Mountain Ranges in Asia: Mountains, Hikes, And All Things Altitude

Mountain Ranges in Asia: Notable Mountains, Hikes, And All Things Altitude

mountain ranges in asia

The highest, grandest and most revered mountain ranges are found in Asia.

Of particular grandeur are the Himalayas, the home of some of the most iconic and highest peaks in the world.

On this page you will find detailed guides to some of the most notable ranges, mountains and hikes in Asia.

Asian Mountain Ranges

Asia is a vast continent with many mountain ranges, but none rival the sub-continent ranges of the Himalayas, Karakoram and Hindu Kush, often collectively referred to as the Great Himalaya.

Below are guides to the most notable ranges in Asia, along with a list of the top 10 ranges on the continent.

Himalayas

The Himalayas are one of the youngest mountain ranges on the planet, having formed when the Indian tectonic plate collided with the Eurasian plate around 50 million years ago.

The range runs in an arc from northwest to southeast, passing through Nepal, India, China, Bhutan and Pakistan. The range is home to over 50 mountains with an elevation greater than 7,200m (to put that into perspective, the highest mountain outside Asia is Aconcagua in the Andes that stands at 6,961m), and 10 of the fourteen 8000-meter peaks, including Mount Everest.

In addition to offering some of the most incredible mountaineering challenges, the Himalayas are awash with awesome hiking experiences, including the Great Himalayan Trail.

Karakoram

The Karakoram is a significant mountain range that extends from Afghanistan and Tajikistan in the northwest, all the way through Pakistan, India, and China.

As the second highest mountain range in World, the Karakoram is home to 4 of the fourteen 8000-meter peaks, including the infamous K2, and has a total of eight summits over 7,500 m.

Hindu Kush

The Hindu Kush is an 800km (500 mile) long mountain range that traverses the Afghanistan and Pakistan border.

Like its bigger brothers, the Himalayas and Karakoram, the Hindu Kush is also a very high range, with an average altitude for 4,500m (14,800ft). The highest mountain in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir (7,708m / 25,289ft).

The region is known to be relatively dangerous so traveling to hike or climb in the Hindu Kush should be considered with caution.

Ural Mountains

The Ural Mountains run north to south through western Russia forming part of the conventional boundary between Europe and Asia.

The range is one of the oldest in the World and is particularly rich in minerals and ores, like gold, platinum, coal and nickel oxide.

The Urals offer a number of very rewarding hikes in popular destinations like the national parks of Taganai and Konzhakovskiy Kamen in the Southern and Middle Urals, and more challenging hikes in the Northern and Sub-Polar Urals. 

Top 10 Mountain Ranges in Asia

Range

Countries

Highest Point

Himalayas

Nepal, India, China, Bhutan

Mount Everest (8,848m)

Karakoram

Pakistan, India, China, Afghanistan and Tajikistan

K2 (8,611m)

Hindu Kush

Afghanistan and Pakistan

Tirich Mir (7,690m)

Ural Mountains

Russia and Kazakhstan

Mount Narodnaya (1,895m)

Altai Mountains

Russia, China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan

Belukha Mountain (4,506m)

Tian Shan

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and China

Jengish Chokusu (7,439m)

Pamir Mountains

Tajikistan

Kongur Tagh (7,649m)

Kunlun Mountains

China / Tibet

Liushi Shan (7,167m)

Western Ghats

India

Anamudi, Kerala (2,695m)

Caucasus Mountains

Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia

Mount Elbrus (5,642m)

Notable Asian Mountains

There are far too many notable mountains in Asia to mention them all. In fact, we have a full guide just dedicated to the 8000ers, see our complete list of these mountains below.

Outside of the 8000m big boys though, Asia is home to many iconic peaks like Ama Dablam and Machapuchare (aka the Fishtail Mountain) in Nepal, Tirich Mir in Pakistan and Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia. 

Below are two popular Asian 'trekking peaks' that we have detailed guides on. 

Island Peak

Island Peak (aka Imje Tse) has in recent time become the preeminent trekking peak in Nepal. Standing at 6,189m (20,305ft), Island Peak is situated just south of Mount Everest and is frequently used as an acclimatisation practice climb for Everest climbers.

Contrary to popular belief, Island Peak is a real high altitude challenge that includes a rocky scramble, glacier and crevasse crossings (with ladders), and climbing a relatively steep headwall to a small summit. It is definitely not a trek!

Stok Kangri

Situated in the Ladakh region of India, Stok Kangri is another popular trekking peak that many adventurous souls attempt to summit every year. 

Standing at an elevation of 6,153m (20,187m), Stok Kangri is a serious high altitude undertaking and should not be underestimated. 

The climb is most popular in the Summer months (July-August) as conditions are favourable and the passage is relatively non-technical.

Highest Mountains in Asia (The 8000ers)

Asia is home to the highest mountains in the world. In fact there are over 130 mountains in Asia that are higher than the next highest mountain outside the continent!

Of particular note are the 14 eight-thousander peaks in Asia. These mountains all have elevations in excess of 8000m (26,247ft), a height that in mountaineering parlance is known as the death zone due to the lack of oxygen and extreme weather.  

Mountain / Range

Height

Country / State

Mount Everest (Himalayas)

8,848m / 29,029ft

Nepal / China (Tibet)

K2 (Himalayas and Karakoram)

8,611m / 28,251 ft

China / Pakistan

Kangchenjunga (Himalayas)

8,586m  / 28,169 ft

Nepal / India

Lhotse (Himalayas)

8,516m / 27,940 ft

Nepal / China (Tibet)

Makalu (Himalayas)

8,485m / 27,838 ft

Nepal / China (Tibet)

Cho Oyu (Himalayas)

8,201m / 26,864 ft

Nepal / China (Tibet)

Dhaulagiri I (Himalayas)

8,167m / 26,795 ft

Nepal

Manaslu (Himalayas)

8,163m / 26,781 ft

Nepal

Nanga Parbat (Himalayas)

8,125m / 26,657 ft

Pakistan

Annapurna I (Himalayas)

8,091m / 26,545 ft

Nepal

Gasherbrum I (Karakoram)

8,080m / 26,510 ft

Pakistan / China

Broad Peak (Karakoram)

8,051m / 26,414 ft

Pakistan / China

Gasherbrum II (Karakoram)

8,035m / 26,362 ft

Pakistan / China

Shishapangma 

8,027m / 26,335 ft

China (Tibet)

Notable Hikes in Asia

hikes in asia

There are 100s of amazing hikes in Asia. 

From the classic Everest Base Camp Trek and Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, to more obscure treks like the Chadar hike in India or the Snowman trek in Bhutan.

Check our list of the Best Hikes in Asia.

Index of Asian Hikes by Country

Nepal

Nepal is one of the best trekking countries in the World. We've written a complete guide to trekking in Nepal, here. To jump to specific trekking routes by region use the Quicklinks below. 

Far West Region

Rara National Park

Manaslu Region

Kachenjunga Region

India

India has some incredible trekking throughout the Northern regions. We've written a complete guide to trekking in India, here. To jump to specific trekking routes by region use the Quicklinks below.

Himachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh

Sikkim Region (see guide)

See our list of best day hikes in India.

Bhutan

The Kingdom of Bhutan offers a number of fantastic off-the-beaten path treks. We've written a complete guide to trekking in Bhutan, here. To jump to specific Bhutan trekking routes use the Quicklinks below.

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