International Mountain Day - A Closer Look At America's Top 5 Mountains
December 11 is annually celebrated as International Mountain Day by the United Nations General Assembly. The day has been observed every year since 2003. The day aims at celebrating and honoring the importance of mountains and the lives of people living in the mountains. It aims to highlight the constraints and opportunities when it comes to development across the mountain regions and builds better partnerships and alliances that bring positive changes to people and the environment.
Since the Alpinism history, our relationship with mountains has been characterized by various complexities. Complexities like facing vertical walls, forces of nature, etc., humanity’s desire to alter this beautiful landscape can be regarded as treacherous. But considering that nature is just a bystander is a misguided thought in humanity’s mind. Nature can talk to us in multiple ways, multiple ways we cannot even comprehend it. The global pandemic, Covid-19, is the ultimate example of this. Listening to the voices of nature is therefore extremely important, and to listen to it, we escape the comforts of our plains and cities, we break the barriers and leave the towns, cross all the rivers and oceans, move through the forests, all in search of that voice, that thread that we broke a long time ago.
Mountains, no matter how mighty and treacherous they are, remind us of how imperfect and small we all are. It reminds us that the world definitely does not revolve around us!
International Mountain Day
Mountains are an interesting geological feature that planet Earth has to offer. They are clear proof of the incredible changes that happen below the surface of our beautiful planet. For long, mountains have served as a playground and a place for worship for multiple generations of humans. Anything that has been such a grand mainstay for multiple people worldwide and cultures for thousands of years is totally worth commemorating. So, every December 11th, we celebrate International Mountain Day.
Sustainable Mountain Day
The theme for this year’s International Mountain Day is sustainable mountain tourism. Sustainable tourism in mountain areas across the world contributes to additional wealth and livelihood options for the people who live there. It helps promote poverty alleviation, social inclusion, and landscape and diversity conservation in these regions. It is a way to preserve the natural resources and beauty of mountains and the people’s culture and spiritual heritage. The day also focuses on promoting local craft products and celebrates various traditional practices and local festivals.
Mountain tourism attracts over 15-20% of global tourism. Tourism is one of the biggest sectors to have been affected by the Covid-19 global pandemic. It has affected livelihoods, economics, opportunities, and all kinds of services across countries. In various mountains, restrictions due to the pandemic have compounded all kinds of vulnerabilities of the mountain communities.
This crisis can be averted if everyone can come together and rethink mountain tourism and its impact on people’s livelihood and the natural environment there, harness it, manage and make it better and more resilient, green, and future-friendly.
To mark International Mountain Day, you can organize safe and socially distanced activities, along with virtual presentations, events, art competitions, hiking activities, etc. While sustainable mountain day is the current theme for 2021 International Mountain Day, people across the globe are advised to celebrate the event through themes and events as per their liking.
America’s Top 5 Mountains To Explore
The International Mountain Day is commemorated annually so we can embrace their magic and their wonders. There are truly some extremely spectacular mountains across the world. You might have even had the pleasure of climbing some of them. Some of the most famous mountains worldwide include the Swiss Alps, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Mount Fuji, etc.
It is a great day to take some time and appreciate their beauty and serenity. Let’s take a closer look at America’s top 5 mountains.
1. Park City, Utah
Just under an hour’s drive away from Salt Lake City, Utah’s Park City is known for sun dancing and skiing. Of course, there’s more to Utah than just that! You can explore the beautiful mountains, snowshoe, snowmobile, and snow bike on these ranges during winters.
During summers, you can enjoy golfing, fishing, and horseback riding, among some of the fun things to do during the time. There are multiple accommodations, from all-inclusive resorts and five-star properties to Airbnbs; there is something for all kinds of budget and traveler’s style.
2. Jackson, Wyoming
Located in a fantastically picturesque part of the country, Jackson, Wyoming, is completely surrounded by national parks and mountains. During the winter months, try skiing at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, while in the summer months, you can bask in all the fresh air by visiting the nearby Grand Teton National Park and the Yellowstone National Park. The location has multiple stunning properties for you to stay in, with all the amenities one could ask for.
3. Asheville, North Carolina
Surrounded all over by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a quirky location with its old-town mountain charm. The city is outdoorsy, vibrant, and pretty posh when it comes to its art scenes, galleries and boutiques. The location is also served by the most fantastic of all hiking trails. You just cannot visit Asheville without stopping at the historic Biltmore Estate, a beautiful mansion built in the late 1800s by George Vanderbilt. You can extend your stay and make it more comfortable by choosing to stay at any of the multiple accommodation options in the area, especially The Inn on Biltmore Estate!
4. Taos, New Mexico
New Mexico might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of a mountain vacation. However, Taos has it all sorted for you! Taos is a small town surrounded by the ever so mesmerizing Sangre de Cristo Mountains. In addition to taking in all the beauty of the town, you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, rafting, and even hiking through these mountains. You can also go on a trek with the llamas here. Hot air balloon rides and soaking in the hot springs are some other options if you are into relaxation and leisure. There are multiple unique accommodations for you to choose from, from vintage to luxurious.
5. Stowe, Vermont
A small Vermont mountain town, Stowe is truly a round-the-year destination you can travel to. There are plenty of opportunities for you to explore, both indoors and outdoors. Skiing and ice skating are the highlights during the wintertime, while hiking is the highlight during the summers. But, unlike other locations in this list, you can truly enjoy the wondrous beauty of the colorful foliage here in the autumn season as well. You can opt to stay in any abundantly available resorts and hotels with top-notch amenities.
Whether you are looking for a luxurious retreat or an outdoor adventure, these top 5 best American mountains will always have something to offer for every type of traveler. Visit these mountain ranges this festive season and admire their majestic beauty. This International Mountain Day, let’s come together to help the people living in the mountains from the crisis while still maintaining their splendid beauty and serenity.
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