Are you looking to spice up your vacation plans this summer? Why not try your hand at mountaineering! Luckily, you don't even have to leave the country to find rewarding and challenging peaks. Here are some of the best mountains in America to climb during the summer.
Standing at an impressive 14,505 feet tall, Mount Whitney has the tallest peak in the continental United States of America. As such, summiting this legendary mountain is a priority for many climbing enthusiasts. Located in California, you'll discover breathtaking, near bird's eye views of Death Valley.
Summer is your best bet for concurring this feat as the weather is just right and doesn't require gear such as heavy jackets. Plus, you can opt for a less difficult hike through the Mount Whitney Trail if the mountaineering route proves too formidable. Regardless of the path you choose, ensure you are in great physical health before attempting to climb. Climbs typically take three to four days.
Utah is another state known for its national parks and outdoor adventures, and Mount Superior is a must-visit destination. Located in the Wasatch Mountain Range, the 11,132-foot peak offers some of the most spectacular views in the entire American Southwest.
Most people tackle the South Ridge section of Superior, which is surprisingly straightforward in the summer. However, this area is very technical and requires some experience and adequate mountaineering equipment. The effort is worth it, as you can steal unforgettable views of Big Cottonwood Canyon and Mill Creek Canyon. Climbs typically take one day.
Mount Shasta is a part of the Cascade Range and is located in California. There are no hiking trails on Mount Shasta, making it the ultimate mountaineering destination. Summer is the best time to attempt a climb, as the weather conditions can get nasty come winter.
The peak stands at 14,179 feet, and you have three options for summiting—Clear Creek route (novice), Avalanche Gulch (intermediate), and Casaval Ridge (expert). Popularity has risen in the past few decades, and Mount Shasta City is now flush with luxury resorts and entertaining activities. It's definitely worth a visit if you're in Northern California. Climbs typically take three days.
Washington is home to many amazing mountains and national parks just waiting to be explored this summer. Mount Rainier is perhaps the most famous in the state, however, that's a great mountain for the winter season. Before you set out for Rainier, consider climbing Mount Baker first. There's still a good amount of snow and ice on Mount Baker throughout the summer, making it the perfect training site for newbies.
You can try ice-trekking and traversing glaciers before tackling the more challenging summits in the area. But this glaciated volcano isn't just for honing one's skills—it's an unforgettable experience with much to offer. You can soak in amazing views of the Cascade Mountain range from a height of 10,781 feet. Climbs typically take three days.
Another great California mountain to visit this summer is Mount Tamalpais. The climbing experience is even more fun than saying "Tamalpais" three times fast! The "Tams" is only 2,579 feet tall, making it perfect for a quick summit. The trail is very winding and takes about seven hours to climb.
Mount Tamalpais is known for being the home of the most crooked railroad. This scenic railroad features 281 hairpin curves and snakes eight miles up to the summit. The other highlight of the Tams is panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay.
Most of America's "best" mountains lie in the west, but New Hampshire is luckily home to Mount Washington. Now, this is nota leisurely mountain to the summit—Mount Washington is known for having some of the world's worst weather.
Even in the summer, you'll fight against the cold and wind as you trudge up 4,000 feet of foreboding land. Visibility is also fairly poor during summer. So why is it worth a visit this season? If you can conquer Mount Washington, you can concur just about any other American mountain! A round-trip hike takes a little over eight hours.
Yosemite National Park in California is worth visiting at least one time in your life. While there, make sure you attempt summiting Half Dome. It's the perfect summer mountain, as there is plenty of tree coverage to protect it from the sun.
Full summits take around 12 hours, and the trek isn't for newbies. The 16-mile path is steep and only for experienced, physically fit individuals. Be aware that climbing Half Dome does require a permit from the park—these are given out through a lottery system.
Mount Mansfield, located in Vermont, is another excellent eastern mountain to visit this summer. It's about 5,000 feet tall and has spectacular views of the Green Mountain Range.
You'll also have great angles of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. Plus, Mount Mansfield is one of the few high peaks to feature alpine vegetation. In the summer, the vegetation is ripe and vibrant!
Colorado is home to many popular mountains, but La Plata Peak is one of the tallest in the Rockies, and its views actually inspired the song America the Beautiful.It's part of the '14ers,' a stretch of 58 Colorado peaks that many enthusiasts attempt to complete.
There's a diverse selection of ecosystems to explore, including the forest near La Plata Gulch and the alpine meadows. You'll also catch stunning views of Mount Harvard and Mount Elbert.
The highest peak in South Dakota is Black Elk Peak, and it's a truly excellent summer mountain destination. It's a highly significant mountain for Native Americans, so it's important to respect the land and history when climbing. You'll find breathtaking views of the signature granite cliffs and ponderosa pine trees.
Mountain climbing is not a leisurely activity, but it is extremely rewarding and worth trying at least once in your life. These American mountains are perfect for climbing in the summer because the challenge is reduced, and the views are more accessible. If you need some help finding the perfect gear for your summit, check out our excellent collection here at Escape Outdoors. Our Patagonia outdoor clothing selection can help fight off any cold weather or sun exposure you encounter on your journey.
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