Europe's Western Alps extend through southwestern France, northwestern Italy and into Switzerland and contain the highest mountain peaks in Europe. In the northwest of the range towers Mont Blanc – the highest peak in the European Union and the 11th highest in the world at 15,781 feet. Another of the Alps' famous peaks, the Matterhorn, sits near the border between Switzerland and Italy.
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Canadian Rockies (Banff)
The shale and limestone peaks of the Canadian Rockies are home to five national parks, including the glacier lake-dotted Banff National Park. Those looking for a grand adventure in the Canadian Rockies can make use of the series of alpine huts set up and maintained by the Alpine Club of Canada.
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When you think big mountains, you probably think Everest – the world's tallest peak (29,029 feet) – located within the Himalayan mountain range. The world "Himalaya" means "abode of snow," and the peaks here are covered in a white dusting throughout the year. Over 100 peaks within the Himalayan range top out at more than 23,600 feet.
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The Dolomites mountain range sits within the larger Northern Italian Alps and features some of Europe's most breathtaking mountain scenery. In fact, their natural beauty earned them a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Come winter time, these snowy peaks attract skiers from around the globe.
The Teton Mountain range makes up part of the North American Rocky Mountains. Rising out of the planes of Wyoming near Jackson Hole, the peaks earned their name when early French explorers dubbed them "les trois tétons" or "the three beasts." Grand Teton, the tallest peak in the range, reaches a height of 13,770 feet.
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Andes (South America)
The Andes mountain range in South America is the longest continental mountain range on the planet, extending along the entire western coast of the continent through Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Mount Aconcagua in Argentina is the highest peak in the western hemisphere at 22,841 feet.
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Sierra Nevadas (California)
Sierra Nevada means "snowy range" in Spanish. This 400-mile-long range runs predominantly through California and is home to some of the nation's most famous natural attractions, including Lake Tahoe, Mount Whitney and Yosemite Valley. Three national parks – Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia – all sit within this North American mountain range.
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Pyrenees (France and Spain)
The Pyrenees mountains of southwestern Europe form a natural border between France and Spain. Older than the Alps, the Pyrenees mountains are a popular destination for skiers and mountain climbers, and some of the most crucial stages of the Tour de France are held in these mountains.
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Cascade Range (Pacific Northwest)
The Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest extends for more than 700 miles, all the way from British Columbia down to Northern California. Among the range's many notable peaks are Mount Hood, Mount Rainier and Mount Saint Helens. As part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Cascades have witnessed every single volcanic eruption in the contiguous United States over the past 200 years.
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Sangre de Cristo Mountains (Colorado)
The Sangre de Cristo range, named for the reddish hue painted onto the face of the mountains come sunrise or sunset, sit within Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. Besides housing some of New Mexico's best ski areas, the southernmost range in the Rockies includes several of Colorado's 14ers.