It’s hard not to be impressed with the mountain peaks in Alaska. Breathtaking vistas and one-of-a-kind geologic formations make up The Alaska Range, home to the five tallest mountains in the state. Read up on these five mountains and get ready to plan your next trip to the Alaskan wilderness.
Previously named and known as Mount McKinley, Denali means ‘the tall one’ in the native Koyukon language. With an elevation of 20,310 feet, Denali is the highest peak in North America and is both the third most prominent and third most isolated peak in the world. The peak is so tall it often creates its own weather. An estimated 400,000 tourists visit Denali National Park annually, a park larger than the entire state of New Hampshire.
2. Mount Saint Elias
Mount Saint Elias is the second highest peak in the United States and Canada and separates Alaska and the Yukon territory. With the distinction of being the highest mountain located closest to the ocean (elevation 18,009 feet), Mount Saint Elias was the site of “the planet’s longest skiing descent” in 2007. The unique peak is the result of the North American tectonic plate pushing against Pacific plate.
3. Mount Foraker
The third tallest mountain peak in Alaska, Mount Foraker, doesn’t seem to be content with its position. When viewed from Anchorage, Mount Foraker appears to be the same height as Denali, despite being 3000 feet shorter and 14 miles southwest of Denali.
4. Mount Bona
Mount Bona is the fourth highest mountain (elevation 16,550 feet) in both Alaska and North America. It’s also a stratovolcano made of various layers of ash, pumice, tephra, and hardened lava. In addition to being a stratovolcano, Mount Bona is covered in ice and acts as the main source of ice for the 40-mile long Klutlan Glacier.
5. Mount Blackburn
The fifth tallest mountain in Alaska is Mount Blackburn, elevation 16,390 feet. Blackburn is an eroded shield volcano and happens to be the second highest shield volcano in the US, and fifth highest in North America. Like other volcanic peaks, Mount Blackburn is covered in ice and is the main ice source of massive glaciers. Located in the Wrangell Mountains, Mount Blackburn is the highest peak in the range and fifth highest in US.