I've never seen a summit cross on a mountain in the USA or in Canada, unlike in Europe where so many mountains have crosses, most likely an overwhelming majority of the Alps. Why are summit crosses so rare in North America? The eastern states and provinces of the USA and Canada were colonized first, and by Christian nations. But a summit cross was never established on Mt Marcy, Mt Mansfield, Mt Washington, Mt Jacques-Cartier, the Cabox or any other mountain summits I've seen there, nor did I see any in Colorado or in the Cascade Range. The only summit cross in the Americas I know of is the one on Aconcagua.

Is there a mountain in the USA or in Canada that has a summit cross, like in the Alps? One of the Appalachians perhaps?


2 Answers 2


Canada: Mount Royal Cross, Montreal.

Wikipedia states

The Mount Royal Cross is a monument on top of Mount Royal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It stands at the northeastern peak of the mountain and overlooks the eastern part of the Island of Montreal.

Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, founder of Fort Ville-Marie, erected the first cross on Mount Royal in 1643, thereby fulfilling his vow to the Virgin Mary in his prayers to end a disastrous flood.
. . .
The cross is made of steel and consists of 1,830 pieces joined by 6,000 rivets weighing 26 tons. It is 31.4 metres tall, its arms span 11 metres, and it stands 252 metres above the St. Lawrence River. Following the latest renovation, it is lit by 158 18-LED bulbs.
. . .
By law, no buildings in Montreal are to be taller than the Mount Royal Cross.

enter image description here

Image from Tourisme Montréal


There is at least one summit cross: the Hollywood Cross in California.

Although you may not consider it to be a mountain it can be called a summit by geography and ideology.

enter image description here

Image from Wikipedia

There is also the Mount of the Holy Cross in Colorado which is named for the natural feature, so it doesn't need an actual cross placed there.

enter image description here

Image by William Henry Jackson

  • I know the Mount of the Holy Cross, but it doesn't have a summit cross.
    – Johannes
    Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 5:40
  • Just a guess, and a guess that won't be pertinent for every mountain top. If the mountain is on Federal land, a religious symbol of any kind on the top (or anywhere on the mountain) would be verboten. And many mountains, especially in the West, are on Federal land. While this prohibition might not apply to all state lands, there would be resistance in some states against a large religious symbol of any kind plunked on a state mountain top. Another factor might be difficult access. Especially in the West, most mountain tops are remote, with no (or awful) roads leading to the top.
    – ab2
    Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 19:32
  • @ab2 well yes, but in UK and other places difficult access does not prevent the construction of trigonometric survey points. And they don't even have religious fervour! Can you please quote sources for 'federal land' and for 'religious prohibition'? Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 19:35
  • @Weather Vane See aclu.org/issues/religious-liberty/government-promotion-religion/… It is a little more complicated than this, for example, a private group may display a religious symbol on public land under certain circumstances and constraints.
    – ab2
    Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 0:55
  • @Weather Vane As for trig survey plaques, they are small and can be carried up a mountain and installed there far easier than a large object meant to be seen from afar. The religious reason is rooted in the US Constitution, but is more complicated than I indicated -- or realized -- (I'm not a lawyer.) But it is a key factor, although not necessarily insurmountable in all conditions. Moreover, so many mountains especially in the West are parts of national parks, and everything constructed in a national park has to have an excellent reason to be put there (continued in next comment)
    – ab2
    Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 1:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.