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Most Mountainous States

Most Mountainous States
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Introduction

As an essential aspect of the country's diverse topography, mountains play a vital role in America's geographical persona. Ranging from tranquil, snow-capped summits in Alaska to the sun-soaked peaks in Hawaii, the nation's mountains not only define the physical landscape but profoundly influence climate, wildlife, and human activities.

  • Alaska stands unparalleled with the Denali’s staggering height of 20,310 ft - more than twice the tallest peak in the eastern U.S. 
  • Following Alaska, but not by much, states in the Mountain West dominate the list with California's Mount Whitney peaking at 14,494 ft, Colorado's Mount Elbert at 14,440 ft, and Washington's Mount Rainier at 14,411 ft.
  • Hawaii isn't generally associated with mountainous terrain in popular conception, but it holds the sixth rank for its highest peak, Mauna Kea, extending 13,803 ft above sea level.
  • Interestingly, the South Eastern States, geographically known for their flat areas and beaches, still boast some appreciable mountainous peaks with North Carolina and Tennessee sitting over 6,000 ft.
  • Finally, states generally not known for mountains, like Nebraska and Kansas, boast peaks reaching over 4,000 ft.

10 Most Mountainous States

Based on their peak elevations, the ten most mountainous states are Alaska, California, Colorado, Washington, Wyoming, Hawaii, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, and Montana. 

Alaska holds the high-ranking position with the tallest peak in the nation, Denali, standing at a majestic 20,310 feet. Trailing but not far behind, California comes in second with Mount Whitney at 14,494 feet followed closely by Colorado's highest point, Mount Elbert, standing at 14,440 feet.

The stunning Mount Rainier in Washington lays claim to the fourth spot at 14,411 feet, with Wyoming's highest peak, Gannett Peak, ascending to 13,804 feet. Further proving to have more than just beautiful beaches, Hawaii stands at sixth with Mauna Kea reaching a height of 13,803 feet. Utah, famed for its unique geological features, also slew in with Kings Peak reaching a height of 13,528 feet.

Adding diversity to the list, New Mexico rises in the ranks with its highest peak, Wheeler Peak, standing at 13,161 feet. Nevada, known for its vast desert lands, surprises with Boundary Peak at 13,140 feet. Montana closes the list, showcasing Granite Peak at a significant 12,807 feet. 

10 Most Mountainous States - Peak Elevation (ft):

  1. Alaska – 20,310
  2. California – 14,494
  3. Colorado – 14,440
  4. Washington – 14,411
  5. Wyoming – 13,804
  6. Hawaii – 13,803
  7. Utah – 13,528
  8. New Mexico – 13,161
  9. Nevada – 13,140
  10. Montana – 12,807

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