12 Famous Mountain Ranges

famous mountain ranges

They are described as a series of mountains or hills that are connected by high ground. Below you can find a list of famous mountain ranges.

Let’s stand in awe for these amazing feats of nature!

Famous mountain ranges in the world

1. Andes

  • Location: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
  • Highest Peak: Mount Aconcagua – 6,961 meters (22,838 feet).
  • Length / Width: 7,000 km (4,300 mi) / 500 km (310 mi)

The Andes Mountain range is located along the western edge of South America and is the world’s longest continental mountain range. It’s also the highest mountain range outside of Asia. This mountain range is considered to be the southern part of the American Cordillera, a series of mountain ranges that form the western “backbone” of the Americas.

The highest peak is located in Argentina and the range also has the highest volcano on earth, the Ojos del Salado on the Chile-Argentina border, a volcano that has a height of 6,893 meters (22,615 feet).

famous mountain ranges Andes mountain range in Peru.
Andes mountain range in Peru.

2. Himalayas

  • Location: Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.
  • Highest Peak: Mount Everest – 8,848 meters (29,029 feet).
  • Length / Width: 2,400 km (1,500 mi) / 150 to 350 km (93 to 220 mi)

The Himalayas is the highest mountain range on the planet and contains all of the world’s highest peaks. The immense chain of mountains has over 50 peaks exceeding 7,200 meters (23,600 feet) in elevation, which are all higher than the highest mountain outside of Asia.

The highest peak on earth, Mount Everest, is located on the border of Nepal and China and 10 if the 14 peaks over 8,000 meters in the world are located in the Himalayas as well. This is simply the highest place on earth!

Himalayas in Nepal
The Himalayas in Nepal.

3. Ural Mountains

  • Location: Russia, Kazakhstan.
  • Highest Peak: Mount Narodnaya – 1,895 meters (6,217 feet)
  • Length / Width: 2,500 km (1,600 mi) / 150 km (93 mi)

The Ural Mountains are commonly known simply as the “Urals” and are located on the western border of Russia. They run all the way from the Arctic Ocean to the Ural River into northwestern Kazakhstan. The Ural Mountain range forms the unofficial border between Europe and Asia.

These mountains are extremely rich in natural resources such as metal ores, coal, and precious and semi-precious stones. The highest peak of the Urals is located in Russia and it’s the highest point in European Russia outside the Caucasus mountain range.

The Ural Mountains in Russia.

4. Alps

  • Location: France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia.
  • Highest Peak: Mont Blanc – 4,808.73 meters (15,776.7 feet)
  • Length / Width: 1,200 km (750 mi) / 250 km (160 mi)

The Alps is the largest mountain range that lies entirely in Europe. It’s located within the borders of 8 countries and runs all the way from Nice in the South of France to Trieste in the north of Italy and Vienna in Austria and the entire region is commonly referred to as the “Alpine Region.”

The highest mountain in Europe, the “Mont Blanc” (which simply translates to the “White Mountain”) is located on the border of France and Italy. The mountain range has over 100 peaks that cross the 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) altitude level with arguably the most famous being the Matterhorn, located on the border of Switzerland and Italy.

The Alps in Austria.

5. Rocky Mountains

  • Location: Canada, United States.
  • Highest Peak: Mount Elbert – 4,401 meters (14,440 feet)
  • Length / Width: 3,000 km (1,900 mi) / 10 to 480 kilometres (70 to 300 mi)

The Rocky Mountains is the major mountain range in the western part of North America. The Rockies, as they are commonly referred to, stretch from the northernmost part of British Columbia in western Canada all the way to New Mexico in the Southwestern United States.

This mountain range is part of the North American Cordillera, just as the Andes is part of the South American Cordillera. The highest peak of the Rockies is located in the U.S. State of Colorado, which is where most of the highest peaks of this mountain range are located. 78 of the 100 highest peaks, including the 30 highest are located in Colorado.

The Rockies in Canada.

6. Atlas Mountains

  • Location: Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.
  • Highest Peak: Toubkal – 4,167 meters (13,671 feet)
  • Length / Width: 2,500 km (1,600 mi) / 50 to 100 km (31 to 62 mi)

The Atlas Mountains is the most prominent mountain range in northern Africa. It stretches the 3 Maghreb countries, a region in the northwest of Africa, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia and are inhabited by a population referred to as “Berbers.”

The highest mountain in the Atlas mountain range is located in Morocco and is called the Toubkal Mountain. The mountain range firms the natural border between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert.

