Tallest Mountains in The World

Mountains are colossal giants towering about the world, waiting to be explored. Which mountains make the list for the tallest in the world? That could all be determined by how you measure a mountain. The final measurement could depend on one of three measurements. These three mountains rank highest in three units of measurement mentioned in Geology.com.


Mauna Kea’s height from the base to summit surpasses Mt. Everest and takes the title of Tallest Mountain. While the altitude is 4207m above sea level, it measures 10,203 meters or 33,476 ft from the base to the peak. 


Most mountains are categorized by height according to how far they tower above sea level but can also be measured differently from the Earth’s core. We will find out how these measurements stand against each other and change our perception of the world’s tallest mountains.

Mauna Kea the Tallest From Base To Summit Surpasses Everest

Mauna Kea is argumentally the tallest summit in the world. That is because Mauna Kea literally goes deeper than just the surface. Mauna Kea is a Mountainous Island and its base can be measured from below sea level to it’s very top. This dormant volcano is located in North central Hawaii on the Big Island and is planted inside a forest preserve.

Mauna Kea the Tallest From Base To Summit

The highest point measures at 13,796 ft or 4,207 meters above sea level, but when measured from base to summit it is over 10,000 meters. This places Mauna Kea as technically the highest Mountain peak in the world.


Mauna Kea means “White Mountain,” and some call it “Mauna O’ Wakea.” Mauna Kea is sacred to the Hawaiians and is the home of their deity Wakea. This sacred mountain is a connection for the natives to their creation and creators. They say it is home to not only the divine deities but also their ancestors. It is to them the place where “sky father” and “Earth Mother,” meet. This land is also a sacred burial ground for high chiefs and priests.


Mauna Kea is not like most mountains, it is made up of many volcanic cinder cones. Mauna Kea is easily accessible for those wanting to climb. Unlike many other mountain treks no heavy mountain gear is needed, it is more like hiking. To climb you would start at the Ellison Onizuka Visitor Center and follow the Mauna Kea trail also known as the Humuula Trail.


Top Ten Tallest Mountains in The World According to Altitude

Mountains are measured many ways, the most popular one being altitude. Altitude measures the tallest point above sea level. Mountains are often measured more than once as time goes on because the Earth’s plates are constantly shifting and so too are the mountain formations. With today’s technology mountains can be measured using GPS and satellites. In each study these mountains listed are still ranking as the top ten mountains with the highest altitude to date. Below is the chart of the highest Mountains in the world above sea level.


Top Ten Tallest Mountains in The World According to Altitude

Height meters
Height feet
1 Mt. Everest  8,848 m 29,031.7 ft Nepal, China
2 K2  8,611 m 28,251 ft Pakistan & China
3 Kangchenjunga 8,586 m  28,169 ft Nepal & India
4 Lhotse 8,516 m 27,940 ft Nepal & China
5 Makalu 8,485 m  27,838 ft Nepal & China
6 Cho Oyu 8,818 m 26,864 ft Nepal & China
7 Dhaulagiri I 8,167m 26,795 ft Nepal
8 Manaslu 8,163m 26,781 ft Nepal
9 Nanga Parbat 8,126 m  26,660 ft Pakistan
10 Annapurna I  8,126 m 26,510 Nepal


1. Mt Everest Ranks Number One In Highest Altitude Above Sea Level

Mount Everest stretches across the lands of Nepal, China and the Tibetan border in southern Asia. Mt. Everest measures in at 8,848.86 meters or 29,031.7 Ft. Everest is part of the Himalayan Mountains which is home to a handful of the highest mountain peaks in the world above sea level.

Mt Everest - Tallest Mountain in the World

Local Tibetans have named Everest Chomolungma, which translates to “Goddess of the World or of the Valley.” Sanskrit calls it “Peak of Heaven”.” It was officially labeled the highest peak in 1852. Amazingly, Everest has not stopped growing, thanks to tectonic plates it reaches a little higher to the heavens every year.

