10 Most Beautiful Mountains in the World

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.

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