America is home to some of the greatest peaks and summits, many of these connected to a National Park. Whether you are an experienced hiker/climber, or a leisurely walker, each of the mountains below have activities for members of the whole family. Which mountain peak are you going to travel to?

Grand Teton

Grand Teton was created centuries ago by earthquakes causing rocks and debris to collect; as the floor sank during each quake the mountains would rise. Teton is located in northwest Wyoming (close to the Idaho border) and is connected to the Yellowstone National Park by a highway. 

Teton also has it’s own National Park, and so when you travel here, enjoy a picnic with a view of the mountains, fish in the local pond, and hike or bike along the trials provided. Snake river is also another popular location to visit. During the wintertime, skiing and snowboarding options are available as well as hiking the mountain range for the daring adventurers.

Grand Teton

Photo: Jon Sullivan via Wikimedia Commons

Maroon Bells

Scientists have taken a closer look at the rock formations of this mountain, dating its existence to over 250 millions years old. The Bells are apart of Colorado’s Elk Mountains, located just 10 miles west outside of Aspen.

Crater Lake, Maroon Lake, and Maroon Creek are the Bells’ three main bodies of water, each with its own unique trail. On these hikes, many travel and adventure lovers find a quiet place for a picnic or a busy area to catch fish. During the winter, many come for the winter activities which include skiing and snowboarding. With numerous activities throughout the year, visiting the Bells’ in each of the four seasons is a great time. Doesn’t the reflection of the mountain peak in the picture below look dreamy?

Maroon Bells, Colorado

Photo: Reimund Schuster via Wikimedia Commons

Mount Rainier

Located 40 miles north-west of Tacoma, Rainier currently sits as an active volcano and is said to be one of the most deadliest. In 1899 Rainier’s National Park became the fifth established national park in the United States. A known part of the park is Wonderland Trail, the almost 95 mile hike that takes a person at least 14 days to complete.

For those who would rather take a leisurely stroll, Paradise is the perfect place to start. Paradise is a flower meadow that sits below the mountains. Here wildlife such as birds and aquatic creatures can be seen as you stroll through the grass and trees. More wildlife can be seen when walking on one of the dozens of trails Mount Rainier provides its visitors. And for those who enjoy camping, visit the ranger station to pick up a permit to be able to camp at night on park grounds. When you travel here, you can’t help but be in awe of the mountain peak.

Mount Renier

Photo: via nps.gov

Mount Elbert

Named after the governor of the Territory of Colorado, Samuel Hitt Elbert, becoming the fourteenth largest peak in the United States. Elbert is located 12 miles southwest of Leadville, Colorado, where you can find a place to stay for your vacation or weekend trip. The only activities offered at Mount Elbert is to hike/climb it and is advised that hikers have advanced experience. There are several ways up the mountain peak, the most popular way is by starting from the Mount Elbert Trail.

Mount Elbert

Photo: Jefferey Beall via Flickr

Mauna Kea

Dating back to a million years old, Mauna Kea sits as a dormant volcano on the mainland of Hawaii. Long ago the people who lived on the lands treated the mountain as a sacred place, through the belief and rules of Hawaiian mythology; they believed only the highest in rank were worthy to climb the mountain. Today, you could take a helicopter tour for have an aerial view (but it’s the most eco-friendly way to see it) and tour of the volcano or you can hike the summit which is approximately 6 miles. After a long day or few days of hiking, kick back and relax at Mauna Kea’s resorts or on its beaches.

Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Photo via Pixabay

Mount Saint Elias

Saint Elias is special amongst our list because it is the second highest mountain in both the United States and Canada. Located on the border of Alaska and the Yukon Territory, Saint Elias was formed because of the two plates shifting and pushing against one another under the Earth’s surface.

To climb this mountain, it is urged that you are an experienced, high altitude climber because the park’s rescue team will not climb high altitudes; also beware of snow storms that may occur during any season. Below the mountains is the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, where several visitor/ information centers can be found.

Mount Elias, Alaska

Photo: Jacob W. Frank via Wikimedia Commons

Black Elk Peak

Originally named after Gen. William S. Harney, the peak’s name was changed in 2016 due to derogatory reasons toward Native Americans; during the Plains Wars Harney slaughtered the Indians on the land. Black Elk is located in the Black Hills in the southwestern part of South Dakota and is connected to a thick forest full of hiking trails made for advanced hikers/climbers.

Elk Peak is close to the Custer State Park where Sylvan Lake is located where many like to swim and kayak; picnic tables are also available for a scenic lunch. From the lake, hikers can start their journey up Black Elk peak or walk a smaller trail around the lake.

south-dakota-custer-state-park-landscape-and-skies Mountains

Photo: via nps.gov

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