A steady incline on the trail above Namche Bazaar | Mark Tipple
Individual mountains are a genuine attraction to travelers, and typically the more rugged and tall they are the more appealing to the senses. But oftentimes it’s the range the mountain’s in that makes a trekking route standout as a spectacular adventure.
Ranges like the Cordillera Blanca in Peru, for example, where there are hundreds of shimmering white peaks piercing the deep blue sky. The sheer number of peaks is simply overwhelming, and treks through ranges like the Blanca have a special feel to them— like walking inside a long cathedral rather than standing at one altar.
You know, the kind of place—where you can see shimmering ridgelines repeat over and over again as they march toward the horizon…. Where the horizon is layered, with each layer getting lighter and softer as it spreads out into the distance before you.
Here are ten of the best mountain ranges where you can trek and enjoy many peaks, standing shoulder to shoulder and layered upon each other, all at once.
There’s an area in the Karakorum near K2 that has so many huge peaks (we’re talking 6,000-, 7,000- and 8,000-metre peaks) that it’s called the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods. But the sheer number of big mountains across this entire mountain range make it one of the great ranges on earth for trekking. We offer several treks in the Karakorum.
2. The Alaska Range, USA
Denali hulks above other peaks of the Alaska Range like a big brother. On our Great Alaska Adventure, you’ll get several chances to see Denali and its granite satellites, peaks so big they fill entire camera viewfinders. You’ll also encounter the megafauna of this wildlife-filled region while you explore the wide expanses of America’s 49th state.
3. Southern Andes
The tallest peak in the Western Hemisphere, Aconcagua, is nicknamed the Stone Sentinel. Although it’s tucked back behind hundreds of peaks, it still rises to a healthy 6961m, making it the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. We offer a 20-day excursion that will get you to the top of Aconcagua where you can see hundreds of miles of the Southern Andes.
4. The Alps, Europe
The Mont Blanc massif straddles the borders between France, Italy, and Switzerland where several alpine regions come together. In nearly any direction you’ll find classic high-altitude trekking, much of it hut-based. We offer a variety of treks in the Alps of France and Italy, as well as mountaineering on Mont Blanc itself and the Gran Paradiso in Italy.
5. Simien Mountains, Ethiopia
The Simien Mountains are surreal. Blocky red stone with verdant foliage, the Simien Mountains aren’t really mountains; rather, they’re plateaus and pinnacles separated by lush valleys. They get as high as 4550m (14,927 feet), making this mountain area one of the few places in Equatorial Africa where it snows regularly. Come with us and climb Ras Dashen (4533m), experience the gelada baboons, and explore ancient cities.
6. Sierra Nevada, USA
The Sierra Nevada runs for 400 miles north–south in California and is known for its staggering array of granite peaks, domes, and ridges. One of the greatest treks known to humanity is the John Muir Trail, a 344-kilometre jaunt from the spectacular glacier polished walls of Yosemite Valley to the summit of Mount Whitney, a 4421-metre peak in the Southern Sierra. Do the track with us and we’ll show you hundreds of beautiful white mountains.
7. Chilean & Argentine Patagonia
A climber once described the mountains of Patagonia as something out of a nightmare. Wild spires of granite and ice bursting thousands of metres into the sky. Indeed, the region’s sharp granite towers are so steep they literally look like knives placed in a mug with their blades pointing up. You can experience them in both Argentina and Chile on one of our Patagonia treks.
8. Atlas Mountains, Morocco
The Atlas Mountains in North Africa stretch across the top of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia and are renowned for their colours—red and orange rocks and lush greenery—as well as their traditional Berber population. This is a big mountain range, and the possibilities for exploration are endless. Join us in exploring these peaks, and its people, in one of our Moroccan adventures.
9. Nepal Himalaya
World Expeditions pioneered trekking in Nepal in the 1970s, and we’re still happily at it, guiding visitors to the small kingdom and offering specialty trips to a wide variety of exotic destinations in Nepal. The words Nepal and trekking might have you immediately thinking of Everest Base Camp, but there are hundreds of other treks that are just as spectacular. Peruse some here.
10. Southern Alps, New Zealand
For being a small place, New Zealand really offers some lofty mountain scenery. The 500km Southern Alps tops out at Aoraki / Mount Cook at 3,724m (12,218 feet) and there are sixteen other points that exceed 3,000m (9,800 feet). Walking through the Southern Alps offers a variety of landscapes, from the lush grasslands and beech forests to the world of ice and snow above. We offer a full range of excursions to the Southern Alps that will open your eyes to this spectacular mountain range.