The Best Mountains to Climb for Beginners: An Intro to Mountaineering

Ready for a new challenge? We’ve got you covered when it comes to the best mountains to climb for beginners. Here are the 10 top peaks that act as the perfect intro to mountaineering.

Guys, we’ll be honest – don’t let the term beginner fool you. While these mountains are suitable for those new to mountaineering, they still present a challenging climb. It’s important to note that most of these mountains are only appropriate for beginners during certain seasons. But we’ll let you know when the easiest time of year is to climb them.

We’ll also provide a difficulty scale, but it’s important to understand that easy doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a walk in the park. These are mountains, after all. That said, with a little bit of training, the peaks we’ve picked should be manageable for most people as a first climb.

We’ll let you in on a little secret – Kilimanjaro was the first mountain that we climbed. And, while it was a challenge, it didn’t require any specialist knowledge or equipment.

So, are you ready to take on one of these peaks?

Best Mountains to Climb for Beginners

Mount Kilimanjaro (5895m) – Tanzania

best mountains for beginners to climb - kilimanjaro

Difficulty: Hard • Guide Recommended: Yes • When to Climb: Jan – Feb, Jul – Oct

Mount Kilimanjaro is the perfect intro to mountaineering. Why? You don’t need any climbing skills to reach its summit.

Though, there are some things to be aware of – the main issue being altitude sickness, which can affect even the most experienced hikers. The higher you go, the thinner the air becomes, making it harder to breathe. That’s why it’s essential to acclimate slowly and steadily by taking frequent breaks and drinking plenty of water.

The journey to the summit usually takes around 6 – 8 days, depending on the route and how long you take to acclimatise to the altitude. The climb itself is mostly hiking, but you’ll still need to be physically fit to take on Mt Kilimanjaro.

One of the benefits of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is that you can do it anytime during the year. However, the driest times are from January to February and from July to October. These periods are also the busiest, so expect more crowds. 

If you prefer a more peaceful experience, consider visiting during the edge of the rainy season (ie. at the end of March, beginning of June, or January). This is when the weather is still good, and the crowds are thinner. We climbed in early June and the weather was ideal.

Ben Nevis (1344m) – Scotland, UK

best mountains for beginners to climb  - ben nevis

Difficulty: Easy • Guide Recommended: No • When to Climb: Jun – Sep

Fancy an adventure that can be done in a day? If so, Ben Nevis might be just the mountain for you.

Situated in the Highlands, it’s the highest mountain in the British Isles. We love this climb as it offers you the chance to experience Scotland’s stunning natural beauty up close. From the rocky slopes to the panoramic views, the scenery is truly breathtaking. 

Despite its relatively modest height, climbing Ben Nevis still requires some preparation and knowledge of the route, as you really do not need a guide for this climb.

If you’re up for the challenge, the best time to climb Ben Nevis is during the summer months when the snow has melted and the path is clear. However, be prepared for lots of other hikers around and potentially cloudy weather conditions that can make navigation tricky. As long as you stick to the well-trodden path, you’ll be fine.

Even though it can be done in a day, climbing Ben Nevis is not to be taken lightly. The terrain is steep and can be treacherous, and the weather can change rapidly, making it essential to have the right equipment and clothing. Proper hiking boots, warm clothing, and rain gear are a must, as are snacks and plenty of water.

Mount Toubkal (4167m) – Morocco

best mountains for beginners to climb  - toubkal

Difficulty: Moderate • Guide Recommended: Yes • When to Climb: Jun – Sep

If you’re looking for easy mountains to climb, Mount Toubkal in Morocco might just be the perfect destination. As the highest peak in North Africa, it offers a thrilling adventure that attracts hikers from all over the world.

One of the reasons we think Mount Toubkal is among the best mountains to climb as a beginner is that it is possible to summit in just two days. However, for those who prefer a more leisurely pace – or want to acclimate to the altitude – there are also three-day options available.

The path up Mount Toubkal is steep and rocky, winding through valleys and past traditional Berber villages. These villages offer a unique opportunity to experience local culture and hospitality, with many offering homestays to hikers. The climb itself is physically demanding, but the effort is well worth it for the panoramic views from the top.

