My favorite way to see a National Forest is from the top of a mountain. My husband and I spend as much time as we can in the mountains, which I credit to our big appetite for long days, sore legs, and views from the top. Often times people will ask how we figure out where to hike, or what to climb. After all, to reach the top of a mountain you often have to follow a remote trail – if there is even a trail to follow!

The easiest place to start is with a National Forest. Below I list nine National Forests that boast mountains, including both well-known peak-bagging meccas and lesser-known areas with a lot of neat rock. Of course, there are thousands of mountains to climb across the National Forest System. My list only captures a few of the places I have been, or hope to be soon. Oh, and you’ll notice a slight bias for Montana’s mountains (but I can’t help it – I live here!).