Here’s How Big The Largest Mountain In The Solar System Actually Is

Hint: really, really big

Grant Piper
4 min readNov 26, 2021


Olympus Mons from orbit (Public domain / NASA)

Olympus Mons is the largest mountain in the solar system, and it is not even close. Not only is the Martian mountain the tallest peak ever discovered by humans but the mountain is also the largest in terms of volume and area as well. Olympus Mons is really, really big.

But how big is it exactly? Visualizing the absolutely titanic size of this geographic feature is difficult but here are some ways to compare the majestic heights of Olympus Mons to Earthly features.

The tallest mountain in the solar system

Olympus Mons height compared to other well known peaks (Resident Mario / CC BY 3.0)

The peak of Olympus Mons soars at an estimated 72,000ft in height. That is two and a half times the height of Mount Everest. That means the peak extends over 13 miles into the atmosphere. That is astronomical.

To put that into perspective, Olympus Mons is the same height, proportionally, to Mount Everest as Mount Everest is to Little Dome in Colorado. Little Dome is 12,000 feet tall and represents a standard dome formation found all over the world.

Olympus Mons makes Everest look small and unremarkable by comparison.

If laid down on its side, it would take a car traveling at highway speeds twelve minutes to drive from the base to the summit.

The most massive mountain in the solar system

Olympus Mons caldera complex (NASA / Public domain)

Not only is Olympus Mons tall, but it is bulky. It has an absolutely massive footprint and the scale of the prominent features of this mountain are incredible. Olympus Mons is a typical shield volcano, not all that dissimilar to Mauna Kea and Kilauea in Hawaii. Olympus Mons is simply on a mind-boggling scale.

The caldera at the peak is fifty miles in diameter. The depth of the main caldera extends nearly two miles down into the volcano.



Grant Piper

Professional writer. Amateur historian. Husband, father, Christian.