From the summit, hikers are rewarded with breathtaking vistas that stretch out for miles, showcasing the natural beauty of the Atlas Mountains. See why it’s one of the best mountains for beginners to climb?

Mount Fuji (3776m) – Japan

best mountains for beginners to climb  - fuji

Difficulty: Moderate • Guide Recommended: No • When to Climb: Jul – Sep

When it comes to beginner mountains, none are quite as magical as Mount Fuji, on the island of Honshu in Japan. It’s actually a stratovolcano and stands as one of the most recognisable symbols of Japan. You can even see it from Tokyo on a clear day.

While it is possible to climb Mount Fuji in a day, those who want to take their time and enjoy the journey can stay at one of the many accommodations on the mountain and time their climb so they can view the sunrise from the summit.

These lodges and huts offer basic amenities such as food, water, and shelter, making it possible to climb at a more leisurely pace and appreciate the stunning scenery along the way. Book well in advance though – these huts get extremely busy.

If you want to climb the mountain in one day, this is known as bullet climbing. It can be a challenge for beginners to do this, but as long as you are prepared mentally and physically, it’s totally possible.

One thing to keep in mind when planning a trip to climb Mount Fuji is that it can get very busy during the peak season, which coincides with the Japanese school holidays (and totally avoid climbing in mid-August during Obon Week, FYI).

Mount Kosciuszko (2228m) – Australia

best mountains for beginners to climb  - kosciuszko

Difficulty: Easy • Guide Recommended: No • When to Climb: Nov – Mar

Mount Kosciuszko may not be as tall as some of the world’s other mountains, but that doesn’t diminish its importance as a destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The main reason we recommend this one (apart from the fact that it’s one of the best mountains to climb as a beginner) is that climbing Mount Kosciuszko gives you the opportunity to say that you’ve tackled one of the Seven Summits – a list of the highest peaks on each continent (according to the Bass version).

Another advantage is that it can easily be summited in a day, making it a great option for those with limited time or who want to tackle a less challenging climb. The mountain is accessible via a variety of well-marked trails that wind through the rugged terrain of the Snowy Mountains region.

From the expansive vistas of the Australian Alps to the glimmering waters of glacial lakes, Mount Kosciuszko offers an unforgettable outdoor experience that should be on every hiker’s bucket list.

Pikes Peak (4302m) – Colorado, USA

best mountains for beginners to climb  - pikes peak

Difficulty: Easy • Guide Recommended: No • When to Climb: Jun – Aug

Let’s head over to the States for the next brilliant beginner-friendly mountain. Pikes Peak is a popular destination in Colorado, drawing in visitors from all over the world. Its accessibility makes it an ideal destination for those looking for a relatively easy mountain experience. 

There are several trails to the summit that offer varying levels of difficulty – these include the Barr Trail, a 13-mile round-trip hike that begins in Manitou Springs and winds its way up the mountain, and the Crags Trail, a 4.5-mile hike that offers stunning views of the mountain’s iconic rock formations.

Despite its popularity, you need to be aware that the mountain’s high elevation can pose a challenge for those not accustomed to the altitude. We recommend you take time to acclimate to the elevation before attempting to summit the mountain. As well as this, the weather can be unpredictable at higher elevations, so it is important to come prepared with appropriate gear and clothing.

Mount Kinabalu (4095m) – Borneo, Malaysia

best mountains for beginners to climb - kinabalu

Difficulty: Moderate • Guide Recommended: Yes • When to Climb: Mar – Sep

Another epic destination making it into the best mountains to climb for beginners guide is Mount Kinabalu. The climb up the mountain can take up to two days, with hikers typically starting early in the morning and spending a night at one of the mountain’s rest houses before completing the ascent the following day. 

There are two main routes to the summit: the standard route and the via ferrata route. The standard route is suitable for most hikers and involves trekking through forests and steep slopes before reaching the summit. 

The via ferrata route, on the other hand, is more challenging and requires hikers to use steel cables and rungs to navigate this beginner mountain’s steep cliffs and rock faces. This route is recommended for more experienced hikers who are confident with heights and have some rock climbing experience.

