Cities with distant mountains.

14ers in California and Washington state or any other peak in the USA
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Chicago Transplant
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Re: Cities with distant mountains.

Post by Chicago Transplant » Tue May 19, 2020 6:58 pm

JROSKA wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:47 pm
Oops that’s right. I forgot about New Mexico to the south. I should have clarified in my point (about being inside Colorado), I was referring to points to the East or southeast (like Kansas or Oklahoma). I’d be surprised if Colorado’s mountains can be seen from any of those areas but I’d be curious if it’s possible.
I've never been on it, but in theory Black Mesa, the OK high point, might be able to see the Sangres. Elevation difference of about 8600' to West Spanish and looks to be appx 120 miles?
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Re: Cities with distant mountains.

Post by JROSKA » Tue May 19, 2020 7:04 pm

Chicago Transplant wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:58 pm
JROSKA wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:47 pm
Oops that’s right. I forgot about New Mexico to the south. I should have clarified in my point (about being inside Colorado), I was referring to points to the East or southeast (like Kansas or Oklahoma). I’d be surprised if Colorado’s mountains can be seen from any of those areas but I’d be curious if it’s possible.
I've never been on it, but in theory Black Mesa, the OK high point, might be able to see the Sangres. Elevation difference of about 8600' to West Spanish and looks to be appx 120 miles?
Seems reasonable. I suppose there’s only one way to find out for sure. I’ll have to go hiking at Black Mesa sometime.
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Re: Cities with distant mountains.

Post by Ptglhs » Tue May 19, 2020 7:18 pm

JROSKA wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:20 pm
I did some rudimentary geometry (x-squared + y squared = z squared) using the earth’s diameter as “x” and the earth’s diameter to Long’s Peak summit as “z” and I come up with 207 miles for “y” (the line from Long’s summit to the farthest visible point on the horizon). That seems awfully high, as that’s around the point where I first start to see Long’s on a Milwaukee to Denver flight, and that’s from 30,000 feet in the air. This calculation is just theory and doesn’t take anything like haze, atmosphere, humidity or hilly terrain into the equation.

In practice, it seems like when I drive I-76 towards Denver from the East, I start to see the front range just before Fort Morgan, which would be about 100 miles. Likewise, I’ve seen Pikes from Longmont and coming up I-25 from south of Denver, Long’s can be seen from south of Castle Rock, again, both are about 100 miles. Another example I can think of is how the Spanish Peaks quickly become visible on I-25 as soon as you get south of Colorado Springs, again, that’s about 100 miles. So it seems reasonable to assume that any city within 100 miles of a 13er or 14er with flat terrain in between, would have a pretty clear view of that mountain.
Jroska,
Good start with the Pythagorean theorem! This does not factor in curvature of the earth or atmospheric refraction. Here's an interesting wikihow article (though much more useful for figuring out visible distance at or just above sea level)

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wikiho ... on%3famp=1

Another website, which has the calculator already up for us, is:

http://www.ringbell.co.uk/info/hdist.htm

This site is pretty open about its limitations. Namely, it is assumes that the Earth is a perfect sphere, which it's not, and it assumes The Observer is looking at something which is sea level. The trouble with us looking down from these tall mountains is we're not entirely sure what elevation we are looking at, and the Horizon Blends into the haze. If we're on the summit of Longs Peak we can see Pikes Peak relatively easily, assuming a clear day. We can see it more easily than we can see the plain to the east because Pikes is a massive massif (pardon the pun) and more easily distinguished against a curving horizon by the naked eye.
Last edited by Ptglhs on Tue May 19, 2020 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cities with distant mountains.

Post by dr_j » Tue May 19, 2020 7:24 pm

Portland comes to mind, with Rainier, Adams, St. Helens, Hood, and Jefferson visible from parts of the city.

Seattle- Baker, Rainier, and the Olympics.

Vancouver- Baker

Front Range from far western Nebraska, as I recall from one of my cross-country trips

LA- San Jacinto, Baldy, and the San Gorgonio ridge

Many more further afield, like the Alps from Munich, Tien Shan from Almaty, Fuji from Tokyo, Ararat from Yerevan, Everest from Kathmandu, etc.
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Re: Cities with distant mountains.

Post by cougar » Tue May 19, 2020 7:36 pm

Denali from Anchorage, around 200 miles
Sierra Blanca from Albuquerque, around 100 miles

Pikes is visible from quite a distance along the front range as it sticks out east. Prominence is key. Lots of that in Nevada, CA, Cascades.

I don't think you can see any from the panhandles, definitely not Amarillo.
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Re: Cities with distant mountains.

