The Highest Mountains in Asia

It is the largest, youngest continent on Earth; the one with the highest highs and lowest lows. So what are Asia's highest peaks? Read on to get to the bottom of the highest mountains in Asia.

Travel and Exploration
5 January 2023

Of the world’s continents, Asia is the largest, making up roughly a third of Earth’s landmass. Perhaps it should therefore come as no surprise that it’s also the one with the most diverse geographical features. Not only does it have the longest coastline of any of its counterparts, but both the lowest and highest points on the planet.

One of the reasons behind such morphological extremes is that Asia is also the youngest of all the continents and the most seismically active. In fact, new land is still being formed in places, emerging around it. By contrast, the highest mountains in Asia are no spring chickens, being between 40 and 50 million years old. What’s more, Asia’s highest peaks are also the world’s highest peaks, making up the first 188 of the world’s tallest mountains.

The top ten highest mountains in Asia:

  1. Mount Everest: 29,029 feet
  2. K2: 28,251 feet
  3. Kangchenjunga: 28,169 feet
  4. Lhotse: 27,940 feet
  5. Makalu: 27,838 feet
  6. Cho Oyu: 26,864 feet
  7. Dhaulagiri: I 26,795 feet
  8. Manaslu: 26,781 feet
  9. Nanga Parbat: 26,660 feet
  10. Annapurna I: 26,545 feet

We’ve covered these in more detail in our article on the Top 10 Highest Mountains in the World. Here, we’ll be rounding up the continent’s highest mountains by mountain range, starting with the Himalayas, home of the tallest mountain in Asia.

The Himalayas: Home of the Biggest Mountain in Asia

Everest Mountain Peak (Photo: Arsgera via iStock)

Top Height: 29,029 feet | Highest Mountain: Mount Everest

Known as the “roof of the world”, the highest mountain in Asia is also the highest on Earth. The iconic Mount Everest rises to an elevation of 29,029 feet and is home to many plants and animals, including the yak, the snow leopard and the red panda. The summit of Mount Everest is covered in snow and ice all year round and can be reached only by experienced climbers with special equipment.

Everest is located in the Mahalangur sub-range of the Himalayas, on the border between Nepal and Tibet. In fact the Himalayas cover three-quarters of Nepal and pass through countries including India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and Bhutan. In all they stretch for some 1500 miles.

Other than the second highest point in Asia, K2, all the rest of the top ten highest mountains in Asia are part of the Himalayan range.


Mount K2 and reflection (Photo: Kitti_Boonnitrod via iStock)

Top Height: 28,251 feet | Highest Mountain: K2

At 28,251 feet above sea level, K2 is the second tallest mountain in Asia. Its steepness, altitude, and unpredictable weather conditions mean it is often considered one of the most difficult mountains to climb.

Mount K2 is located in the Karakoram range, which extends from Afghanistan and Tajikistan through to Pakistan, India, and China. Aside from K2, the Karakoram range includes five other mountains over 26,000 feet. These are Gasherbrum I, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum II, Gasherbrum III and Gasherbrum IV, respectively ranked 11-13, 17 and 19 of the highest mountains in Asia. Gasherbrum III is left out of the rankings as it fails to qualify as an independent mountain.

Tirich Mir

Tirich Mir (Photo: tariq sulemani via iStock)

Top Height: 25,289 feet | Highest Mountain: Tirich Mir

The Hindu Kush stretches for some 500 miles across Central and South Asia, through Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan. Whilst the average height of mountains in this range is said to be 14,800 feet, its highest peak rises 25,289 feet above sea level. Known as Tirich Mir, it is the 33rd biggest mountain in Asia.

Ural Mountains

Ural Mountains (Photo: Gooddenka via iStock)

Top Height: 6,217 feet | Highest Mountain: Mount Narodnaya

The Ural Mountains extend over 1,600 miles through Russia and Kazakhstan, forming what is thought of as the traditional boundary between Europe and Asia. The range is home to a diversity of landscapes, from snow-capped peaks and glaciers to dense forests and beautiful meadows. The highest peak in the Urals is Russia’s Mount Narodnaya or “People’s Mountain”, which reaches a height of 6,217 feet.

Dating back about 250 million years, the Ural Mountains are also home to a number of interesting animals, including wolves, elk, lynx, brown bears, and reindeer.

Asia's Highest Peaks

Aconcagua Peak (Photo: MartinIsaac via iStock)

As we’ve seen, the highest point in Asia is also the highest on Earth. In fact, the highest point outside the continent is South America’s Mount Aconcagua at number 189 on the world list.


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