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Top 10 Highest Mountains in Alabama to Climb in 2023

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Alabama isn’t well-known as a mountain state, but with 1,227 recognized mountains, there are quite a few to choose from for casual climbers and hikers. 

Cheaha Mountain. Photo: Andy Montgomery / Flickr / CC BY SA 2.0

While the tallest, Cheaha Mountain in Talladega National Park, sits just 2,407 feet above sea level, it’s over 1,500 feet above the surrounding forest, making it quite an impressive peak. 

Most of Alabama’s other highest mountains are significantly lower. However, they pose a challenge, offer beauty, and can be great destinations, no matter the height. 

The table below includes a list of the 10 tallest mountains in the state of Alabama:

MountainHeight (feet)Prominence (feet)County
Cheaha Mountain 2,407 1,457Cleburne County
Odum Point 2,343222Clay County 
Hernandez Peak 2,343393Clay County 
Little Caney Head 2,310110Clay County 
Big Caney Head 2,240120Clay County 
Parker High Point 2,23292Clay County 
McDill Point 2,165128Clay County 
Dugger Mountain 2,1401181Cleburne County 
Morton Hill 2,0731227Calhoun County 
Big Oak Mountain 2,047623Calhoun County

Note: these mountains are arranged according to height above sea level rather than prominence (height above surrounding area). Importantly, we’ve also counted high points rather than just mountains, giving you more room to explore based on vistas and views, rather than what is or is not officially a mountain. 

1. Cheaha Mountain 

Cheaha Mountain is the highest natural point in the state of Alabama. As the tallest mountain in the state, it’s also a significant tourist attraction, and one of the main attractions to the town of Delta in Cheaha State Park. The area offers a lodge, restaurant, and some shopping. 

In addition, Cheaha stands out with a significant difference in elevation from the surrounding area. While situated at 2,407 feet above sea level, it’s nearly 1,500 feet above the surrounding forest, giving the impression that the mountain is significantly higher than it appears. 

It’s also the 35th highest point in the United States. Unlike most of the nearby mountains, Cheaha is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Cheaha mountain is also significantly the highest peak between the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, making it notable for more than one reason. 

For visitors, Mount Cheaha has several trails and mounts, including a wheelchair accessible path, walkway, and bridge. 

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Coordinates: 33°29′08″N 85°48′31″W 

Website: Cheaha State Park


2. Odum Point 

Odum Point is a mountain in the Cheaha wilderness, located in Clay County. The area is well-known for its trails, including the Odum Trail, which runs 7.5 miles from Lineville to the mountain. While it’s somewhat challenging, it’s a great backpacking and birding path, and normally relatively empty. 

While Odum is a similar height above sea level to Cheaha at 2,344 feet above sea level, its prominence is much lower. In fact, at just 222 feet above the surrounding area, Odum can seem significantly shorter. That aside, it’s one of the highest peaks in Alabama

Explorers can also take time to follow Cave Creek Trail from Cheaha directly to Odum Point. 

Coordinates: 33.4164992°N, -85.8313523°W 

Website: Odum Scout Hiking Trail


3. Hernandez Peak 

Hernandez Peak is one of three mountains normally measured within a foot of each other, making it both the third and fourth highest mountain in Alabama

At 2,344 feet above sea level, it’s a significant peak. In addition, with a prominence of 393 feet, it looks nearly twice as tall as the nearby Odum Point. 

Hernandez also has a subpeak on the south slope, which caps at 2,240 feet. It also ties with Odum Point as the highest point in Clay County. 

Still, there is some dispute as to the exact height of each Hernandez and Odum mountains, with some measurements listing Odum as 2,343 and Hernandez at 2,344, which would make Hernandez the second highest in Alabama. 

Either way, this is a beautiful mountain, an extremely popular hiking destination, and one that you can visit as you tour some of the tallest mountains in the entire state. 

Coordinates: 33.4584426°N, -85.8132963°W

Website: Hernandez Peak Trail


4. Little Caney Head 

Little Caney Head pairs with Big Caney Head, which is the shorter of the two summits. Little Caney is located in the Cheaha Wilderness Area and is part of the Appalachian Mountains. It’s also in Clay County, along with most of Alabama’s highest mountains. 

At 2,310-2,330 feet above sea level and with a 110-foot prominence, Little Caney is an impressive peak.

 It’s also a popular hiking destination, with trails running between Parker High Pint, Odum Point, and Big Caney Head. The Little Caney Head Loop is an extremely popular walk and hike. However, at 10 miles, it’s not always the easiest route.  

Coordinates: 33.4220547°N, -85.8221853°W

Website: Little Caney Head Loop


5. Big Caney Head 

Nearly 1 mile away from Little Caney Head, Big Caney Head stands nearly 100 foot lower. The peak is still an impressive 2,240 foot above sea level, one of the highest elevations in Alabama

With a 120-foot prominence, you’ll definitely feel like the mountain is a bit taller in relation to Little Caney, if you climb them one after the other. If you take the full Caney Loop, you can hike between both, although it’s unlikely you’d want to ascend both on the same day. 