Atlas Mountain Range in Morocco.
Atlas Mountain Range in Morocco.

7. Pyrenees

  • Location: France, Spain, Andorra.
  • Highest Peak: Aneto – 3,404 meters (11,168 feet)
  • Length / Width: 491 km (305 mi) / 6 to 80 km (3.72 to 49.7 mi)

The Pyrenees is another one of those famous mountain ranges in Europe and is located on the border of France and Spain. A small state named Andorra is located right in between the two countries and in the eastern section of the Pyrenees.

The highest peak of the Pyrenees is called the “Aneto” and is located in the Spanish state of Aragon and in the province of Huesca, the northernmost of the provinces in Aragon. With a height of 3,404 meters (11,168 feet), it is the third-highest mountain in Spain.

Pyrenees Mountain Range
Pyrenees Mountain Range. / Nicolas guionnet / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

8. Dolomites

  • Location: Italy
  • Highest Peak: Marmolada – 3,343 meters (10,968 feet)
  • Length / Width: 40 km (24.85 mi) / 12 km (7.45 mi)

The Dolomites are located in the northeastern corner of Italy and form part of the Southern Limestone Alps in the southeast of the Alps mountain range. The Dolomites are located in the Italian regions of Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, and Friuli Venezia Giulia.

This mountain range is famous for its many magnificent natural parks such as the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park and numerous others. Therefore, the Dolomites have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2009.

Dolomites mountain range
Tre Cime Natural Park / Daniele Bonaldo / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

9. Hindu Kush

  • Location: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tadjikistan.
  • Highest Peak: Tirich Mir – 7,708 meters (25,289 feet)
  • Length / Width: 800 km (500 mi) / 240 km (150 mi)

The Hindu Kush Mountain Range stretches from the center of Afghanistan all the way to northern Pakistan and right into Tajikistan. It forms the western section of the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region, which means it’s basically an extension of the Himalayas.

The highest peak of this mountain range is located in Pakistan and is the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas-Karakoram range. Historically, thHindu Kush mountain range has been significant for Buddhism and many monasteries have been located in its mountains.

Kabul with Hindu Kush in the background / Source

10. Appalachian Mountains

  • Location: Canada, United States.
  • Highest Peak: Mount Mitchell – 2,037 meters (6,684 feet)
  • Length / Width: 2,400 km (1,500 mi) / 160 to 480 km (100 to 300 mi)

The Appalachian Mountains are located in the east of North America, stretching from the island of Newfoundland in the southeast of Canada all the way to Central Alabama in the United States. It forms an important barrier for travel from east to west with numerous alternating ridgelines and valleys.

One of the most interesting facts about this mountain range is that it was formed about 480 million years ago and was at one point as high as for example the Alps or Rockies. Natural erosion has sliced a lot of the top and now the highest peak, Mount Mitchell, located in North Carolina, is just 2,037 meters (6,684 feet) high.

Appalachian mountain range.

11. Sierra Nevada

  • Location: United States
  • Highest Peak: Mount Whitney – 4,421 meters (14,505 feet)
  • Length / Width: 640 km (400 mi) / 105 km (65 mi)

The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in California, United States, and is located between the Central Valley of California and the Great Basin. This mountain range is also part of the American Cordillera that runs all along the western part of the Americas, all the way to the Andes Mountains in the south.

This mountain range is famously known for containing the largest tree in the world by volume, referred to as “General Sherman.” This tree is located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park. The highest peak of the Sierra Nevada is also the highest peak in the United States, and the mountain range is home to Lake Tahoe, the highest alpine lake in the country as well.

Sierra Nevada California

12. Canadian Rockies

  • Location: Canada, United States
  • Highest Peak: Mount Robson – 3,954 meters (12,972 feet)
  • Length / Width: 1,460 km (910 mi) / 180 km (110 mi)

The Canadian Rockies is the Canadian part of the North American Rocky Mountains. These form form the eastern part of the North American Cordillera. What’s remarkable about the Canadian Rockies is that geologically, they actually extend into the United States as they extend into the borders of the U.S. States of Idaho and Montana.

Geographically, they end at the Canada-United States border, which is the reason they are called the Canadian Rockies. This mountain range has several high peaks and much of the Canadian Rockies comprises of national parks. Collectively, these parks are protected and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Canadian Rockies

This concludes our list with famous mountain ranges that are filled with majestic mountains. Nature is pretty awesome, isn’t it?!

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