U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-16-2010, 12:48 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
11,520 posts, read 9,705,827 times
Reputation: 14700

Advertisements

Mountains have a way of distorting your sense of distance, they can appear so close, yet so far away.

I've driven from the Eastern Sierra's into Nevada, and looking out my rear-view window I can still the highest one (Mt. Whitney at 14,500) even crossing the Nevada state line, yet they're nearly 175+ miles away.

How about the Rockies. How far into eastern Colorado, or western Kansas can you still get a glimpse of them on a sunny day in summer? Or how about the Appalachian Mountains, the highest one, given the best of weather conditions, how far away can it be spotted? And the highest one in New England? Given the best of conditions, can you spot it as far away as Boston?

Just curious.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-16-2010, 01:33 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
9,054 posts, read 12,091,047 times
Reputation: 6597
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
Mountains have a way of distorting your sense of distance, they can appear so close, yet so far away.

I've driven from the Eastern Sierra's into Nevada, and looking out my rear-view window I can still the highest one (Mt. Whitney at 14,500) even crossing the Nevada state line, yet they're nearly 175+ miles away.

How about the Rockies. How far into eastern Colorado, or western Kansas can you still get a glimpse of them on a sunny day in summer? Or how about the Appalachian Mountains, the highest one, given the best of weather conditions, how far away can it be spotted? And the highest one in New England? Given the best of conditions, can you spot it as far away as Boston?

Just curious.
You can see Mt. Whitney from Ridgecrest, CA on a clear day (most days), which is about 75 miles as the crow flies. You can see Telescope Peak (50 miles) from there as well (from certain areas).

You can see the Rockies from Fort Morgan, CO (about 100 miles), and can see Pikes Peak from Limon, CO (about 80 miles). You can't see any of the Rocky Mountains from Nebraska or Kansas...not even close.

On an exceptionally clear and cloudless day (probably only a few times a year), you can see Mount Rainier from Everett, WA, which is about 75 miles.

My hypothesis: 75-100 miles depending on the prominence of the mountain and local topography.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2010, 06:44 AM
 
Location: 602/520
2,441 posts, read 3,845,407 times
Reputation: 1815
I have seen mountains more than 100 miles away. On a VERY clear day, driving south on the 101 freeway in Scottsdale, you can see a very faint outline of the Catalina mountains, that are just north of Tucson, about 105 miles away from Scottsdale.

When approaching Phoenix Sky Harbor, from the east, I have been able to see Mount Wrightson (about 150 miles south) without issue. On a similar approach I was able to see Humphries Peak (133 miles north) without issue.

I think the West is a particular good places to see long distances because 1) The general lack of trees, 2) The lack of humidity that tends to add a visibility reducing haze to the air, 3) and, of course, the elevation changes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2010, 08:02 AM
 
Location: New Hampshire
2,266 posts, read 4,340,386 times
Reputation: 3893
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
Mountains have a way of distorting your sense of distance, they can appear so close, yet so far away.

I've driven from the Eastern Sierra's into Nevada, and looking out my rear-view window I can still the highest one (Mt. Whitney at 14,500) even crossing the Nevada state line, yet they're nearly 175+ miles away.

How about the Rockies. How far into eastern Colorado, or western Kansas can you still get a glimpse of them on a sunny day in summer? Or how about the Appalachian Mountains, the highest one, given the best of weather conditions, how far away can it be spotted? And the highest one in New England? Given the best of conditions, can you spot it as far away as Boston?

Just curious.
The highest mountain in New England is Mt. Washington in northern NH, about 130 miles north of downtown Boston. You can't see it from Boston unless you're in a plane.

However, on a clear day you can see Mt. Washington from the harbor at Portland, Maine, which is about 65 miles to the southeast. Of course, we're talking about sea level here -- if you're at a higher elevation it can be seen from farther away. I know it can be seen from Mt. Whiteface near Lake Placid, NY, which is about 130 miles to the west.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2010, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
8,904 posts, read 6,617,990 times
Reputation: 1819
Can't see anything here where I am.

And when I lived in Portland, Maine, I could see Mt.Washington 65 miles away like Verseau said. There was a specific part of campus up on a hill where you could see Mt.Washington and the surrounding mountains.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2010, 08:08 AM
 
3,766 posts, read 4,207,856 times
Reputation: 3868
I can see Denali from Anchorage, 160 miles away. But then it's over 20,000 ft. in elevation.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2010, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Omaha, NE
1,048 posts, read 1,357,090 times
Reputation: 208
I was going to say, in perfect conditions I bet you can see about 150-200 miles. But the conditions of weather and landscape have to be perfect.

It may sound weird, but the elevation of the peak and the elevation of the viewer both have to be really high. Otherwise the curvature of the earth gets in the way. But if you are high enough you can offset the curvature enough to see. But, typically the further away you get from a mountain the lower in elevation you go. There aren't too many places in the world that are 200 miles away from a mountain that are as tall as, well, a mountain.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2010, 10:37 AM
 
Location: MN
3,738 posts, read 4,982,993 times
Reputation: 1628
Wow that's crazy. Cool thread never thought about this.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2010, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
11,520 posts, read 9,705,827 times
Reputation: 14700
I've seen spectacular postcards of Los Angeles with the San Gabriel or San Bernardino Mountains as a backdrop on a clear day, but everytime I've been there I was deprived of that great view, either due to haze, fog or smog.

I'd love to go there sometime and see it, like from a beach along the Pacific, like Santa Monica or Manhattan Beach.

I'm planning to go there this summer, will I be so lucky this time!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2010, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
9,054 posts, read 12,091,047 times
Reputation: 6597
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
I've seen spectacular postcards of Los Angeles with the San Gabriel or San Bernardino Mountains as a backdrop on a clear day, but everytime I've been there I was deprived of that great view, either due to haze, fog or smog.

I'd love to go there sometime and see it, like from a beach along the Pacific, like Santa Monica or Manhattan Beach.

I'm planning to go there this summer, will I be so lucky this time!
The mountains are best seen when it's windy (like in Fall) -- as long as the mountains aren't on fire. However, you don't see them too often in the summer because of smog (especially from that far away). You can't even see hills that are 3 miles away when it's smoggy.

However, Signal Hill near Long Beach is a good place to take in the view (if you're lucky enough to get one).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top