While many mountain climbing enthusiasts have attempted to climb Mt. Everest and survive, over 300 people have lost their lives trying to climb the famous and very dangerous mountain. The first ascension to Mt. Everest was made in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Noragay. They reached the summit at 29,035ft and were dubbed the first people to stand upon the world’s tallest mountain of the 1900’s.


The wind speed alone can reach up to 200 km/hour and temperatures are prime for frostbite or worse. Oxygen is very thin, the higher you climb and without oxygen, we cannot survive. Even with air tanks in tow, many people never climbed back down the mountain. It is best to admire the mountain from below.

2. K2 Mountain Is the Second Tallest Mountain in the world

K2 Mountain Is the Second Tallest Mountain in the world 

K2 is also known as Qogir Feng or Mount Godwin Austen, named after the mountain’s first surveyor and English geographer Colonel H.H. Godwin Austen.  K2 is the second tallest mountain in the world measured above sea level reaching 28,252 Ft or 8,611 meters.

K2 is the second towering peak in the Karakoram  Mountains and is the tallest of the two. That is why it is called K2. The Karakoram Mountain range is located in Pakistan and stretches into China’s Kashmir region.


The locals refer to it as “Dapsang” and you may also hear them call it “Chogori.” It is a savage and treacherous mountain prone to severe storms making it practically unclimbable, it has of course been done, but not without many losses. Out of every four who climb, one person does not make it.


3. Kanchenjunga The Himilayan Rock Giant Is the Third Tallest Mountain in The World

Kanchenjunga Is the Third Tallest Mountain in the world


Kangchenjuna is one of the massive, towering mountain peaks in the Himalayas where Everest resides. Kangchenjunga measures in at 8586 meters or 28169 Ft.

Though its name is long, this is a simplified version of the longer name Khangchendzonga. The name means “The five treasures of the high snow.” The local Lhopro people believe these hidden treasures reveal themselves to devout people when the world needs them the most. It is also the mythical home of the Yeti or “kanchenjunga devil.”


Kanchenjunga is one of the most difficult mountains to climb and sees less climbers than neighboring mountains. Due to the difficulty and length of the trek Kanchenjuna typically limits climbers yearly to under 34.


4. Lhotse Is the South Peak Mountain & Fourth Tallest Mountain in The World

Lhotse Is the South Peak Mountain


Lhotse is the 4th highest mountain in the world above sea level measuring at 8,516 meters and 27940 ft. Lhoste is located in China on the border of Nepal and Tibet and is part of the same mountain range as the infamous Mt. Everest. Lhotse means “South Peak” in Tibetan.


It is the part of the South Col which connects to Everest. Lhotse is made up of additional smaller summers the Lhotse middle on the East which measures at 8414meters or 27605 ft and the Lhotse Shar which measures at 8383 meters or 27503ft.


Lhoste is climbable and is often looked at as a steppingstone before attempting to climb Everest. While it may not be as difficult as Everest, it is still a steep climb and is harder to climb than Cho Oyu. Climbing Lhotse is gaining in popularity as it’s less crowded and costs less for an expedition compared to some neighboring climbs.

5. Makalu Mountain Is Named After a Hindu God & is the Fifth Tallest Mountain in The World

Makalu Mountain


Makalu is the 5th tallest mountain above sea level measuring at 8485 meters or 27838 ft, located in the mahalangun, a section in the Himalayas on NE Nepal and South central Tibet, China. Makalu lies just east of Everest. Makalu is more isolated and is recognizable by its four sided pyramid like faces.


The mountain is known for its steep ridges and is considered one of the most challenging mountains to climb. Below the mountain lies the Makalu-Barun valley, a Himalayan glacier valley inside the Makalu National Park. The valley is full of breathtaking beauty such as cascading waterfalls and some of the deepest gorges surrounded by lush forests nestled below the snowy ice caps above.

6. Cho Oyu The Sixth Tallest Mountain in The World

Cho Oyu The Sixth Tallest Mountain

Cho Oyu is the 6th tallest mountain in the world above sea level measuring at an elevation of 8188 meters or 26864 ft. This is another massive formation of the mighty Himalayas and lies on the west side of the Khumba (Everest) region.


