The best mountains to climb for beginners

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(Last updated on: 13/05/2021)

Which are the best mountains to climb for beginners? This is a question that most people ask when they are just starting out with their mountain climbing journey. Whilst you can go straight to a big mountain, like I did when I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, many people prefer to start small. But which mountains are best? Below I have outlined the best mountains to climb for beginners.

The best mountains to climb for beginners

When it comes to mountain climbing, it is clear that everybody will have different levels for ability. You may want to climb a mountain for fun, or it might be something you are hoping to turn into a regular hobby. Regardless, here are some of the best mountains to climb for beginners! Find out where each mountain is, the difficult level, and what makes it so great…

Pen y Fan, Brecon Beacons, Wales

best mountains to climb for beginners
You can join a group tour to climb the Brecon Beacons, which is perfect for beginners.

Located in the Brecon Beacons National Park, this is probably the easiest mountain to climb in the UK – making it one of the best mountains to climb for beginners! It is 886 m high, so pretty tall. Nevertheless, it is a really easy climb and popular with tourists, amateur hikers and more. Trails and routes are maintained by the National Trust, so you won’t struggle to find your way up this gorgeous Welsh mountain.

Start at the Storey Arms, an outdoor education centre off the A470. You can stay here, or simply take a bus here from nearby towns and cities. There is a car park and toilets here, too. This simple and well signposted hike is definitely a great one for beginners, especially as the views are so good despite the lack of difficulty. The summit is marked with a Bronze Age cairn, and you’ll get to see miles and miles of green below you. This hike is easy and accessible, though you should always watch out for adverse weather conditions.

Swinica, Tatra Mountains, Poland

best mountains to climb for beginners
There are regular day trips from Krakow to Swinica.

When you think of Poland you might think of cheap vodka, beautiful architecture and a chequered history well worth discovering. Poland has all of these things. But it is also home to the stunning Tatra Mountains. This is a popular skiing area in the winter months but come the summer it is ideal for hiking. 

Located in southern Poland, the Tatra Mountains rise up above the town of Zakopane. You’ll find Swinica at the Polish-Slovak border, and it is the main peak here. The climb is steep and there are some rocky crags that you’ll need to use steel chains to climb, but it isn’t as hard as it sounds. The mountain stands at 7594 ft (2301 m) and can be climbed year-round. For easier hikes, the spring and summer months are your best bet.

You’ll see the Five Lakes valley during your climb, lush greenery and plenty of breathtaking views. There are various trails marked out for you, and to make the climb even easier you can take a cable car 1,987 metres up to Kasprowy Wierch. From there, it’s only a 3-hour hike to the summit where you will be rewarded with incredible views of the mountain range and beyond! This is an intermediate hike, but definitely not a hugely difficult one. Beginners can climb it, though it might be not be your first choice.

Mount Fuji, Honshu, Japan

best mountains to climb for beginners
Mount Fuji is a popular mountain to climb for beginners.

Accessible by public transport from Tokyo and elsewhere, Japan’s highest peak is also one of its easiest mountains to climb. Do so between July and mid-September to avoid snow on the mountains, and climb in relatively good weather. To reach the top and back generally takes 10 hours. This is well worth it for the breathtaking views along the way and when you reach the summit. However, you can make the climb shorter – and easier! Do this by booking a mountain hut along the way, and treat yourself to a Mount Fuji sunrise.

This is a 3776 m/12,388 ft mountain but it is still one of the best mountains to climb for beginners. You don’t need any particular skills. It is worth noting that some points of the mountain are pretty steep, but when you reach the summit you’ll be above the clouds looking out across beautiful Japan. Climbing Mount Fuji is on many peoples’ bucket lists, which comes as no surprise given how iconic it is! An easy climb, and one that will stick in your mind for years to come.

Mount Kosciuszko, New South Wales, Australia 

best mountains to climb for beginners
Mount Kosciuszko is Australia’s highest mountain.

This is Australia’s highest mountain making it a brilliant achievement if you reach the summit. However, it is also one of the best mountains to climb for beginners. It is actually only 2228 m (7309 ft) high, so as tall mountains go it really isn’t top of the list. Another thing that makes it a fairly easy hike is the chairlift (from Thredbo) which takes you part of the way up. This combined with the walk to the summit from where it drops you off makes a round trip up and down the mountain just a 4-hour expedition.

