7 Top-Rated Mountains and Summits to Explore in Pennsylvania (2023)
Pennsylvania is the state known for its metropolitan development but do you know most of its region is either rolling hills, plateaus, canyons or mountains. Over half of Pennsylvanian geography is known for its extensive mountain range, with Mount Davis the tallest and Pocono Mountains the most popular amongst all. From the raw undisturbed rolling hills to the ultimate adventure resort, mountains in Pennsylvania offers you two completely opposite experiences without requiring you to visit very far away.
If we go by the Stats, the Keystone State is home to 1501 peaks, 619 summits and an abundance of scenic and panoramic beauty. Even though the highest mountain elevation in Pennsylvania is comparatively less than most of the other mountain ranges in the west, the experience of being here does not fall short in any criteria.
7 Top-Rated Mountains and Summits to Explore in Pennsylvania
Whether it is about rock climbing, mountain hiking, summiting, waterfall seeking or enjoying the winter adventures, there’s a lot to do in the Mountain ranges of Pennsylvania.
1. Mount Davis
Mount Davis sits at an elevation of 3213 feet and is notedly the highest mountain range in Pennsylvania. Davis is a part of 5,685-acre Forbes State Forest and is nearly 4.5 miles from the border of Maryland. One can reach up to the summit either by driving on the curvy mountain roads or via accessing several hiking trails. Half miles from the summit, one can head towards the Mt Davis observation tower (50 feet). Visitors often climb up the tower, and it is where you can get astounding views of the Mount and the nearby valley region itself. Every single view from the top is pretty impeccable and worth reaching for. Image Source:
2. Pocono Mountains
Pocono Mountains sits at an elevation of 2,215 feet and are undoubtedly one of the most popular and frequently visited ranges in Pennsylvania. It isn’t your regular mountain range but a region in itself housing several towns, ski resorts, campgrounds, outdoor recreations, restaurants, and everything that you can get in a small city or town. Pocono is also served by several State highways; thus, reaching anywhere is one easy job. Not only the Pennsylvania tourists, but Poconos also hosts thousands of tourists from New York and the nearby States every year. Here one can also indulge in automobile racing, legal gambling, snow sports, hiking, rock climbing, golfing, off-road driving, sight-seeing and several exciting things.
3. Blue Knob
The blue knob is a majestic dome-shaped mountain and a prominent part of the Allegheny Mountains. It is a part of 5,874-acre Blue Knob State Park and is known for its scenic views, and is the highest skiable mountain in Pennsylvania. It is often noted as the best-kept secret of the state, and those who have been here only know the charm. Blue Knob has nearly 10 summits (if not more), with Herman Point the highest and one of the few Pennsylvanian summits crossing 3000 feet. It hosts nearly 12 feet of annual snowfall, and one can find tracks of fauna over the snow level. During winters, it hosts an array of sporting and scenic events which are the prime attractions as well. However, throughout the year mountain biking, hiking, trail running, backpacking is the hot topic here.
4. Bake Oven Knob
Bake Oven Knob is a part of Blue Mountain ridge and one of the most popular spots for mountain hiking. It gains an elevation of 1,585 feet and is only an hour and a half driver away from Philadelphia. Appalachian Trail is the best hiking option in this mountain range though it is only apt for experienced and professional hikers. The trail is quite rocky, along with scrambling on the way; thus, unless you aren’t well prepared, you might hurt yourself. Appalachian is mostly covered with large rocks on both sides that also works as a vantage point from where one can grab fantastic views of the nearby Blue Mountain. On the way to the summit, one can also capture a breath-taking view of the Lehigh Valley. The best time to explore Bake Oven Knob Mountain is during the spring and fall season, when the entire forest turns into shades of red, orange, and yellow.
5. Wolf Rocks
Wolf Rock isn’t the regular mountain range but a massive sandstone outcropping on Laurel Ridge summit’s edge. It gains an elevation of 2,639 feet, though there are very limited overlooks views but the ones from up there are simply amazing and fantastic. Hikers can access the trailhead from the Laurel Summit State Park and can enjoy their easy 4.5-mile loop. Though the first half of the trail is quite wet with several streams and a mountain bog on the way, thus make sure you go with some quality hiking shoes. Hiking at Wolfs Rocks is ideal for all fitness and experience level hikers. However, it is more of a covered, forested and ruff hike than of those beautiful falls, spring and overlooks that you might get at other trails in the state.
6. Sugarloaf Knob
Sugarloaf Knob is Ohiopyle State Park’s highest summit and gains an elevation of nearly 2,667 feet. Sugarloaf Knob is located on the south end of the Laurel Ridge, and its summit is densely forested; thus, grabbing an unobstructed view is one difficult task; for hiking Sugarloaf, one can access four well-marked trails; however, none of them goes up till the summit. Still, if you are a trained and experienced hiker, you can choose the unusual path but mind it that it will be filled with a lot of jungle risks. The Ohiopyle State Park is popular for Whitewater rafting along with hiking and biking, and the Sugarloaf Knob is one of the go-to spots within the park.
7. Camelback Mountain
Camelback Mountain is a part of the Pocono Plateau and is often referred to as Big Pocono. It isn’t actually a mountain but a conspicuous geographic feature and a peninsular section that appears like a mountain when it appeared from three sides. It gains an elevation of 2,133 feet and is notedly one of the highest mountains in the Poconos. Camelback Mountain is popularly reached for the waterpark and ski-resort located on its northern slopes. Not only in winters, but it offers year-round family fun all throughout the year. Vibes here are peaceful as well as lively all throughout the time and no matter what age you are here, something or the other to do for visitors of all kinds and interests. For hikers, the 1.3-mile loop Indian Trail is ideal that goes all way long from the summit to ledges along the rolling hills is indeed the best.