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View Poll Results: The following state has the most spectacular mountain range(s):
Colorado 27 17.09%
California 21 13.29%
Utah 7 4.43%
Wyoming 17 10.76%
Idaho 5 3.16%
Washington 24 15.19%
Alaska 45 28.48%
Hawaii 2 1.27%
other 10 6.33%
Voters: 158. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-13-2014, 03:28 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Western Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skihikeclimb View Post

The Tetons cover a pretty small area compared to the North Cascades. The problem with the North Casacdes, is that you have to either A) climb one of the peaks or B) fly over with a plane, to really get a good idea of how impressive they are.
You can get a decent idea just by hiking to a pass or viewpoint, without going up to a peak. Cascade Pass is probably the best of them, and the most popular (super crowded trail, and justifiably) but there are others.

Do the mountains go north from the North Cascades into BC (say, the Coast Range immediately nearby north of the Fraser) feel much different than the North Cascades? The Fraser Valley is rather dramatic, peaks aren't that high, but the valley is at sea level and the peaks quite jagged. Cheam Peak looks big, and probably would get a lot more attention if it were anywhere else. Besides driving through the Fraser and to the Cascade Pass trailhead, there's also Highway 20. Though I personally found it a bit overrated.
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:40 PM
 
604 posts, read 1,521,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
You can get a decent idea just by hiking to a pass or viewpoint, without going up to a peak. Cascade Pass is probably the best of them, and the most popular (super crowded trail, and justifiably) but there are others.

Do the mountains go north from the North Cascades into BC (say, the Coast Range immediately nearby north of the Fraser) feel much different than the North Cascades? The Fraser Valley is rather dramatic, peaks aren't that high, but the valley is at sea level and the peaks quite jagged. Cheam Peak looks big, and probably would get a lot more attention if it were anywhere else. Besides driving through the Fraser and to the Cascade Pass trailhead, there's also Highway 20. Though I personally found it a bit overrated.
North of the Fraser they don't feel that different. There are some pretty gnarly peaks in the coastal ranges that rival, and probably surpass anything in the Lower 48.

Once you get a bit farther North of Mt. Garbaldi the glaciation becomes quite a bit bigger with some pretty large icefields. The problem is access of course. Quite a bit more bush wacking to get to the good stuff.
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:18 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skihikeclimb View Post
North of the Fraser they don't feel that different. There are some pretty gnarly peaks in the coastal ranges that rival, and probably surpass anything in the Lower 48.
That spire measure site suggests that, mainly by the fjords and maybe the Bella Coola Region.


Quote:
Once you get a bit farther North of Mt. Garbaldi the glaciation becomes quite a bit bigger with some pretty large icefields. The problem is access of course. Quite a bit more bush wacking to get to the good stuff.

From the photos it appears that there are more granite faces out there near fjords, a bit like Sierra Nevada canyons. Otherwise, they do look North Cascades like, especially close to the Fraser. Rockies (except for the Tetons) have a very different look to them. The Glacier NP ones might be more dramatic than the Colorado ones, but they still have a lot more sedimentary rock. The High Sierra (and maybe the SoCal ranges and Trinity Alps) are a bit of their own thing with the expose granite canyons.

Have you done any treks out in the less accessible parts of the BC Coast Range?
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
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Way to totally leave Oregon out of it... we have the Cascades just like Washington does... =P

Anyway, I'm partial to the Cascades.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:57 AM
 
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I've lived in several states in the west and imo some of the most beautiful and majestic mountain ranges I've seen are in Idaho. For example, I find the Sawtooth Mountains more dramatic, extensive, and majestic then the Tetons. The thing about Idaho is that the state has the wildest and most remote wilderness areas in the Lower 48 and many of the mountains see little human activity. The Idaho Batholith is one of the most beautiful mountain areas I've encountered anywhere in the west. The Seven Devils that are in Idaho above Hells Canyon (the deepest gorge in North America) are another example of some of the most breathtaking "unknown" mountains in the west.


Seven Devils.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ven_Devils.jpg



http://www.studiocasey.com/wp-conten...s/IMG_0225.jpg
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skihikeclimb View Post
However I still think the North Cascades are the most impressive range in the lower 48 simply because of its extent and glaciation.
The North Cascade ecosystem is dwarfed by what they have in the Rockies in terms of acreage. Absolutely dwarfed. The island ranges across central Montana that people ignore driving to Yellowstone are more impressive in terms of grandeur than the Northern Cascades, IMHO. the Northern Cascades have a "miniature" feel to them compared to the Rockies. Each mountain is just a smaller scale.


Quote:
The Tetons cover a pretty small area compared to the North Cascades.
The Tetons are part of the 18 million acre Yellowstone Ecosystem, the wildest ecosystem in the lower 48, along with the Selway-Bitterroot Ecosystem and the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem. The Tetons dip down into Yellowstone, which connects with the most impressive mountain ranges in the lower 48: The Wind Rivers, The Beartooths, The Absaroka Range, and the Gallatin Range. The complexity, depth, and overall wilderness acreage and per-European, intact fauna has no peer in the lower 48 except for the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem (which is also in Montana).

One of my jobs is documenting roadless areas on national forest land. I see huge chunks of the west every year. To me, the PNW's specialty is the coast and rain forests. But when you start talking impressive mountains and ecosystems, it's Montana, central Idaho (although the people there are losing their minds when it comes to wolves) and NW Wyoming by a long way. The PNW is fragmented compared to the Northern Rockies. You have to drive *hundreds* of miles to get around Idaho and Montana's wilderness areas. In Montana and NW Wyoming, on your hikes, all in one scene, you can witness golden eagles, grizzly bears, black bears, elk, bighorn and mountain goats.

Last edited by Enders-1; 01-24-2014 at 06:59 PM..
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:03 PM
 
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For stunning beauty in the Continental United States (called the Lower 48 in Alaska), my vote would go to the Coastal Range in California and the Cascades in Washington. Aside from Alaska and Yukon, they have the most dramatic base to summit ratios on the North American continent. Alaska easily wins first place.
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:14 AM
 
Location: Midwest
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The Pacific Coast Ranges as a whole are the most impressive, even though it includes 10 separate sub-ranges. When you're in southern CA or Alaska, they are rugged, steep, and have incredible vertical relief (prominence is BS). Of this range, the St. Elias Mountains in Alaska (and Canada) are the most impressive mountains outside of the High Andes and Himalayas.

Mount St. Elias...18,000 feet of vertical relief!


Mount Bona...


Mount Bear...
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Midwest
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The Central Alaska Range with Mount McKinley and Mount Foraker as the stars is pretty impressive. Alaska has the best mountains followed by Washington.
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Montana
387 posts, read 554,975 times
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Definitely not in Montana. Nope - nothing to see here folks. We're comin' up empty.
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