As dramatic and stunning as Montana's mountain ranges are, can you believe that NOT ONE of Montana's highest peaks falls into the Top 100 tallest peaks in the lower United States?

Photo by Nathaniel Krum on Unsplash
Photo by Nathaniel Krum on Unsplash

And why just the lower 48 states? Because Alaska is so full of tall peaks, they'd hog the list and then a long shot. Denali is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level.

We'll take a look at what are Montana's top 10 mountain peaks, but before then...what states in the lower 48 are kicking our elevation butt? California and Colorado have by far the most entries in the U.S. top 100, although Montana IS considered one of the country's nine "Mountain States" and the fourth biggest state in the nation.

NOTE: Depending upon what source you check, some very reliable sources do actually conflict about the 10 highest peaks in Montana, due to certain mountains having essentially two peaks - often an East/West or North/South situation that are slightly higher than the close-by sister peak. (Castle Mountain is a good example of that, as is Montana's tallest peak.)

We used the most reliable and up-to-date sources we could find, including, UMT. edu,, etc. (And yeah, we decided to list Montana's TWENTY tallest peaks, since some of them slide into that category of "is that technically the same mountain peak" discussion.

1. Granite Peak: 12,799 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
2. Granite Peak-Northwest Peak: 12,745 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
3. Mount Wood: 12,660 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
4. Mount Wood-West Peak: 12,649 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
5. Castle Mountain: 12,612 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
6. Castle Mountain-Northwest Peak: 12,604 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
7. Whitetail Peak: 12,551 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
8. Silver Run Peak: 12,542 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
9. Castle Rock Spire: 12,540 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
10. Silver Run Peak-East Peak: 12,500 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
11. Tempest Mountain: 12,469 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
12. Mount Peal: 12,409 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
13. Castle Rock Mountain: 12,401 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
14. Beartooth Mountain: 12,351 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
15. Bowback Mountain: 12,351 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
16. Mount Villard: 12,345 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
17. Mount Wood-Northwest Peak: 12,330 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
18. Mount Hague: 12,323 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
19. Glacier Peak: 12,320 feet (Beartooth Mountains)
20. Mont Villard-West Peak: 12,320 feet (Beartooth Mountains)

Granite Peak Rescue - Rocky Mountain Rotors
Granite Peak Rescue - Rocky Mountain Rotors

Embarrassingly, I didn't realize that ALL of Montana's highest peaks were in the same mountain range. Sure the Beartooth Mountains are amazing and everything...but ALL of the highest? Impressive. In fact, "The Beartooth Mountains are home to the highest 41 peaks in Montana."

The US Forest Service has several maps and trail guides for the Beartooth Mountains, and this is how they have the area divided up. (You'll find maps for each section.)


Read more about Montana's highest peak, Granite Peak, in this incredibly well-written and informative piece by Rick Graetz in the "This is Montana" column at UMT. Want to climb in the Beartooth Mountains? There are many good options for professional guides, including Beartooth Guides.

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