7 Incredible Mountains to Climb in the US

Emma KellyJuly 19, 2019

The United States is a paradise when it comes to climbing. Stretching from Washington State down to California across to Utah and beyond, there is a vast amount of mountains to climb. On some of the routes, you’ll be climbing where legends have gone before you. 

Many of the mountains are accessible to the general public which is great as more people get to enjoy these beautiful peaks. However, climbing them should not be taken lightly.  The mountains can be unforgiving so it’s important not to underestimate the difficulty of these climbs. You’ll need specialized equipment and preparation for most of them, in some cases you’ll also need to acclimatize beforehand. Embarking on these expeditions with a certified and experienced guide is a great way to make sure you’re staying safe and having fun. 

With so much choice, we have to narrow it down a bit. So, we chose a few of our preferred climbs. Keep reading to learn about what we think are some incredible climbing experiences. 

1. Mount Whitney

 

As the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states (the continental US states), climbing Mount Whitney is quite the achievement. This peak sits at 4,421 meters and you can expect to gain 1,800 meters of elevation when climbing it. The incredible sights from the summit cannot be beaten and include a bird’s eye view of the Death Valley.

You can either take the Mount Whitney Trail route for hiking or the mountaineering route. Neither is to be underestimated and they both present big challenges. You’ll need a high level of fitness to climb this mountain and previous climbing or hiking experience. It’s also essential that you have the right gear like crampons and ice axes and know how to use them. 

 

One of the best climbs in the US
Reach the summit as part of a group. Photo courtesy of Sierra Mountaineering International

In brief 

  • Height: 4,421 meters
  • Location:  Bakersfield, California
  • Duration of the ascent: Three to four days 
  • Difficulty level: Intermediate 

Explore the different options for your ascent of Mount Whitney and book today. 


2. Mount Baker

 

Situated in the North Cascades of Washington near Seattle, Mount Baker is a glaciated volcano and has a lot of snow coverage. From the 3,286 meter summit, you’ll get to enjoy awesome views of the Cascade Mountain range.

Climbing this mountain requires technical mountaineering skills, but it’s not just for experts. If you are just starting on your mountaineering adventures and want to improve your skills, like ice trekking, for example, this would be a great climb for you. It also has 12 glaciers, so it’s an excellent training ground for glacial traverses that you may do in the future. 

One of the best climbs in the US
Take on epic views on the way to the summit. Photo courtesy of Miyar Adventures.

In brief 

  • Height: 3,286 meters
  • Location: Burlington, Washington
  • Duration of the ascent: Three days 
  • Difficulty level: Intermediate 

Choose your perfect Mount Baker climbing trip from a wide range of options


3. Mount Shasta

 

Mount Baker’s taller cousin, Mount Shasta is the second-highest peak in the Cascade Range at a towering 4.322 meters. You can climb Mount Shasta both in the summer and winter, though it is significantly more difficult in the winter. This is not a climb for hikers, it’s pure mountaineering and you’ll need some experience. 

 

Take some time at the summit to enjoy your achievement. Photo courtesy of SWS Mountain Guides.

There are a few different routes to reach the top of this mountain, some of these include the Casaval Ridge which is suitable for more experienced climbers and the Avalanche Gulch which is the most popular route and suitable for those with less experience. 


In brief 

  • Height: 4.322 meters
  • Location: City of Mount Shasta, California
  • Duration of the ascent: Three days 
  • Difficulty level: Intermediate to advanced depending on the route 

Find the Mount Shasta adventure you’re looking for and book today.


4. Mount Rainier

 

A striking symbol of the Pacific Northwest, Mount Rainier is the tallest mountain in the Cascades and Washington state. The summit is at 4,392 meters and reaching it is a massive feat.

The most popular route up this mountain is the Disappointment Cleaver Route and involves ice and rock climbing. The Emmons Glacier Route is another popular route but attracts fewer climbers, leading to a more remote feel. Then there is the Liberty Ridge Route which is just for experienced mountaineers. 

One of the best climbs in the US
Scale the tallest mountain in the Cascades. Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Guides.

While the Liberty Ridge Route may be the most challenging, none of the routes is a walk in the park. Expect to traverse glaciers and face exposed sections on all of the routes. Serious preparation and thorough planning are essential.


In brief

  • Height: 4,392 meters
  • Location: Olympia, Washington 
  • Duration of the ascent: Five days 
  • Difficulty level: Intermediate 

Book your Mount Ranier trip today and be one step closer to the experience of a lifetime.


5. Forbidden Peak

 

The distinctive sharp edges of the Forbidden Peak are a sight to behold. Nestled in the Cascades, this mountain has been listed as one of the 50 classic climbs of North America. It’s also one of the most difficult climbs in the Cascades. 

 

One of the best climbs in the US
Put your ice-climbing skills to good use. Photo courtesy of Mountain Madness.

The peak itself has three ridges to chose from. The west ridge tends to be the most popular route and is also pretty fun with a large hiking component and some climbing. The north and east ridges are quieter. The east is the more intermediate route and the North ridge is for mountaineers with a lot of experience.


In brief

  • Height: 2,687 meters
  • Location: Arlington, Washington
  • Duration of the ascent: 3 days 
  • Difficulty level: Beginner to  intermediate depending on the route  

Put your mountaineering skills to the test with a climb of the Forbidden peak, book today.


6. Mount Shuksan

 

One of the best climbs in the US
Get the best views of this magical mountain. Photo courtesy of Mountain Madness.

Mt. Shuksan’s rugged appearance alone has been enough to excite mountaineers the world over. It’s been photographed a lot just because of the way it looks. But, if looking at it is fun, climbing it is even better. 

The summit lies at 2,783 meters and there are a few different routes to the top, the Sulfide Route is the best for advanced beginners. It’s also the most popular route. The Fisher Chimneys route is more challenging so it might be a better choice if you’re pushing into the intermediate skill level category. This route involves traversing several glaciers. 


In brief

  • Height: 2,783 meters 
  • Location: Seattle, Washington 
  • Duration of the ascent: Three days 
  • Difficulty level: Advanced beginner to intermediate

Book your trip today and enjoy views of the mountain and views from the mountain


7. Mount Superior

 

One of the best climbs in the US
Scale one of the best mountains in the Wasatch Mountain range. Photo courtesy of Utah Mountain Adventures.

Mount Superior in the Wasatch Mountain Range in Utah is suitable for both winter and summer mountaineering experiences. It’s no easy journey to the summit at 3,393 meters, but when you’re there you’ll be treated to awesome views of the mountain range. 

The climb can be done in one day in both summer and winter. This is a fun and varied climb. There are exposed sections that you’ll need to climb with ropes and scrambling in parts. In the winter you’ll also need crampons and an ice-ax too. 


In brief

  • Height: 3,393 meters
  • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Duration of the ascent: One day 
  • Difficulty level: Intermediate

Book your one-day summertime ascent of Mount Superior in Utah.


 

So, now that you’ve learned a bit more about seven of our favorite mountains, it’s time for you to get out there and explore. The mountains are waiting for you and there’s no time like the present.

 

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