Alaska Mountains draw travelers from around the world to see their rugged beauty, vast wilderness, and the expansive array of wildlife that calls these peaks home. While the climates of these mountains challenges even the most rugged outdoor enthusiast, the mountains in Alaska have something to offer every type of traveler.
The aptly named Alaska Range covers 400 miles of the southern central region of Alaska. Because these Alaska mountains block moist air coming off the Gulf of Alaska, the Alaska Range has some of the most unforgiving weather in the world. Heavy snowfall regularly feeds many large glaciers, including the Canwell, Black Rapids, and Kahiltna Glaciers. Several national parks fall within the Alaska Range as well, including Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Denali National Park, and Lake Clark National Park. The east end of the Alaska Range extends into the Yukon Territory in Canada. Within the Alaska Range are several smaller Alaska mountain ranges including the Neacola Mountains, Revalation Mountains, and Kichatna Mountains. Other major peaks in the Alaska Range include Mount Foraker, Mount Hunter, Mount Hayes, and Mount Torbert.
The Alaska Range is best known for Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America. This 20,320-foot mountain is better known by the locals as Denali, meaning "The Great One." The peak of Denali Alaska is surrounded by the protected Denali National Park, larger in size than the state of Massachusetts. Denali Alaska is one of the most popular travel destinations in the state, offering plentiful outdoor activities, Alaskan vistas, and an array of comfortable Denali hotels. Denali Alaska is greatly appreciated as one of the most impressive wildlife refuges in the world.
The Wrangell-St. Elias Mountain range, situated in the southeastern part of Alaska, is another of the most popular Alaska mountain ranges. It includes not only the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, but parts of Glacier National Park, as well. The Wrangell-St. Elias range includes twelve of the 40 Alaska mountains over 13,000 feet. Part of the Wrangell-St. Elias range is volcanic, including Mount Bona, the highest volcano in the United States. The Wrangell-St. Elias range also includes Mount Fairweather, nestled in Glacier Bay National Park, only fourteen miles east of the Pacific Ocean. The impressive vertical rise of Mount Fairweather off Glacier Bay draws visitors from all over the world.
The Aleutian Range includes all Alaska mountain ranges that extend down the Alaska Peninsula, starting just south of Anchorage. Geologically, the range extends into the ocean and includes all of the Aleutian Islands, but the official description consists of mainland range only. The most recognized peak in the Aleutian range is Mount Redoubt, a 9,100-foot-tall active volcano in the Chigmit Mountains. Another popular travel destination is the Kenai Mountains, which extend south from the Chugach Mountains in the Aleutian Range and includes Kenai Fjords National Park.
On Unimack Island in the Aleutian Islands, Mount Shishaldin rises from the sea. As a moderately active volcano, it is the tallest, most uniformly conical mountain on earth. The appearance of this 9,373-foot peak is captivating, including the steady plume of smoke rising from its crater.