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World Peaks with 1000 km of Isolation

RankPeakIsol-KmCountry Elev-M IslandArea-SqKm
1.Gunnbjørn Fjeld3254.1Greenland3694Greenland2,130,800
2.Carstensz Pyramid5235.0Indonesia4884New Guinea785,753
5.Gunung Kerinci1904.0Indonesia3805Sumatra443,066
7.Mount Cook3139.1New Zealand3724South Island145,836
8.Novaya Zemlya High Point1077.4Russia1547North Novaya Zemlya47,079
10.Mount Victoria1037.0Fiji Islands1324Viti Levu10,531
11.Mauna Kea3946.9United States4205Hawaii (Big Island)10,434
12.Volcán Wolf1319.2Ecuador1707Isabela4,711
13.Gunung Rinjani1600.7Indonesia3726Lombok4,625
14.Mount Paget2206.3South Georgia2915South Georgia3,718
15.Piton des Neiges2766.6Reunion3071Réunion2,535
16.Mauga Silisili2245.2Samoa1858Savai‘i1,709
17.Mont Orohena4128.1French Polynesia2241Tahiti1,036
18.Pico de Cano1672.4Cape Verde2829Fogo474
19.Montanha do Pico1451.3Portugal2351Pico461
21.Big Ben2026.1Heard and McDonald Islands2745Heard Island372
22.Mont Temetiu1407.5French Polynesia1276Hiva Oa318
23.Mascarin Peak1804.9South Africa1230Marion Island295
24.Queen Mary's Peak2661.7Saint Helena2060Tristan da Cunha202
25.Morne Seychellois1107.8Seychelles905Mahé154
26.Mont Marion-Dufresne1106.3French Southern Lands1090Ile de l'Est122
26.Diana's Peak1291.8Saint Helena823St. Helena122
28.Maunga Terevaka2831.7Chile507Easter Island117
29.Green Mountain1798.2Saint Helena859Ascension Island88
30.Mont de la Dives1408.7French Southern Lands881Île Amsterdam60
31.Olavtoppen1851.2Bouvet Island780Bouvet Island50
32.Diego Garcia High Point1676.7British Indian Ocean Territory7Diego Garcia44
33.Agrihan High Point1898.0Northern Marianas977Agrihan40
33.Perahu1185.2French Polynesia633Rapa40
35.Town Hill1136.1Bermuda76Bermuda39
36.Mont Duff1067.5French Polynesia491Mangaréva18
37.Pico Trinidade1147.2Brazil690Trindade10
38.Wake High Point1083.7U.S. Minor Pacific Islands6Wake Island8
39.Minami Tori Shima High Point1017.9Japan9Minami Tori Shima1
40.Mount Everest9712.6China/Nepal8848  
40.Nevado Huascarán2207.5Peru6768  
40.Denali7450.2United States6190  
40.Pico Cristóbal Colón1287.1Colombia5730  
40.Pico de Orizaba2690.1Mexico5636  
40.Vinson Massif4910.7Antarctica4892  
40.Mont Blanc2812.0France/Italy4810  
40.Klyuchevskaya Sopka2746.9Russia4750  
40.Ras Dashen1482.1Ethiopia4543  
40.Mount Kirkpatrick1585.2Antarctica4528  
40.Mount Whitney2649.5United States4419  
40.Mount Elbert1079.1United States4399  
40.Mount Rainier1176.7United States4392  
40.Jebel Toubkal2078.2Morocco4167  
40.Mount Minto1244.8Antarctica4166  
40.Dome Argus1236.6Antarctica4093  
40.Cerro San Valentín1130.2Chile4058  
40.Mount Cameroon2337.7Cameroon4040  
40.Thabana Ntlenyana3003.8Lesotho3482  
40.Emi Koussi1998.8Chad3445  
40.Mount Hope1113.5Antarctica3239  
40.Pik BAM1227.8Russia3072  
40.Gora Pobeda1234.2Russia3003  
40.Sapitwa Peak1271.6Malawi3002  
40.Pico da Bandeira2344.1Brazil2891  
40.Paektu-san1014.6North Korea/China2744  
40.Anai Mudi2090.2India2695  
40.Moro de Môco1727.4Angola2620  
40.Mount Kosciuszko1894.3Australia2228  
40.Mount Mitchell1913.5United States2037  
40.Loma Mansa1570.8Sierra Leone1945  
40.Mount Washington1318.9United States1917  
40.Gora Narodnaya1835.4Russia1895  
40.Gora Kamen1300.6Russia1701  
40.Gora Yamantau1150.7Russia1638  
40.Mount Zeil1549.3Australia1531  
40.Mount Meharry1308.5Australia1249  
40.Hombori Tondo1008.0Mali1155  
40.Bluff Knoll1225.7Australia1095  
40.Joes Hill1902.8Kiribati13Kiritimati 

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List Description

Isolation for any given peak is defined as the distance (in miles or kilometers) from that peak to the nearest higher land. There are no peaks higher than the given summit within the circle with a radius of its isolation distance.

This list is the first attempt to create a comprehensive and accurate list of all the peaks in the world with an isolation distance of 1000 km (621 miles) or more, based on distance to nearest higher ground. Many isolation lists, including earlier versions of this one, used distance to nearest higher summit in a database instead of the more meaningful distance to the Isolation Limit Point (ILP or nearest higher ground). However, all peaks on this list have had their ILPs manually created and checked, and the list is believed to be complete.

There could still be errors or omissions on this list. The primary issue complicating the research for isolation peaks is coral atolls. There are huge archipelagos of these extremely low flat islands, such as the Marshall Islands or the Tuamotu Islands, and if one of them is a meter higher than the rest it could have a huge isolation number. So confidence is not very high in stating that the Wake Island high point, (6 meters high) has an isolation of 1085 km based on distance to the Likiep atoll (10 meters).

Indeed, many small mid-oceanic islands show up on this list, and the worldwide peak map shows a very interesting pattern, as if the peak dots were placed completely randomly without regard to landmasses. About 30 peaks on mid-oceanic islands such as Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti, Easter Island, Diego Garcia, Bermuda, Saint Helena, and others make this list, over a third of the total. You can sort this list by the "Island" or "Area" columns to group together peaks on islands.

(Note that previous versions of this list did not assign a rank to peaks located on islands with areas under 1000 square kilometers, but that arbitrary distinction has been abolished. Now all peaks are treated equally, no matter if the area within their isolation radius is mostly land or water.)

For the globe-trotting peakbagger, this is a somewhat attractive list, similar to the World 100 Most Prominent Peaks list, with which it shares 28 peaks. The only 8000 meter peaks on the list are Everest and K2.

One interesting quirk of this list is the distribution by country. Here are the six largest countries by area and their count of 1000 km isolation peaks:

  • Russia: 8
  • Canada: 0
  • China: 3 (all on the border)
  • USA: 7
  • Brazil: 2
  • Australia: 4

It is very odd that the second largest country has zero peaks on this list, with the most isolated peaks in Canada being Mount Barbeau and Mount Caubvick, both with under 800 km. Large areas of land with a continuous slope or a "staircase" of higher and higher peaks will not produce many high-isolation peaks, and this appears to be the case for Canada.


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