Highest mountains in the Yorkshire Dales

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The highest mountains in the Yorkshire Dales are home to some of England’s finest and wildest scenery, all of it ripe for hiking

Covering 2,179km2 of countryside, Yorkshire Dales National Park showcases some of England’s best outdoor landscapes. The park’s glacial valleys are defined by a unique terrain of high heather moorland, rolling hills and dramatic waterfalls, all criss-crossed with miles of dry stonewalls and delightful villages.

The park attracts over 3.5 million visitors every year looking to explore the scenery be it by foot, cycle or kayak – just a few of the options. The park is also home to some of England’s highest mountains: 41 to be precise. These offer a variety of challenges for hill walkers and showcase some of the best views in the Yorkshire Dales.

We take a look at the highest mountains in the Yorkshire Dales – 41 sterling reasons to go hiking in England.

When does a hill become a mountain?

In the UK, 610m (2,000ft) is generally accepted as the benchmark height for when a hill is promoted to the lofty ranks of a mountain. Until recently, the Yorkshire Dales were home to 40 such landforms.

Geograph/Karl and Ali The summit of Calf Top

In 2016, Calf Top, a rather unremarkable hill in the northern Dales, was re-categorised as a mountain. In 2010, Ordnance Survey measured the hill at 609.579m (1999.9ft), slightly under the threshold required to be a mountain.

However, in 2016, improvements in Ordnance Survey’s process of calculating height showed the summit of Calf Top to be 609.606m (2000.02ft), slightly above the threshold. Calf Top became England’s newest mountain and the 41st mountain of Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The Dales 30

In the UK, just like throughout the world, there are several different methods of categorising a mountain. The elevation, prominence and isolation of a summit all come into play. There are numerous lists available: Marilyns, Munros, Majors and Nuttalls to name but a few.

Atlas & Boots On the summit of Ingleborough, one of the highest mountains in the Yorkshire Dales

When we first moved to the Dales we attended an evening at the Richmond Walking & Book Festival where local hiking guide Jonathan Smith from Where2walk discussed his book, The Dales 30.

The Dales 30 are the 30 summits in the Yorkshire Dales over 610m (2,000ft) that have a drop (prominence) of at least 30m (98.4ft) on all sides – another popular mountain classification method known as the Hewitts (Hills in England, Wales and Ireland over two thousand feet).

Jonathan has written a detailed Dales 30 companion guidebook filled with recommended routes, maps, facts and anecdotes. I started with hiking Great Shunner Fell, my first Dales 30 and the third highest on the list. Fast forward a few months and I’ve now ticked 18 mountains off the list.

Highest mountains in the Yorkshire Dales

The map below plots the 41 mountains in the Yorkshire Dales in blue and the Dales 30 mountains in red. Use the sidebar to hide or reveal each list.

The table lists the 41 mountains in Yorkshire Dales National Park in order of height.

RankMountainHeight Dales 30
1Whernside736m (2,415ft)
2Ingleborough724m (2,375ft)
3Great Shunner Fell716m (2,349ft)
4High Seat709m (2,326ft)
5Wild Boar Fell708m (2,323ft)
6Great Whernside704m (2,310ft)
7Buckden Pike702m (2,303ft)
8Gregory Chapel695m (2,280ft)
9Pen-y-Ghent694m (2,277ft)
10Hugh Seat689m (2,260ft)
11Great Coum687m (2,254ft)
12Crag Hill682m (2,237ft)
13Swarth Fell681m (2,234ft)
14Plover Fell680m (2,231ft)
15Baugh Fell, Tarn Rigg678m (2,224ft)
16Knoutberry Haw676m 2,218ft)
17The Calf676m (2,218ft)
18Lovely Seat675m (2,215ft)
19Calders674m (2,212ft)
20Bram Rigg Top672m (2,205ft)
21Great Knoutberry Hill672m (2,205ft)
22Rogan’s Seat672m (2,205ft)
23Water Crag668m (2,192ft)
24Dodd Fell Hill668m (2,192ft)
25Fountain’s Fell668m (2,192ft)
26Little Fell667m (2,188ft)
27Great Dummacks663m (2,175ft)
28Fountains Fell South Top662m (2,172ft)
29Nine Standards Rigg662m (2,172ft)
30Simon’s Fell656m (2,133ft)
31Yockenthwaite Moor643m (2,110ft)
32Fell Head640m (2,100ft)
33Yarlside639m (2,096ft)
34Green Hill628m (2,060ft)
35Gragareth628m (2,060ft)
36Darnbrook Fell624m (2,047ft)
37Randy Gill Top624m (2,047ft)
38Bush Howe623m (2,044ft)
39Drumaldrace / Wether Fell614m (2,014ft)
40Birks Fell610m (2,001ft)
41Calf Top610m (2,000ft)

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Lead image: Pete Stuart, Shutterstock

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