Mountain History and Facts

What are the longest mountain ranges in North America

a long mountain range seen from a plain

North America is the third-largest continent in the world. Its geography is as diverse as its culture. As a whole, North America’s physical geography can be divided into five different regions: the Caribbean, the eastern region, the Canadian mountain region, the Great plains, and the famous west filled with the continent’s mountains.

You may be one of those thrill-seekers or nature-lovers who wish to explore the earth of the region, reason that you are here.

If by any chance, you have always been curious and mystified by the beauty and sternness of the mountains – how they came to be, which the tallest mountains in the world are, and which the longest ones are, then you came to the right place because here is a tour for you.

Aside from the Caribbean and the Great plains, a huge chip of the continent is divided by mountains’ long successions. So, let us explore North America and its longest mountain ranges!

  1. Rocky Mountains. This is the longest mountain range in North America and third in the whole world. It runs 4,830 km (3,000 mi) from New Mexico all the way to Canada’s British Columbia. Rocky is part of the great North American Cordillera, the paramount wall of earth and rocks that run across America to Antarctica.
  2. Coast Mountains. With approximately 1,600 km (990 mi) in length, the Coast Mountains is a long-range of mountains, mainly made up of dense temperate rainforests up to the cold glaciated peaks in its elevation.
  3. Peninsular mountain ranges. Also called the Lower California province, the Peninsular mountain ranges run 1,500 km (930 mi) in length from Southern California to the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. It also boasts an elevated range of more than 10,000 feet.
  4. Sierra Madre Occidental. This series of mountains that is 1,500 km (930 mi) in length is part of the great America Cordillera that forms what is tagged as the western ‘backbone’ of the long mountain ranges running along with North America, Central America, South America, and West Antarctica.
  5. Cascade Range. Running for 700 miles, the Cascade Range traverses the United States into Canadian territory. Among its prominent features is its highest peak, Mount Rainier, which is elevated at 14,411 feet. Mount Saint Helens, an active volcano, is also within the mountain range of the Cascades.
  6. Brooks Range. This mountain range stretches up to 1,100 km (680 mi) across northern Alaska into Canada. Interestingly, Brooks Range is also said to be around 126 million years old.
  7. Sierra Madre del Sur. With 1,000 km (620 mi) in length, Sierra Madre del Sur joins the list. Its highest point is the Cerro Nube, 3,720 meters (12,200 ft) from the ground.
  8. Alaska Range. This is also part of the American Cordillera. While it is 650 km (400 mi) in length, it boasts more of its elevation range, which is one of the world’s highest peaks, after the Andes and the great Asian peaks.
  9. Sierra Nevada (U.S.). Stretching from California’s Central Valley up to the Great Basin, Sierra Nevada is 640 km (400 mi) long. It serves as home to an astounding three national parks, twenty wilderness areas, and two national monuments. With these under its belt, it is no wonder it also houses the world’s largest tree by volume and the largest alpine lake on the continent. Should you want to stay the weekend in the area, there are some nearby mountain towns here you may check for your accommodation.
  10. California Coast Ranges. Just as long as the Sierra Nevada, the California Coast Ranges is also at 640 km (400 mi), traveling from Humboldt County, California, south to Santa Barbara County.

a series of mountain tops

These are not just the ranges in the continent. Check out these other mountain ranges should you wish to explore the natural ridges of North America.

  • Adirondacks. The Adirondacks is a mountain range located just northeast of New York. With over 6 million acres, Adirondack Park is the largest state park in the United States.
  • Ozarks. Forming the largest mountain range along the Appalachians and the Rockies, the Ozarks is also a beauty to behold. The majority of the ranges can be found in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, should you want to explore this area.
  • Alaska Range. Considered the tallest mountain range in the United States and is home to the tallest mountain in North America, Mount McKinley at 20,237 feet above sea level, the Alaska Range is boasting in its elevation and the scenic view surrounding it.

So, there you go. Those were among the longest mountain ranges in North America. If you are enticed to travel there and personally see these wonders for yourself, way beyond the visuals of virtual videos and movies, pack your bags and let your wondering and the wandering begin!

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