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I really enjoyed hiking in green, grass covered mountains in Scotland, especially Dalveen Pass. Are there any mountains like that to hike in the US, especially in parks?

The Dalveen Pass

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  • It would help if you showed a picture of the kind of landscape you want to hike in. No, I don't know Dalveen Pass, and I expect few others here do either. Also, which attributes exactly are the ones you care about. Openess, grass covered, the typical temperature, wetness, windiness, etc? – Olin Lathrop Jan 2 '15 at 14:05
  • Good point, Olin! Thanks, Liam, for adding the image! All I cared about was green, grass-covered mountains, but a picture is worth a thousand words. – Ed McIntosh Jan 2 '15 at 22:34
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    In Scotland, they would usually be considered to be hills, not mountains. – vclaw Jan 3 '15 at 2:09
  • This photo seems a bit enhanced, but is it really that vividly green? – manoftheson Jan 5 '15 at 0:16
  • @manoftheson, if the lights right. It does look a little enhanced though – user2766 Jan 5 '15 at 11:14
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You can find grassy mountains in Colorado in the Guanella Pass, but you may find that the air is a bit thinner up there than it is in Scotland:

Guanella Pass

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Another place you'll find mountains very similar to the the Scottish mountains is in Newfoundland Canada:

Grand Codroy Valley

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  • That does look a lot like Scotland! – user2766 Jan 7 '15 at 14:21
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    Scotland and Newfoundland pretty much used to be connected before plate tectonics ripped them apart. – ShemSeger Jan 7 '15 at 15:20
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I think your going to struggle. Let me explain why:

Scotland has a very different climate to the US. Scotland is a northern region warmed by the Gulf Stream. At the same latitude in the Americas the temperature is much much colder, think polar bears and ice flows.

Those green hills are the product of lot's and lot's of rain, shortish daylight hours, thin peaty upland soil and lot's a lot's of sheep farming. None of which I would argue is likely to be replicated in the US continental land mass. The UK is a small island and the US, well isn't...

Most people think of the UK uplands as wild untamed spaces, in fact most of it is intensively farmed and has been for thousands of years. If it wasn't for the sheep farms most of those hills would be covered in trees. The US, again, doesn't have this to the same extent because it has a lot more space.


If you do find somewhere it's likely going to have the following aspects:

  • Hilly (not mountainous)
  • High average rain fall
  • Farmed (upland sheep farms)
  • Low amount of sunshine
  • Thin soils unsuitable for intensive agriculture
  • Nits: You meant to say same latitude. UK is a country. The island you are referring to is Great Britain. – Olin Lathrop Jan 5 '15 at 14:02
  • Yes, latitude, always get them mixed up. GB and UK is typically used interchangeably, I'm welsh so I live in Cymru..... :) – user2766 Jan 5 '15 at 15:05
  • @OlinLathrop actually the UK is a unification of Kingdoms over many islands, and is made up of countries, as is Great Britain ;) I know it all gets a bit complex! – Aravona Jan 5 '15 at 15:34
  • You say GB and UK are used interchaneably, which confuses me. Isn't the UK a sort of association of countries, like England, Scotland, and a few others? For example, isn't Northern Ireland part of the UK, but not on Great Britain? Doesn't UK also include a few Carribean islands, and used to include a lot more? So how do you refer to the geographic island that contains Scotland, England, and Wales, in contrast to the political entity that is the remnants of the once far-flung empire which today is largely, but not exclusively, found on the island of Great Britain? – Olin Lathrop Jan 5 '15 at 16:33
  • @OlinLathrop, people just...don't. The UK or GB (or even some people simply call the country England, which annoys the welsh and Scottish) is our country (that includes Northern Ireland). Typically if they want to exclude a country (like NI) they will say "England, Scotland and Wales" (i.e. name all 3). No one talks about "the british Empire" anymore, so the original terms I think have been lost. Like all things British, it's complicated.... – user2766 Jan 5 '15 at 16:49
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You're looking for balds. They are quite common in the southern Appalachians. The Roan Highlands along the border of Tennessee and North Carolina are particularly beautiful.

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    I can attest to the Roan Highlands being a great choice! – Calvin Froedge Jan 1 '15 at 23:43
  • Good try, but they don't look a lot like the Scottish uplands to me I'm afraid to say. More Swiss hinterland. Gave you a +1 anyway :) – user2766 Jan 2 '15 at 14:42
  • I do love the balds, since I frequent several in my region, but they aren't quite the same. Though still very much worth visiting if you never have. – manoftheson Jan 5 '15 at 0:17
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In northern California, after a rainy winter, much of the coast ranges are green and grassy, especially as you get further from the Pacific. But timing is very important.

In the same region, Pt. Reyes Nat. Seashore looks similar and stays greener, although it's not a very big area.

enter image description here

  • That looks more like Cornwall – user2766 Jan 7 '15 at 14:22
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What you are specifically asking for is quite rare. That is because any place wet enough to have the kind of grass you want will have trees. There are vast grassy areas in the center of North America, but they are grassy because they are too dry for trees. They don't look so lush and green except perhaps a few weeks of the year. If they were so lush all year around, trees would be there instead.

There are places sortof like that in the US, but you have to go far enough north so that trees don't grow due to cold. The North Slope of Alaska is one such place. In this case, "North Slope" refers to the north slope of the Brooks Range, which runs east-west in northern Alaska north of the arctic circle. Check out the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Here is a picture by GabrielGersch that I found by looking around Google Earth:

It's not as lush green as Dalveen Pass, but if it was it would have to be warmer and there would be trees there. However, the vast open expanse is certainly there, even more so than Scotland seeing as ANWR is the size of all of Scotland, and that's just one part of the North Slope.

If you're willing to give up on some of the lushness, then there are more options. Again, in North America lack of trees requires either that it be too dry or too cold for trees. For example, here is the Laramie Valley in northern Colorado:

If you're OK with something like that, then there are many more options. Check out some of the National Grasslands in the Great Prarie. That won't be grassy as you are used to in Scotland. This is real prarie, so the grasses are tall, and not so lush due to everything being drier.

  • re: "in North America lack of trees requires either that it be too dry or too cold for trees." Lack of trees can also be caused by grazing livestock. This is why the Appalachian balds are largely treeless (in fact, "preserving" the balds' grassy state requires organizations to bring in grazing animals, since these mountains are not farmed intensively anymore). I would imagine that a couple centuries ago, much of New England looked more like Scotland, but most of the areas that used to be pasture/farmland have reverted to woodland. – ppl Jan 6 '15 at 18:08

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