, climbing up the rough surface in order to prove your physical fitness and sheer tenaciousness. Prove that you can climb the peak of your life at any time by visiting the mountains and going all the way to the top. There surely isn't a better feeling than when you reach the very top and breathe in the fresh cold air. Let it fill your lungs as you look out at the land stretching below and know that you reached that special place under your very own power. If there is a more empowering feeling than that in the world, people have yet to discover it.

Find the mountains that are just right for you and go see them. Visit as a hardcore visitor or a casual tourist in the mood to relax and lay back, there is surely a perfect place for you to visit at one of these ranges.



 

 

 

 

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