Kirkjufell, Iceland (1,519ft/463m)
The Pitons, St Lucia (2,618ft/798m)
El Capitan, California, USA (3,000ft/914m)
The grande dame of Yosemite National Park (along with Half Dome to the east), El Capitan rises proudly from the western side of the Yosemite Valley. Its granite face appears near vertical – a result of glacial action that shaped many of the mountains within the national park. El Capitan, meaning the captain, is indeed a fitting name for the monolith. Take a look at nature’s greatest spectacles that will inspire you.
Three Sisters, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia (3,024ft/922m)
Tangles of native bushland, waterfalls, forested valleys, cliffs and caves – the scenery in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is nothing short of spectacular. The area’s most famous landmark is the Three Sisters. According to an Aboriginal legend, the towering rocks represent three sisters – Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo – who were turned to stone for protection. Here are 40 of Australia’s most stunning natural wonders.
Buachaille Etive Beag, Scottish Highlands, Scotland, UK (3,143ft/958m)
Table Mountain, South Africa (3,558ft/1,084m)
Watching over the South African city of Cape Town, there’s no doubt Table Mountain is one of the most famous in the world. Known for its distinctive shape, as the name suggests, it’s actually one of the planet’s oldest peaks at more than 200 million years old. The first recorded ascent also happened a while back – Portuguese explorer António de Saldanha conquered it in the early 16th century. Discover fantastic travel photos that will make you feel better about the world.
Snowdon, Wales, UK (3,559ft/1,085m)
Thor Peak, Baffin Mountains, Nunavut, Canada (5,495ft/1,675m)
Huangshan Mountain, Anhui, China (6,115ft/1,863m)
Mount Hua, Qin Mountains, China (7,086ft/2,160m)
Mount Sinai, Egypt (7,496ft/2,285m)
Mount Roraima, Venezuela (9,220ft/2,810m)
Towering above the clouds, the majestic Mount Roraima is a natural border between Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana in South America. Around two billion years old, the flat-top mountain is considered to be among the oldest in the world. It’s also the highest tepui (South American table-top mountain) on the continent. The otherworldly looking natural wonder is said to be the inspiration behind the plateau with dinosaurs and ape-men in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1912 novel The Lost World.
Cuernos del Paine, Cordillera Paine, Chile (9,462ft/2,884m)
A rugged landscape of jagged peaks, shimmering lakes, ancient forests and vast glaciers, Patagonia is a region that captures the imagination. The sharp granite towers that rise over the landscape are one of the vast Torres del Paine National Park’s most striking landmarks. The individual spikes are also very fittingly named after sharp things, including Shark’s Fin, The Sword and The Blade. Marvel at the world’s most beautiful natural wonders.
Zugspitze, Wetterstein, Germany (9,717ft/2,962m)
Germany’s highest peak, Zugspitze is often called the top of Germany. Part of the Wetterstein mountain range of the Alps, the Austria–Germany border goes right over the mountain and before both countries joined the Schengen zone, there was a manned border checkpoint at the summit. Today, there are three cable cars ascending to the top where over 400 peaks in four different countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy) can be seen from the viewing platforms. These are the most wonderful views on Earth.
Three Peaks, Dolomites, Italy (9,839ft/2,999m)
These three distinctive peaks are an unmissable sight in the Dolomites mountain range in northeastern Italy. Called Tre Cime di Lavaredo in Italian, the Three Peaks formed the border between Italy and Austria until 1919 and now they separate the Italian provinces of South Tyrol and Belluno. The peaks have also had several silver screen appearances in films like The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones and most recently they featured in the Han Solo spin-off within the Star Wars universe Solo.