Cho Oyu means “turquoise Goddess” in Tibetan.  Cho Oyu is considered an easier mountain to climb and is relatively safer than other vigorous mountains found in the region. A typical mountain climb on Cho Oyu can take up to six weeks.

7. Dhaulagiri I Of the Himalayan Mountains is The Seventh Tallest Mountain in The World


Dhaulagiri is the 7th tallest mountain in the world above sea level with an elevation of 8167 meters or 267795 ft and another prominent formation of the Himalayas. Dhaulagiri does not share a country like many of the himalayan peaks but is completely inside the borders of Nepal.


Dhaulargiri derives from the Sanskrit word “dhawala giri” which translates to “Dazzling or beautiful white mountain.” Dhaulagiri is the highest point of the Gandaki River Basin. The Gandaki River flows down below.


Something special about Dhaulagiri is that it is a folded mountain, which means it has been formed by two tectonic plates pushed together to make the new formation.


Dhaulagiri I is more difficult to climb but has over 500 successful climbing attempts since it’s first initial climb in the 1960’s and over 30 casualties.

8. Manaslu Mountain Is The Eight Tallest In the World

Manaslu Mountain Is The Eight Tallest In the World


Manaslu is the 8th tallest mountain above sea level. Manaslu measures at an elevation of 8163 meters or 26,781 ft. It belongs to the Mansiri Himal of the western Nepalese Himalayas. Manaslu derives from the Sanskrit word “manasa” (spirit) so is known as  “mountain of the spirit.”


This mighty mountain is the highest summit of the Gorkha District of Nepal. From afar Manaslu looks like a wall of snow and ice hanging in the sky.


While Manaslu Mountain is not as treacherous as the neighboring mountains, it is still viewed as a dangerous trek. Over 60 people have died attempting to climb the mountain and so locals will often call it the “killer mountain.” Aspiring climbers will often attempt to climb this mountain to practice for the bigger and even more dangerous Mt. Everest.

9. Nanga Parbat Of the Himalayan Mountain Range Is the 9th Tallest Peak

Nanga ParbatNanga Parbat is


the 9th tallest mountain peak measuring at 8126 meters or 26660 ft above sea level. It is located in the Damer District of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan on the western Himalayas.


The name Nanga Parbat means “Naked Mountain” originating from the Sanskrit words “Nanga” and “Prava,” but the Tibetan nickname (Diamer)  “Huge Mountain” is more widely known.

Nanga Parbat towers above what is known as Fairy Meadows or “Joot” National Park. It has also been labeled a “Killer Mountain” due to the many lives that have been lost attempting to scale the terrain.

10. Annapurna In Nepal Is the Tenth Tallest Mountain in The World



Annapurna is the 10th tallest mountain measuring at 8,091 meters or 26,545 ft. This magnificent mountain is also located in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal.


The highest peak on Annapurna of the Himalayas is what reaches the record over 8000 meters, but it is also made up of many smaller peaks that make up the massif. Annapurna when translated from the Sanskrit language means “the giver of food and nourishment.”


One special area Annapurna encloses is a high basin named the Annapurna Sanctuary. The Annapurna sanctuary is a high glacial basin surrounded by a ring of mountains. This sanctuary is full of a variety of ecosystems such as a jungle in one area and a drier and colder climate in another.


It is full of hidden natural gems like waterfalls, caves and more. The variation of these ecosystems in the Annapurna sanctuary are due to the limited 7 hours of sunlight that makes it into the valley. The natives believed this place to be very sacred. The natives believed it to be a sanctuary for their deities and a place where treasures were stored.


Annapurna has been climbed by hundreds of people since its first ascent in the 1950’s. The first ascent was led by French Native Maurice Herzog. The first expedition reached the Annapurna summit at 8,091 meters. While over 200 people have successfully climbed Annapurna, around 54 climbers never returned. Annapurna has the highest fatality to summit ratio.  It is still a dangerous climb and is best to climb in “climbing season, which is from October to May, these are prime months for climbing to avoid the monsoon season.


