“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” – Barry Finklay, Kilimanjaro and Beyond
The three highest mountains in the world, Mount Everest, K2, and Kanchenjunga, are not for the faint-hearted. Those who summit these peaks reserve the title of extreme thrill-seekers, expert adventurers or champion climbers. While many have successfully made the trek, a number have failed, which may cause you to stop and think, “Maybe mountain climbing is not for me.”
However, you can get outdoors and experience some incredible hikes right here in the United States. Whether you consider yourself a novice explorer or an advanced daredevil, there are mountains for everyone to climb. Here is s a list of 5 American summits to climb for an exciting Live Riveted adventure:
- Stony Man Mountain in Shenandoah Valley National Park, Virginia is a fitting hike for beginners and nature lovers. The mountain peaks at just 4,011 feet, but provides amazing views of the Appalachian Mountain Range, George Washington National Forest and the Shenandoah Valley.
- Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, California is one of the most iconic peaks in the world. The mountain is 8,839 feet tall and treats hikers to views of the Yosemite Valley and the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. In response to Half Dome’s rising popularity, the park recently introduced a lottery system that, early in the season, randomly selects 225 hikers for each day of the season. If hikers do not make it into that lottery, there’s still a chance they can go—there are 50 spots reserved for a daily lottery.
- Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado is a slightly more difficult peak, but it can still be summited without climbing equipment during the summer via the Keyhole Route. The 14,259-foot peak takes climbers over huge boulders and ledges that tower thousands of feet above the ground. It is recommended that hikers avoid afternoon thunderstorms by beginning the climb as early as 3 a.m.
- Mount Shasta in California is a 14,179-foot summit that can be seen from 100 miles away. Considered one of the best hikes in California, the mountain is an extremely adventurous destination, bringing hikers over rock moraine, snowfields and glacial features. One of the more popular trails is the Avalanche Gulche Trail, which starts at the tree line and rises over 6,300 feet.
- Mount Rainier in Washington State is actually a 14,411-foot-tall stratovolcano and is actually considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. While you should not let that scare you away, this hike is not for beginners—it requires skill in glacier travel and advanced technical knowledge. The climb is still the best way to experience a massive mountain without leaving the country.
There is nothing like the beauty, and sometimes the adrenaline rush that hikers experience on a great climb. We are so lucky to have some of the most beautiful summits in the world at our fingertips. So grab your hiking gear, head outdoors and dare to Live Riveted! Do you have a favorite hike? Share with us on our Facebook page!