Post by Burkart » Tue May 19, 2020 11:54 pm

JROSKA wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:47 pm
I've never been on it, but in theory Black Mesa, the OK high point, might be able to see the Sangres. Elevation difference of about 8600' to West Spanish and looks to be appx 120 miles?
CalTopo has a reasonably good (and free) viewshed analysis, but it doesn't account for atmospheric refraction. Even if you accounted for the usual refractive index, it doesn't look like you'd be able to see the Spanish Peaks from Oklahoma's Black Mesa (or vice versa), since the Mesa del Maya blocks the view:

Temp.PNG
Temp.PNG (1011.48 KiB) Viewed 766 times

The Raton Mesa probably blocks the more southerly Sangres, like Culebra, as well, but feel free to bag the Black Mesa anyways on the coldest, highest-pressure day of the year to check for us!
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Re: Cities with distant mountains.

Post by Scott P » Wed May 20, 2020 12:13 am

As mentioned, the volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest can be seen from long distances, including from cities.

Closer to home, you can't see mountains nearly that distant, but Pikes Peak is visible from much of Denver, Mount Nebo is visible from much of Salt Lake, and the San Juans, including Uncompahgre Peak are visible from Grand Junction.

If you count smaller cities, The Tushar Mountains, Deep Creek Mountains, and Mount Nebo are all visible from parts of Delta Utah and are all different directions. Delta Utah has the most distant views in all directions (rather than just one or two) from any town I can think of and that view covers a huge part of the state.

I would imagine that Longs Peak, Pikes Peak, Blanca, and the Spanish Peaks can be seen from a lot of tiny towns from a long way away.

The Tetons, Wind Rivers, and Uinta Mountains can be seen from a long way away as well, but only from certain directions.

Mt Charlston Nevada can be seen from a long way away as well.

Mt Hood and Mount Rainier have already been mentioned, but it is also worth mentioning that they can be seen a long way from the east as well. On clear days you can just pick out Mount Hood from a really long way away when driving from Boise to Portland, but I don't remember from which towns that it first becomes visible. It's a long way though.
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Re: Cities with distant mountains.

Post by pvnisher » Wed May 20, 2020 3:21 am

I remember seeing Spanish Peaks from eastern Colorado Springs on clear days. One day was driving and was surprised to see mountains down there. Wasn't on a daily basis, though.
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Re: Cities with distant mountains.

Post by nyker » Wed May 20, 2020 6:59 am

Jbrow327 wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 3:23 pm
What cities in the western USA can you see far distant mountains from? Can you see the Sangre De Christo's from Amarillo Texas?,etc.
Depends on how strictly you define cities - but assuming you're excluding towns...

Denver, CO Springs, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Salt lake City, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Sante Fe, Albuquerque, Palm Springs, Seattle, Portland, Boise
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Re: Cities with distant mountains.

Post by greenonion » Wed May 20, 2020 8:22 am

I think the real question is from how far away can you see either WildWanderer or RyGuy on top of Pyramid Peak?? (couldn't help it - that was exhausting)
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Re: Cities with distant mountains.

Post by AlexeyD » Wed May 20, 2020 8:54 am

Not totally related, but just as a fun fact: from Bozeman, depending on where you are, you can see as many as 6 different ranges: the Bridgers, Gallatins, Madisons, Tobacco Roots, Big Belts, and - if you're in the far NW part of town, a bit of the Absarokas.

EDIT: oh, and also whatever the range is where Bull Mountain is, way off to the NW.
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Re: Cities with distant mountains.

Post by Scott P » Wed May 20, 2020 9:26 am

AlexeyD wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 8:54 am
Not totally related, but just as a fun fact: from Bozeman, depending on where you are, you can see as many as 6 different ranges: the Bridgers, Gallatins, Madisons, Tobacco Roots, Big Belts, and - if you're in the far NW part of town, a bit of the Absarokas.

EDIT: oh, and also whatever the range is where Bull Mountain is, way off to the NW.
You can see ten from the Salt Lake Valley, but not all are visible within a single location of the valley. From the Salt Lake Valley you can see the Wasatch Range, Oquirrh Range, Traverse Range, Wellsville Mountains, Tintic Mountains, Lake Mountains, Stansbury Mountains, Promontory Mountains, Standbury Island (which is a small mountain range), and Antelope Island (which is also a small mountain range). You can also see West Mountain.

The most I know of from a single location in the valley is seven ranges. At least where houses aren't in the way.

If you count the Traverse Ridge/Traverse Mountain housing developments, you can see a lot more, but that's not on the valley floor.
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