10 Most Beautiful Mountains in the World

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Posted March 12, 2013 by Kayla Frost in Top 10

The earth is packed with spectacular mountains – some iconic, some obscure, but all beautiful in their own way. Whether you’re a photographer, geologist, mountaineer or simply a curious traveler, there’s bound to be a mountain on this list that will blow you away. From Antarctica to the Alaska, we present to you our list of the ten most beautiful mountains in the world.

1. Cerro Torre, Argentina and Chile

A dramatically steep mountain plagued by vicious storms, Cerro Torre stands tall in Patagonia on the border between Argentina and Chile. In Into Thin Air, writer and mountaineer Jon Krakauer describes ascending the peak: “I’d scaled a frightening, mile-high spike of vertical and overhanging granite called Cerro Torre; buffeted by hundred-knot winds, plastered with frangible atmospheric rime, it was once (though no longer) thought to be the world’s hardest mountain.”

2. Huayna Picchu, Peru

Macchu Picchu

Image by WildJunket

The Incas really knew what they were doing when choosing a site for their famous city, Machu Picchu. Surrounded by layers of lush mountains, Machu Picchu is a gem of humanity amidst the grandeur of nature. The most striking mountain in the region is Huayna Picchu, which watches over the ancient city. Visitors up for the challenge can climb the peak for a bird’s eye view of the ruins.

3. The Spectre, Antarctica



MugsSpectre



Photo by Edmund Stump.

Few people ever see the splendor of the 1,500-mile-long Transantarctic Mountains. Perhaps the most stunning spire in this range is The Spectre, the central summit in the Organ Pipe Peaks. Geologist Edmund Stump, who has ventured to Antarctica 13 times over 40 years, describes the peaks in his book, The Roof at the Bottom of the World: Discovering the Transantarctic Mountains: “I did not believe that any grouping of summits could be so dramatic, beautiful, and perfect.”

4. Mauna Loa, Hawaii



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Photo by Eric Miraglia.

Mauna Loa is no joke. It’s Earth’s largest volcano, which covers half of the Big Island of Hawaii and has been erupting for at least 700,000 years. Gradually rising from the ocean floor, Mauna Loa is the tenth tallest mountain in the solar system at 5.7 miles tall.

5.Matterhorn, Switzerland

Matterhorn

Image by WildJunket

The Matterhorn is an amazingly chiseled peak in the Swiss Alps. National Geographic Traveler’s “Digital Nomad” Andrew Evans describes finally seeing the Matterhorn: “For three days I saw nothing and then out of the blue sky there it was—the realest mountain I’ve ever seen, glorious and worthy of all the cheesy souvenirs and Disneyland knock-offs in the world.”

6. Denali, Alaska



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Photo by Timothy Wildey.

At 20,320 feet, Denali isn’t the world’s highest mountain (an honor belonging to Mt. Everest, of course) – but it’s the tallest mountain on land from base to summit. Neighboring mountains, which are impressive on their own, look diminutive in comparison. Denali is a beastly beauty surrounded by otherworldly wilderness, which contains glaciers, tundra, forests and 39 mammals, including grizzly bears.

7. Alpamayo, Peru



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Photo by ilfagiano.

This icy pyramid, long considered one of the most alluring mountains in the world, is nestled in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range in Peru. Because of its beauty and unique shape, Alpamayo is a popular destination for mountaineers.

8. Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Italy



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Photo by efilpera.

In the Dolomites of northeastern Italy, three massive hunks of rock burst from the earth. These incredible mountains, lined up like bowling pins, are celebrated by hikers, bikers and nature lovers.

9. Ama Dablam, Nepal – Himalayas



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Photo by Steve Hicks.

The Himalayas are packed with massive mountains, including nine of the 10 highest in the world. Ama Dablam, which is not even in the top 100 highest mountains in this range, is distinguished by its supreme beauty. Most mountains build up gradually, but Ama Dablam juts into the sky and demands attention.

10. Kirkjufell, Iceland



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Photo by Matthias Burch.

Year round, Kirkjufell is a marvel. In warm weather, it’s a luscious green and the nearby waterfall, Kirkjufellsfoss, rages. When it’s cold, the mountain glistens with snow, auroras abound, and Kirkjufellsfoss is frozen in its flow. It’s no wonder the mountain, elegant and symmetric, is one of the most photographed spots in Iceland.

Bonus Mountain:

Olympus Mons, Mars



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Photo by Nasa.

At an astounding 82,000 feet high, Olympus Mons is the tallest mountain in our solar system. Like Mauna Loa, the mountain is a shield volcano, but it’s much, much larger. According to NASA, “About 100 Mauna Loas would fit inside Olympus Mons.” A radiant reddish-orange, the volcano would be an astonishing sight to behold in person. Perhaps that day is closer than we think!

Have you been to any of these mountains? Did we miss out any other mountain?

About the Author

Kayla Frost

Kayla Frost is a writer and filmmaker wrapping up her journalism degree at Arizona State University. She interns at Arizona Highways magazine and contributes to National Geographic Intelligent Travel. Through hostels, couch surfing and wilderness, she’s laid her head in unforgettable places. And this is just the beginning.

16 Comments


  1.  

    I have seen #1 and 2 so far, but the rest are now on my list :)




  2.  
    Melissa

    Hook up with Agustina, chief outdoor adventurer at http://dolomitemountains.com/en/home.htm, for a customized tour of the jaw-dropping Dolomites in northern Italy.




  3.  

    Thanks for numbering in theses top ten Mt.




  4.  

    I have been to Machu Picchu but did not climb Huayna Picchu. Also visited Torres del Paine in Chile which should should be on this list. Love the Andes mountain range. The Himalayas are on my list next.




  5.  

    Only seen #9 so far. #4 and #8 are just so glorious! Adding them all to my endless bucket list!




  6.  
    Ólafur Björnsson

    Mt. Búlandstindur in Djúpivogur, Iceland is along with mt. Kirkjufell one of many beautifully shaped mountains in Iceland:

    http://djupivogur.is/adalvefur/?pageid=2316




  7.  
    E23

    Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda? 3rd and 4th highest peaks in Africa!




  8.  
    Libor Stein

    The picture No.4 was taken on the summit of Mauna Kea. Mauna Loa is there visible far behind. I don’t think Mauna Loa is so beautiful to be listed here. I have been on the summit of both volcanoes. If one of them is listed here it should be Mauna Kea.
    Alpamayo (No.7) is much more beautiful and more looking like pyramid from northwest. Most of people will see southeast face (on the picture) from Santa Cruz trek. I have seen almost all of them except No. 3,5 and 10.




  9.  

    for god sake where is the largest pyramid on earthk2. highest mountain of the world. http://www.mountain-images.co.uk/mountain-prints/054-k2.html

    Madison USA




  10.  
    Ali Ahmad

    Hi you forgot Pakistan’s mountains.They are some of the highest and most beautiful mountains.That’s include K2,Nanga Parbat etc




  11.  

    These are almost all beautiful, but I think a spot should be reserlved for Mount Shuksan in the North Cascades. Dramatic, uniquely shape, covered with glaciers, posing with firs and a patinue of colors in the fall, I have seen pictures of this mountain crop up in surprising places: in remote cities in China, Taiwan, on a Russian transport vessel covering an entire wall, on a wood carving at a gift shop in Glacier National Park, representing the ROCKY mountains. If Rodney Dangerfield looked like Shuksan, he’d get some respect.





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