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Big Caney is also the closest peak to Odum Point, at just 0.34 miles away. This Clay County mountain is also a great choice if you’d like to see the old buildings, stay at the lodge, or take a tour around Cheaha. 

Coordinates: 33.4128882°N, -85.8341301°W 

Website: Big Caney Head


6. Parker High Point 

At 2,232 feet, Parker High Point just above the seabed. However, with a 92-foot prominence, it offers a gentle hike up, making it an accessible visit, even for non-experts. 

The Clay County mountain is also home to some of the longest and most scenic trails in the region. For example, the Parker High Point Loop moves past dozens of creeks, a dried up well, and most of the highest mountains in Alabama. 

Of course, at 13 miles long, with options to diverge off onto Howell, Criss, and Cartwright trails, it’s also a long hike. However, elevation is very gentle and sloping with very few scenic views other than trails.  

Coordinates: 33.415666°N, -85.8246854°W 

Website: Parker High Point Loop


7. McDill Point 

McDill Point stands at 2,188 feet above sea level, with a prominence of 128 feet. While the peak is surrounded by gentle, sloping paths and mountains, it’s still one of the highest points in eastern Alabama

In addition, McDill Point has one of the state’s most popular hiking trails, with a gentle 5 mile path leading from Delta to McDill and Hernandez Peak. 

That short trail, which has an elevation rise of about 350 feet, is relatively accessible, still offers stunning views and vistas, and goes over some of the prettiest lookout points in the area. In addition, there are some elevation changes, so this trail is not as friendly if you’re disabled or in a wheelchair. 

Coordinates: 33.4537204°N, -85.8216299°W 

Website: McDill Point Trail


8. Dugger Mountain 

At 2,140 feet, Dugger Mountain is one of the highest mountains in northeast Alabama. While it’s often mistakenly called Alabama’s second highest mountain, it’s the 8th or 9th depending on which data you use. 

Dugger has a prominence of 362 feet, meaning climbing it can be more challenging than some other nearby mountains.

 It’s located in the Dugger Mountain Wilderness area, the third designated wilderness area in the state. In addition, it’s one of the only intact and roadless areas in the state – as the 16,000 acres of the mountain were too steep to profitably harvest timber. 

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This means a hike through the Pinhoti National Recreation Trail, which winds through the area and up the mountain, is a look at Alabama’s forests as they are, untouched by man. 

The Dugger Mountain via Pinhoti Trail is shorter and more accessible, and most climbers should take around 4 hours to finish it. 

Coordinates: 33°52′02″N 85°36′04″W

Website: Dugger Mountain Wilderness


9. Morton Hill 

While there’s a larger Morton Hill mountain in Nebraska, Alabama’s Morton Hill is one of its largest mountains, and stands at an impressive 2,063 feet above sea level. Plus, with a prominence of 1,217 feet above the surrounding area, it’s also one of the most stunning vistas you’ll find in Alabama. 

Morton Hill is part of the largest state park, Oak Mountain. However, like Cheaha Park, you’ll have to pay a $5 entrance fee to get into the park ($2 for children and seniors). 

Morton Hill also offers a beautiful and scenic 7-mile loop, touring past several lookout points. In addition, with an elevation gain of 1,115 feet, this trail can be challenging and is not normally disabled or wheelchair friendly. 

Coordinates: 33.6931591N-85.7388519W

Website: Oak Mountain State Park


10. Big Oak Mountain 

Big Oak Mountain, the last in the top 10 highest mountains in Alabama, stands at the heart of Oak Mountain StatePark and offers a scenic lookout over the park. 

With a prominence of 637 feet, it’s less challenging than the nearby Morton Hill. However, at 2,040 feet above sea level, it’s very similar in height. 

Here, most people prefer to walk to Peavine Falls, a 65-foot waterfall located at the heart of the park. However, with 25 miles of trails to choose from, you can also choose gentler climbs. Big Oak Mountain is one of 20 peaks in the park, and the second highest. 

Coordinates: 33.7382°N, -85.7311°W

Website: Oak Mountain State Park


Other Questions

If you still have questions about Alabama’s highest peak, these answers should help. 

What’s the highest point in Alabama? 

Cheaha Mountain, which is the southernmost tip of the Appalachian mountains, is the highest point in Alabama. At 2,407 feet above sea level and with a 1,457-foot prominence, it’s the tallest from any vantage point. In addition, it offers significant views and vistas, with famous lookout points like Bald Point. 

What’s the highest mountain range in Alabama? 

The Appalachian mountains are the highest range in Alabama. Both of the state’s highest peaks are part of the range – although both are part of different ridges. 

Which parts of Alabama have mountains? 

The south and east of the state are full of mountains. However, most of Alabama’s mountains center in Clay, Calhoun, Cleburne, Talladega, Shelby, Jefferson, Etowan, Morgan, Winston, Cherokee, and Madison County. 

Conclusion

Alabama is home to over 1,000 mountains, many of which offer beautiful and scenic views. However, most are also relatively low to the surrounded area, with some only having a prominence of under 100 feet. At the same time, some of the state’s most impressive peaks are well over 1,000 feet above the surrounding landscape, making them both beautiful and challenging to climb.

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