Lakes, rivers and plenty of snowy scenery make for some fantastic views when completing this climb. It is definitely one to add to your bucket list when planning mountains you’d like to climb around the world. Australia has so much to offer. It is definitely somewhere you can plan a relatively easy hike if that’s the sort of trip that’s on your agenda!

Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia, Wales

best mountains to climb for beginners
Mount Snowdon is a popular mountain to climb in the UK.

Another Welsh climb, and another of the best mountains to climb for beginners. This is a popular hike, taking around 6-8 hours to get to the summit and back. There are six different recommended routes:

  • The Llanberis Path
  • The Miners’ Track
  • The PYG Track
  • The Rhyd Ddu Path
  • The Watkin Path
  • The Snowdon Ranger Path

Each route varies in length. Some allow you to see the old copper mine, while others give you views of the many lakes in the area. Snowdon is a famous Welsh hike and one that is incredibly popular with beginners and expert climbers alike. But it’s pretty easy, and definitely one that you should add to your list if you’re looking for mountains to climb in Wales. Despite not having a terribly high difficult rating, you will definitely reap some beautiful rewards from this hike! Pick a clear summer’s day to make the most of the views here.

Stony Bay Peak, Akaroa, New Zealand

best mountains to climb for beginners
The hike to Stony Bay Peak includes lots of lush scenery and nature!

New Zealand is known for having some of the best scenery in the world. The South Island is home to a seaside town called Akaroa, and from here you can walk to the summit of Stony Bay Peak and back again via a well signposted circular route. It’ll only take around five hours. It may be a short and relatively easy hike, but the views are some of the best you’ll find anywhere in New Zealand. The immense bright blue of the Banks Peninsula and panoramic views of the Hinewai conservation area will simply take your breath away.

The summit is at 806 m (2644 ft). It’s pretty high and therefore definitely an achievement, but it isn’t a difficult climb whatsoever. Time your hike for when it isn’t too hot, follow the signposts and don’t forget your camera. You’ll capture some incredible memories here!

Mount Toubkal, Morocco

climb Mount Toubkal
We had so much fun climbing Mount Toubkal!

This might be the highest mountain in North Africa – which therefore comes with reasonable altitude – but it isn’t the most difficult hike you could face in this part of the world. At 4167 m (13,671 ft) it really is high. But it’s gentle, if a bit of a long journey. If you’re looking to make your way in the world of lengthy hikes which take a couple of days, this is well worth looking into. Just 63km south of Marrakesh, you can definitely tie this hike into a longer trip to the stunning nation of Morocco.

Trekking Mount Toubkal generally takes 3-5 days (you can read about my experience of climbing Mount Toubkal here), which means you might not think of it as one of the best mountains to climb for beginners. However, the hike itself isn’t actually that hard. Acclimatisation is so important, and giving yourself enough time is what makes the hike relatively easy. It is consistently cold up here, but the varied terrain and stunning views are more than worth it. Hike with a guide to give yourself the best chance of an easy trek, and make memories that will last for a lifetime. The sunsets (and sunrises!) you’ll see along the way will be etched into your mind forever. However, don’t forget to pack a camera in order to snap some pictures to show everyone back home. Despite not being the hardest climb out there, you’ll still be able to wow your friends with this fantastic achievement.

Gran Paradiso, the Alps, Italy

The views from Gran Paradisco are some of the best in Italy!

Again, the Alps probably don’t spring to mind when considering the best mountains to climb for beginners. But this is a classic alpine ascent and one that is said to be fairly easy, despite being Italy’s tallest mountain. The national park views are outstanding, and worth the simply two-day trek. Any skills you need in order to reach the summit can be taught to you on day one, and you’ll get the chance to see an awesome sunrise on day two after a night spent in a mountain hut.

It is labelled as a fairly easy climb due to the lack of technical climbing requirements. You can do it quite quickly considering how tall the mountain is. At 4,061 m (13,232 ft) it is pretty tall! The Alps are incredible, as mountain ranges go, and to climb an alpine mountain is no mean feat. But this one isn’t bad at all…

The best mountains to climb for beginners

So there you have it, my list of the best mountains to climb for beginners. If you enjoyed this article you may also like:

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Dr Hayley Stainton

Hi, I'm Dr Hayley Stainton

Through Tourism Teacher I share my knowledge on the principles and practice of travel and tourism management from both an academic and practical perspective.

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