Regardless of the route, expect to be surrounded by stunning natural beauty throughout the climb. The mountain is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, including the Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower.

It’s well worth spending some time training for this one. The views from the summit are truly incredible – we’re talking about panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape stretching out as far as the eye can see. 

Island Peak (6189m) – Nepal

best mountains for beginners to climb  - island peak

Difficulty: Hard • Guide Recommended: Yes • When to Climb: Mar – May, Sep – Oct

Island Peak, AKA Imja Tse, is a brilliant destination for anyone looking for an intro to mountaineering in the Himalayas. Located in the Sagarmatha National Park, Island Peak offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers, making it a photographer’s dream.

While climbing Island Peak requires some technical skills and a high level of fitness, it is still considered one of the easiest peaks to climb in the region. However, with a total trek time of about 3 weeks, it may push the limits of what a beginner to mountaineering might want to do. 

If you’re up for the challenge, though, Island Peak provides a stepping stone to higher peaks and an opportunity to gain more technical mountaineering experience.

The best time to visit Island Peak is between April and May or October and November when the weather conditions are favourable. During this time, you can enjoy clear skies and crisp mountain air while making your way to the summit.

Mount Stanley (5109m) – Uganda

mountains for beginners - mount stanley

Difficulty: Hard • Guide Recommended: Yes • When to Climb: Jan – Feb, Jul – Oct

Mount Stanley is a hidden gem among Africa’s towering peaks. Sure, it’s the third highest mountain on the continent, but its lesser-known status means that it is far less crowded than its more famous counterparts. 

Climbing Mount Stanley typically takes about 8 days to complete and requires some technical skills, making it a challenge but still one of the best mountains to climb as a beginner. While not as high as Mount Kilimanjaro, we think that Mount Stanley’s rugged terrain and unpredictable weather conditions make it a more technically demanding climb.

The mountain is part of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its unique flora and fauna, including several species found nowhere else on earth. Climbers who make it to the top of Mount Stanley are rewarded with stunning views that are worth every step of the challenging climb.

What are you waiting for? Pack your bags, grab your gear, and head to Mount Stanley for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in the heart of Africa.

Mauna Kea (4207m) – Hawaii, USA

mountains for beginners - kea

Difficulty: Easy • Guide Recommended: No • When to Climb: Apr – Oct

We’ll end this guide with one of our favourite easy mountains to climb (well, when compared to the last two biggies). Mauna Kea is an awe-inspiring dormant volcano located in Hawaii. And it’s actually the tallest in the world if measured from its base on the ocean floor. 

Mauna Kea is the highest point in Hawaii and offers spectacular panoramic views of its surroundings. Interestingly, despite its impressive height, the mountain is easily climbable in just one day. This means it’s an excellent choice for those looking for a challenging yet doable adventure.

What makes this mountain so special? We’ll tell you – the summit of Mauna Kea is home to several astronomical observatories. Thanks to its high altitude and clear skies, it’s a popular spot for stargazing and astronomy enthusiasts. 

However, Mauna Kea is not just a place for scientific discovery; it is also considered sacred by Native Hawaiians and has significant cultural and spiritual importance. The mountain serves as a place for traditional ceremonies and spiritual connection.

Mauna Kea’s unique combination of natural beauty, scientific significance, and cultural importance makes it a must-visit destination in Hawaii. Whether you’re an adventure seeker looking to climb a mountain or a stargazer seeking a glimpse into the mysteries of the universe, Mauna Kea is sure to leave you with an unforgettable experience.

So… What Are the Best Mountains to Climb for Beginners?

mountains for beginners

As we’ve already mentioned, the easiest mountain to climb depends on several factors – your level of experience, physical fitness, and the location you are in. We think that, from the ones we’ve mentioned above, Mount Fuji, Mount Kosciuszko and Ben Nevis are some of the best mountains to climb as a beginner. 

However, even these “easy” mountains should not be taken lightly. Climbers should always take the necessary precautions, including proper equipment, training, and research before attempting any climb. Stay safe, friends. 

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