Top Ten Tallest Mountains by Height From the Earth’s Core

When looking at our list of the world’s tallest mountains in order from the Earth’s core, the list looks quite different. There are a couple of mountains that make both lists, but one of the most surprising facts about this form of measurement is that the famous Mt. Everest falls in tenth place and Chimborazo takes first.


Top Ten Tallest Mountains In The World by Height From the Earth’s Core

Distance From the Core
Distance From the Core in Miles
Elevation Above Sea Level in Feet
Chimborazo 6,384.4 K  3,967.1 mi 20,561 Ecuador
Huascaran Mountain (Sur Summit) 6,384.4 K 3967.1 mi 22205 ft Peru
Yerupaja`  6384.3 K 3967.0 mi 21834 Peru
Cotopaxi 6384.1 K 3966.9 mi 19347 Ecuador
Huandoy 6384.0 3966.8 mi 20981 Peru
Kilimanjaro 6384.0 K 3966.8 mi 19341 Tanzania
Cayambe 6384.0 K 3966.8 mi 20981 Ecuador
Antisana 6383.9 K 3966.8mi 19341 Ecuador
Siula Grande Mountain 6383.8 K 3966.7 mi 19000 Peru
Mount Everest 6382.3 K 3965.8 mi 18875 Nepal


Chimborazo The Tallest Mountain Measured from Earth’s Center

When measuring the distance from the center of the Earth, Chimborazo ranks number one. Chimborazo is 6,384.4 kilometers or 3,967.1 miles from the Earth’s center, placing it as the highest point on Earth by this form of measurement. Chimborazo is located in Ecuador and is about 6,267 meters above sea level. It can also be considered the mountain closest to the moon.


What does the name Chimborazo mean? Though the exact history and translation of Chimborazo is not specific, the meaning behind the name basically translates to “the snow on the other side.” However, in the chimbo language the mountain is dubbed “Icethrone of God.”


Chimborazo is more than just a mountain; it is an inactive double volcano. Chimborazo is not just any volcano it is a stratovolcano, which means its steep profile is a composite volcano built by layers and layers of hardened lava. The farthest point on the planet away from Earth’s center. The Earth is not a perfect sphere, in fact it bulges at the Equator (equatorial bulge) and this mountain is very close to the equator, and that bulge gives Chimborazo that extra dynamic.


Chimborazo is considered a “fast climb” compared to other mountains. This is because it does not take any hiking to reach the summit, instead it should only take about seven hours. Fast does not mean easy and it is not to be taken lightly. The most popular route to the summit is called El Castillo. While Chimborazo was probably climbed to the summit for years before the first documented climb by natives, the first documented ascension was in 1823. Joseph Goodrich, an American missionary recorded his ascent in one day.

Huascaran The Sur Summit Is the Second Tallest Mountain From the Core

Huascaran is the second tallest mountain in the world with the farthest distance from the Earth’s core. The Sur Summit is located in Yungay province of Peru and measures 6384.4 meters or 3,967.1 miles from the center of the Earth. Below the mountain lies the village of Huashco which is also the root for the mountain’s official name.


The Huascaran Mountain actually has two summits, the south summit is the highest peak and the north peak is the smaller. The mountain tops are separated by Garganta which is shaped like a saddle creating a distinction between the two peaks.

Yerupaja Mountain of Peru Is The Third Farthest From The Core

The famous Andes mountains are more than a good chocolate. The Andes hold many towering mountain peaks. Yerupaja is one of those peaks and makes for the third tallest mountain in the world from the Earth’s center. Yerupaja is 6,384.3 Kilometers or 3,967.1 meters from the core and about 6635 meters above sea level. Yerupaja is located in Peru, this spectacular mountain peak is part of the Huayhuash mountain range in the Andes.


Not too many people have successfully climbed and conquered Yerupaja, because the mountain is difficult to climb, but its beauty continues to draw people in who are brave enough to attempt its slopes.

