Discover the 7 Deadliest Mountains In The United States

Written by Susan Olayode
Updated: September 7, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/RomanKhomlyak
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How far are you willing to go for an adventure? What do you think about being 16,404.2 ft above sea level? Is it exciting or daunting?

Mountain climbing is an extreme sport. It trains not just your limbs but your mind as well. That said, it can be very dangerous, and even deadly.  

As we know, this very danger drives many people to the mountains yearly. What better way to toughen up than to reach that ice cap?! 

Mountain-lovers claim that nothing beats the view from a mountaintop, but are you willing to risk everything to get a good watching spot?

Whether the concept of danger intrigues or frightens you, we thought you ought to know what mountains in the US are the deadliest. These mountains record the most brutal climbs. 

The 7 Most Feared Mountains in the USA

Many things make a maintain dangerous, from precariously steeping slopes to sudden avalanches. These seven mountains are the deadliest you can find in America. 

Mount Rainier, Washington

Mount Rainier tops many lists of the deadliest mountains in the US. Its local name is Tahoma or Tacoma. 

Although the mount is frozen all year long, it is prone to volcanic eruptions. 

This peak is one of the most challenging mountains to conquer because it is prone to avalanches. Often, climbers meet large areas of slippery ice sheets. More than 400 climbers have lost their footing on Mount Rainier. It is 14,409.5 ft above sea level. 

It would be best if you had ice picks, crampons, expertise, and a lot of guts to scale this mountain. 

mount ranier
More than 400 climbers have lost their footing on Mount Rainier.

Vidpen/Shutterstock.com

Mount Washington, New Hampshire

If you think the weather is unpredictable, know that the climate on the side of the mountain is even more surprising. 

Mount Washington is one of the deadliest mountains because of the fierce winds that tug at it and the brave climbers on it. It may seem like an easy job with a peak of only 6,286.1 ft above sea level. However, many climbers have lost their lives to its erratic weather. 

The shape and slope of the mountain gather winds and encourage storms. It doesn’t help that the hill is just east of the Mississippi. Mount Washington registered the highest wind speed known to man.

Mount Washington, New Hampshire
Mount Washington is one of the deadliest mountains because of the fierce winds that tug at it and the brave climbers on it.

iStock.com/Gerald G Gantar

Half Dome, California

The Half Dome is a funnily-shaped rock. One face of the stone is almost perfectly round, while the other side is completely flat This unique shape is why it is called the Half Dome.

The vertical face of the rock is virtually unclimbable and dangerous. The curved side, too, is not without its dangers. The Half Dome is steep, poised at an angle between 113 and 140 degrees.

Authorities have placed cables on the steepest parts of the rock. These form a path safe enough to tread.

The rock has two summits; the sub-dome, which is 1,312.3 ft below the half dome. This steep granite dome records 13 deaths, 291 accidents, and 140 search-and-rescue missions since 2005. 

Yosemite National Park Winter
Yosemite National Park is located in California

Gleb Tarro/Shutterstock.com

Mount San Antonio, California

Mt San Antonio, also called Mount Baldy or Old Baldy, is one of the most challenging climbs you can experience in the US. Mt San Antonio stands about 10,068.9 ft above sea level. Ice almost always clothes this peak, even during the warmer months.

Hikers ought to beware of natural disasters like avalanches. Mt San Antonio may not have erupted in the last two decades, but it is not a sleeping volcano. Over the years, shifting tectonic plates have cooled the magma underneath this mount.

Outside avalanches and volcanoes, climbers must keep an eye out for the trail. People die from dehydration and starvation after losing their way.  

It is safer to climb Mt. San Antonio during the summer. This doesn’t guarantee that you won’t meet any ice sheets, but the winds will be gentler around this time.

Capitol Peak, Colorado

Of the 58 peaks in America, the Capitol peak is the hardest to reach. The trail is complex, and a rock or two tend to get loose. The most exciting (and most hazardous) part of this hike is the Knife Edge pass. The Knife Edge is a thin trail, running for 150 feet. On each side of this trail is a 6,561.7 ft drop. As you can imagine, it would be terrifying. You may battle nausea by walking the track on all fours.

Capitol Peak has recorded nine deaths since 2000. 

Longs Peak, Colorado

Longs Peak is the northernmost fourteener in the Rocky Mountains and one of the most dangerous climbs. The peak stands about 14,259 ft above sea level. Mount Meeker, another mountain with a slightly lower summit, lies not far away. These two mountain peaks are sometimes called Twin Peaks. Unlike Longs Peak, Mount Meeker is not a fourteener.

Just like Half Dome, Longs Peak has two faces. Its northern side looks like a diamond; extremely steep, with sharp rocks that are hard to climb. The other face is rough and jagged, resembling a beaver. There are multiple paths to the summit of Longs Peak. The easiest route is called the Casual Route.

The oldest man to ever summit Longs Peak was Rev. William Butler, who reached the top of this rock on his 85th birthday. 

According to National Park Service, every year, two people die while trying to reach this peak. One interesting story is that of Mr. Jim Detterline, a rescue ranger who saved over 1,000 climbers. He lost his life to the mountain while on a solo mission.

Denali, Alaska

Denali is the tallest mountain peak in North America. It is 20,308.4 ft tall and one of the few mountains that begin at sea level. Other mountains, such as Everest, set off from a plateau or different elevation.

Denali in Alaska is one of the Seven Summits, a group of mountains one must climb to become a master mountaineer.

The mountain has a 27% failure rate for individual climbers. Your chances of survival jump from 77% to 83% if you join a group. A few bodies still remain on Denali. These bodies belong to victims of avalanches. They remain on the mountain because retrieving them is too risky. Over 120 people have lost their lives on this mountain, and about 44 human corpses still pepper the climbs. That said, the chances of encountering any of them are slim.

Mount Denali Alaska

iStock.com/SteveAllenPhoto

Bonus: 5 mountains yet to be conquered

Who says only the ghastly mountains are fun? Certainly not us! Sometimes, nothing beats placing the first footprints on the peak of a berg. 

If you’re the kind to stick to the safe side, you can try these mountains instead for an adventure you’ll never forget. 

  1. Gangkhar Puensum, Bhutan
  2. Kabru North Summit, India
  3. Kajang, Tibet
  4. Muchu Chhish, Pakistan 
  5. Mount Siple, Antarctica 

Are you fascinated by mountain views? You may enjoy these lakes too. Click to learn about the 5 most beautiful lakes in the United States

Conclusion

All mountains pose some degree of risk, but these mountains top the list of risky mountains in the US. Some of these mountains have tough cable lines that outline a path and give hikers something to hold on to, so it is not a total death ride. 

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What mountain records the most deaths yearly?

Mount Everest records the most deaths and attracts the most climbers every year. However, Annapurna in Nepal is the most deadly mountain to climb, with a 29% fatality rate. Nearly one in every three people does not make it back to its foot

Is there a mountain taller than Everest?

Mount Everest is not the tallest mountain there is. The Mauna Kea reaches 32808ft, significantly higher than Everest’s 29032.15ft

Which is the highest unclimbed mountain?

The Gangkhar Puetar in Bhutan remains unconquered. The mount has a climbing restriction at 19685.04ft that prevents anyone from going further. The mountain stands at 24835.96ft.

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