Valley of the Ten Peaks, Alberta, Canada (11,234ft/3,424m)
Mount Assiniboine, Canadian Rockies, British Columbia/Alberta, Canada (11,870ft/3,618m)
Mount Cook, Southern Alps, New Zealand (12,217ft/3,724m)
Mount Fuji, Japan (12,776ft/3,894m)
The largest peak in Japan, Mount Fuji is simply unmistakable. The distinctive mountain is of great cultural significance to the Japanese as it’s long been considered sacred by Buddhist and Shinto pilgrims. It’s also one of the few places in the world to see lenticular clouds – a rare phenomenon when disc-shaped clouds gather at the top of the peak, resembling UFOs. Read more about the strangest weather phenomena in the world.
Mount Robson, Canadian Rockies, British Columbia, Canada (12,972ft/3,954m)
The highest point in the Canadian Rockies, this famous peak is simply spectacular. An imposing sight, when approached from the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16), its south face can be observed in all its glory. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the mountain is part of the Rainbow Range and is home to a diverse collection of wildlife, which includes mountain goats and even grizzly bears, as well as over 180 species of birds. Here are stunning images of Canada’s jaw-dropping natural wonders.
Mount Kinabalu, Crocker Range, Malaysia (13,435ft/4,095m)
Malaysia’s tallest mountain, Mount Kinabalu’s rocky face is such a mystical sight, it’s no wonder there are several legends tied to it. One of the more popular stories usually told to tourists, says that the name translates as Chinese widow. In the story, a Chinese prince survives a sinking ship and is rescued by local people. There, he marries a local woman but, missing family, returns to China. He’s banned from ever returning while his Malaysian wife, turned into stone by the spirit of the mountain, continuous to wait for him to return.
Teton Range, Wyoming, USA (13,769ft/4,197m)
A mountain range within the Rocky Mountains, Grand Tetons are an icon of the Cowboy State. Stretching along the Idaho state line from north to south, Grand Tetons are mostly within the national park of the same name in Wyoming. Rising dramatically over Jackson, the Tetons are an unmistakably western sight, largely thanks to a number of western films featuring these grand mountains, from John Wayne’s acting debut The Big Trail to a classic of the genre Shane.
Mount Rainier, Washington, USA (14,409ft/4,392m)
There’s no arguing that Mount Rainier is of an epic size. With more than 130 trails snaking their way through the forested area around the mountain, there are plenty of opportunities to take in the stunning scenery among the lush trees and fragrant wildflowers. Many don’t know it’s an active stratovolcano but it hasn’t erupted since the late 19th century. These are America’s most unspoiled places.
Matterhorn, Pennine Alps, Switzerland and Italy (14,692ft/4,478m)
Vinicunca, Andes, Peru (17,100ft/5,212m)
This multicolored mountain in the Peruvian Andes is not man-made despite what its perfectly symmetrical layers might make you think. The colorful bands, ranging from pink and red to yellow and green, are the result of sedimentary layers forming from mineral deposits over the years. Interestingly, the colorful bands haven’t always been visible. Rapid ice melt revealed the unique colors of the mountains only in the 2010s. Discover more amazing images of the world’s most colorful natural wonders.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (19,341ft/5,895m)
Nicknamed the Roof of Africa, Kilimanjaro is an icon of the African continent. Found in northeastern Tanzania in a national park of the same name, Kilimanjaro is actually a dormant volcano that last erupted some 360,000 years ago. It also has another claim to fame – it’s the world’s highest single free-standing mountain. These natural wonders are facing a perilous future.
Denali, Alaska, USA (20,308ft/6,190m)
North America’s tallest mountain, many might remember Denali by its previous name Mount McKinley. It was renamed in 2016, after many decades of controversy, to reflect the name long used by the native people. Surrounded by the unspoiled landscapes of the Denali National Park, the Reflection Pond is one of the most gorgeous places to see the mountain as it’s mirrored in the perfectly still water. Take a look at America’s most stunning natural wonders.
Ama Dablam, Himalayas, Nepal (22,349ft/6,812m)
Annapurna Massif, Himalayas, Nepal (26,545ft/8,091m)
Mount Everest, Himalayas, Nepal and Tibet (29,028ft/8,848m)
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