Whether you’re planning your next adventure or are simply looking for a bit of inspiration from the natural world, nothing inspires one’s wanderlust quite like the world’s tallest mountains. Nestled across the borders of Nepal, India, China, and Pakistan, these mountains are as beautiful as they are daunting for climbing enthusiasts. Each presents a unique set of charms and challenges for explorers. Feed your travel bug (and brush up on your Himalayan geography) with our top 10 list of the highest mountains in the world.
10. Annapurna I (8091 meters/26,545 feet)
Annapurna has the formidable distinction of being not only one of the highest mountains in the world but also the world’s most dangerous mountain among those higher than 8000 feet. Its climber fatality rate of 41% is legendary, but its extraordinary beauty is also captured in its name as “goddess of the harvest.”
9. Nanga Parbat (8126 meters/26,660 feet)
The ninth highest mountain in the world is Nanga Parbat, which translates to “naked mountain,” although it’s also earned the monikers “killer mountain” and “the man eater” on account of its high number of fatalities among climbers.
8. Manaslu (8163 metes/26,781 feet)
Located in the Nepalese Himalayas, Manaslu translates to “mountain of the spirit,” derived from the Sanskrit word for “soul.” The peak is included within the Manaslu Conservation Area, which is home to a number of endangered species, including red pandas, snow leopards, and Himalayan musk deer.
7. Dhaulagiri I (8167 meters/26,795 feet)
With K2 as its parent mountain, it’s little surprise that Dhaulagiri is both physically and visually impressive. The highest mountain to be contained entirely within the borders of one nation (Nepal), Dhaulagiri rises dramatically from the surrounding landscape, and its name translates to “dazzling, white, beautiful mountain” in Sanskrit.
6. Cho Oyu (8188 meters/26,864 feet)
Considered the easiest mountain to climb among peaks 8000 feet and higher, Cho Oyu is still an impressive climb as the sixth highest mountain in the world. Highlighting its beauty, Cho Oyu translates to “turquoise goddess” in Tibetan.
5. Makalu (8485 meters/27,838 feet)
Located just 12 miles southeast of Mount Everest, Makalu is known for its unusual, four-sided pyramid shape. Despite its proximity to other eight-thousanders, the name for a group of mountain peaks in the Himalayan range, Makalu is topographically isolated and thus categorized as an ultra-prominent peak.
4. Lhotse (8516 meters/27,940 feet)
Another prominent peak in the Mount Everest massif, Lhotse belongs to the Mahalangur and Himalayan ranges and measures over five vertical miles at its highest point.
3. Kangchenjunga (8586 meters/28,169 feet)
Like its parent mountain, Mount Everest, Kangchenjunga is a major feature of the Himalayan range. It straddles the border between India and Nepal, and in accordance with an ancient request of the Chogyal Dynasty, every climber to scale the mountain has left its peak untouched.
2. K2 (8611 meters/28,251 feet)
Extending through the Baltoro Muztagh and Karakoram mountain ranges of China and Pakistan, K2 is the second highest mountain in the world. It is known as the “Savage Mountain,” a nickname stemming from its fatality rate of more than one death for every four climbers who reach the summit.
1. Mount Everest (8848 meters/29,029 feet)
Also known as Chomolungma in Tibetan and Sagarmatha in Nepali, Mount Everest has the distinction of being the tallest mountain on earth. It has been called one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and its peak marks the international border between China and Nepal.
Planning your next holiday in the mountains? Read on as we round up 10 of the most beautiful mountain retreats in the world.