Cities buzz with excitement and a beach escape is always fun, but there’s nothing quite as soul-soothing as getting away to the mountains.

From dazzling night skies to snow-capped peaks and evergreen forests, here are five reasons to head for the mountains on your next adventure.

 

 Guest coordinator Francisca Ureta at Melimoyu Glacier, Melimoyu wilderness lodge, Patagonia Sur, Chile, South America

 

TIME TRAVEL

Time rules daily life and it seems there’s never enough of it. But step into a primeval mountain landscape millions of years in the making, and suddenly ticking clocks and mile-long to-do lists feel trivial.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Oh yes! From a safe distance, to observe the power and innate intelligence of a wild animal in its natural habitat is an experience unlike any other. Mountain habitats, far removed from urban populations, offer some of the best places on the planet to view wildlife.

STARRY STARRY NIGHT

The night view from his sanitarium room window inspired van Gogh’s most famous painting – The Starry Night. Fortunately it doesn’t take a visit to the insane asylum to feel the transformative response of a star-studded night sky. Trade the high wattage glow of urban nights for the exploding beauty of a mountain night sky and feel the magic for yourself.  

EXPANDED HORIZONS

Life within a box – be it at home or at the office – can take its toll on the psyche. No matter how comfortable it is, our souls crave expanded horizons. Little nurtures better than nature. Escape the cubicle and treat yourself to a thrilling, mountaintop view of jagged peaks, evergreen forests, glistening snowfields, and wildflower-filled valleys. Your soul – and those around you – will thank you.

FRESH AIR

Ahhhh, remember the smell of fresh air? No? Urban life offers lots of perks – great restaurants, round-the-clock convenience, new art, and trendy fashion – but clean air isn’t one of them. Add a little altitude to your next adventure and introduce your lungs to the mountain high of pristine air quality.

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".