People who have been to Geneva surely have admired the view of Mont Blanc. On clear days it is possible to see the mountain which is 70 km away and more than 4000 m higher than the city. (To be honest, I don't know whether one can actually see the peak but it's not too relevant.)

This motivates the question: What's the biggest altitude difference between two points on earth which are visible from each other and where are they?

I'd prefer if the two places are actually really visible from each other, so please at least indicate in your answers if

  • one of the places is covered in smog or clouds most of the year or
  • one point only appears as a small glimmer on the horizon from the other.

Of course there's no clear line between passing and not passing these criteria, but I hope that's okay. I tried to find an answer on the internet and this site but without any success. Maybe I used the wrong keywords.

  • 1
    Damn, the view from Cumbaya to Cotopaxi which I can see almost every days is 3700m difference in elevation. It also visible at lower altitudes but I cannot say exactly by how much.
    – Itai
    Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 22:55
  • The answer is the highest peak from which the sea is visible, I suppose,
    – phoog
    Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 23:04
  • @Itai As I said, I don't know how high one can see on Mont Blanc from Geneva, but in any way I'd guess there are bigger differences. Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 23:17

5 Answers 5


Aconcagua, Chile - 6,962m, visible from the Pacific Ocean. Is the highest peak outside of Asia, and less than 150km from the coast.

enter image description here

See also this forum thread Mountains near the Ocean which lists both mountains closest to the ocean, and also tallest mountains visible from the ocean.


You can see Kangchenjunga's peak, at 8,586 m above MSL, from the top of Durpin Hill near Kalimpong, at 1,372 m. That's a difference of 7,214 m.

I have a picture of this somewhere which I'll attach if I find it.

  • That's a great answer, +1. A picture would be very much appreciated. Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 17:13
  • 1
    Did you ever find that picture?
    – gerrit
    Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 14:37

I'll nominate Denali (formerly known as Mt. McKinley), whose summit (6190 meters) can be seen from sea level at Anchorage, Alaska on a clear day. Here's a blog with such a picture posted:

enter image description here

And another:

enter image description here

From what I can gather, such views don't happen every day as the peak of Denali is often in or above the clouds; but they're not ridiculously rare either.


Candidates would be...


If you want to check if a mountain will get in the way between two points, then this site is handy. It is intended to be used to check line-of-sight for transmitters. It shows a side-elevation from the transmitter, with a high above the ground, and a line descending to the ground at the given second point.


Edit: I'm not sure it takes account of the curvature of the Earth.

  • Line of sight, not line of site. :) Thanks for posting that link - that's a really useful page. Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 16:28
  • Why the down vote? Although it doesn’t directly answer the question, the site will let you check if the top of the mountain is visible from a given point. To do so, place the first transmitter on top of the mountain, and the second on ground at the point of interest.
    – CSM
    Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 20:41
  • 2
    It asks what the points and altitude difference are, not how to check whether an arbitrary mountain and point meet this criteria.
    – Nij
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 9:52

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