Cotopaxi Mountain Is an Active Volcano

Cotopaxi is a stunning mountain that sits on the planes of Cotopaxi National Park. Cotopaxi measures in at 6, 384.1 kilometers or 3,966.9 miles from the center of planet Earth. Unlike Chimborazo, Cotopaxi is an active volcanic mountain in Ecuador. Since 1738 Cotopaxi has erupted over 50 times and is not done letting the world know it’s presence.


There is a crater on Mount Cotopaxi that is shaped like a crescent moon. When referring to the native language Cotopaxi translates to “neck moon.” The locals considered this mountain sacred for generations and looked upon it as the “rain sender.” That very rain would ensure a healthy crop and plentiful harvest for the villagers. To these people, it was a home where the God’s resided, so it was looked at with reverence more than fear of eruption.

Huandoy Mountain Fifth Tallest from the Center of Earth

Huandoy Mountain is the 5th tallest mountain when measured from the center of the Earth. Huandoy measures at 6384.0 kilometers or 3966.8 miles. This monstrous rock formation is located in Peru. This magnificent mountain is nestled in the Huascaran National Park and belongs to the cordillera mountain range of the Andes. It is recognized by its four peaks that somehow resemble a fireplace.

Mount Kilimanjaro the Famous Tanzania Giant

Mount Kilimanjaro is the 6th tallest mountain from the Earth’s core. This dormant volcano measures at 5895 meters or 19340 ft and is located in Africa. Kilimanjaro is highly popular with adventurists; it is easier to access and climb than some of its competitors. Kilimanjaro is easy to hike for the hiker of any skill or lack thereof. No high-tech climbing gear is needed to scale this giant. However due to its height many people get altitude sickness, so only about 50% of people make it to the summit.

The first person to record their ascent to Kilimanjaro was a crew of German geologists in 1889. It is assumed that locals have climbed the famous mountain for years before the first documented climb.


Kilimanjaro is unique not only because of its location directly on the equator, but it is also the World’s tallest free standing mountain. This means that it is not part of a mountain range like the Himalayas. The national Swahili people call the mountain the “Mountain of Greatness.”

Cayambe Is a Massive Volcanic Mountain of Ecuador

Cayambe ranks as number seven in the world’s tallest mountains in relation to the Earth’s core. Cayambe is more than a mountain range, it is a Volcano located in the Pichincha Province of Ecuador. Cyambe measures at 6384.0 kilometers or 3966.8 miles from the center of the Earth and is another magnificent formation of the Andes. When measured above sea level the Cayambe is 5790 meters.

Antisana Is a Volcanic Mountain

The Andes is full of mountains as well as volcanoes. Antisana is one of five Andes volcanic mountain formations of the Andes in Ecuador. It might be the fourth highest mountain in Ecuador, but it ranks at number eight on our list of the world’s tallest mountains from the Earth’s center. Antisana measures at 6383.9 kilometers or 3966.8 miles from the core and about 18, 875 ft above sea level.


Siula Grande Of Peru

Siula is the 9th tallest mountain from Earth’s Center at 6383.8 Kilometers or 3966.7 mi and 5,790 meters or 19,000 ft above sea level. Siula is a Peruvian mountain with two peaks, Siula Grande (large) and Siula Chico (smaller.)

Siula Grande was brought to the public eye when a British Mountaineer Joe Simpson and Simon Yates documented the father and son’s survival story and climbing experience. His 1989 book was later made into a movie called “Touching the Void.”

Mount Everest Is the Tenth Tallest

Mount Everest of Nepal falls into tenth place when measuring distance from the Earth’s center and is the tenth farthest from the moon. Mt. Everest is 6,382.3 kilometers or 3,965.8 miles from the core. It is 8,848 meters or 29,029 ft above sea level. It has long been labeled as the tallest mountain on Earth but when measured from the center of the Earth, that is not so.


Point of View or Measurement Means Everything

Traditionally Mountains have been measured solely by elevation above sea level, however we have learned through time and study that there are other factors that can determine the true height of a mountain. A mountain can also be measured from base to summit which ultimately would make Mauna Kea the tallest mountain in the world or when measured distance from the center of the Earth and closest to the moon, Chimborazo becomes the world’s tallest mountain.