Mountains are a popular tattoo design choice for a variety of reasons. For one, the natural marvels symbolize a wide range of ideas, including stubbornness, attaining goals, climbing over obstacles, and adventure. As natural formations, mountains also clearly represent nature and an affinity for the outdoors—perfect for someone who loves hiking, swimming, climbing, or just enjoying the sun.
If you’ve been thinking about getting a mountain tattoo but aren’t exactly sure what you want it to look like, here are 33 ideas to help you design your dream ink.
Mountains make for beautiful armband tattoos, as you can easily extend the scene to wrap around seamlessly. Light detailing also helps keep the design from feeling overwhelming, both in general and as an armband.
Mt. Fuji Tattoo
If you have an attachment to a specific mountain, why not get it tattooed? Mt. Fuji is a popular choice, as it’s often depicted with a red sun, making for a visually interesting design that pops.
Mountains are essentially triangles, so they fit well into abstract or geometric designs. Here, there are no curved lines, and the points of the mountains add height to the tattoo.
Nature Scene Tattoo
If you’re deeply connected to nature, mountains most likely represent something to you, whether it be goals, hard work, or stubbornness. For this reason, they make a great addition to a nature scene and help to add dimension.
Although mountain tattoos tend to lack a bottom and just fade into the negative space of skin, they also look great contained within a specific space. Here, the trees act as a base for the scene, while a thick top line encases it to create a portrait of nature.
While mountains are often depicted as an earthly element, the juxtaposition against something more up-in-the-air, like space, makes a statement. In this piece, the mountains seem to ground the design, despite being surrounded by stars and planets.
If the geometric element of mountains isn’t really for you, they’re easy to soften by opting for curved lines and minimal detailing. The number of lines is up to you, but for an even simpler design, use one line to create a few mountains rather than just one.
Mountain tattoos don’t have to have to be serious—if you want something a bit more playful, go for it. Detailing like thick shadows and doodle-like elements add whimsy to the design.
Mountains are a good design choice because they can be adapted into a number of styles. Here, the artist opted for vibrant colors and an enclosed tattoo, giving it an illustrated look.
Although mountains are known for their massive size and resolution, they can still be worked into a delicate design. If that’s your aim, go for a smaller tat in a more personal space, like the wrist.
Tattoos featuring mountains will also often include forests. Not only are they seen together in nature, but their symbolism also complements each other. While a forest represents the journey and exploration, a mountain symbolizes attaining a goal and standing resolute.
Tip of Mountain Tattoo
Rather than thinking about mountains as a whole entity, opt for a tattoo featuring just the tops to focus it on the sky, rather than the natural mass. The tips of the mountains in this tattoo point up toward the star detailing, making it even more so the focal point.
For a fun, customized look, forgo typical linework for a more visually interesting style. This piece of ink uses all dotwork, giving the tattoo a sort of hand-drawn look.
Mountain and Wave Tattoo
Play up the innate natural element of your mountains by placing them next to another natural wonder, like the ocean. While the lines in this tattoo are whimsical, the shading and water detailing roots it in reality.
If you’re not much of a minimalist, don’t be afraid to play with a number of elements in your mountain tattoo. While the mountain is clearly the focal point, each part of the design has its own look without overwhelming the piece.
For those looking for a more realistic mountain design, going with light shading and fine lines will make it feel like a scene in the distance. Add some white for dimension, as it gives it a sense of light and dark.
One of the most fun things about tattoos is that you can customize them however you want. This design, for example, features a bucket full of mountains. While that’s not realistically possible, the imagery makes for a fantastic tattoo.
From far away, mountain ranges just look like lines. This makes them a great design choice for fans of abstract and minimal tattoos. Here, many lines in varying colors add visual impact while still conveying the image of mountains.
The side of the rib cage is a solid placement idea for a mountain tattoo, as the rigidity of the vertical design contrasts nicely with the curve of the body.
Because mountains are just natural triangles, there are infinite ways to personalize them to your style. Playing with line thicknesses, contrasting shapes, and element sizes are great ways to create your perfect tattoo.
Nature Landscape Tattoo
Mountains are such a well-known symbol for nature as a whole that they fit perfectly into any nature-focused landscape. Try adding elements like the ocean and the sun to round out the scene.
Although in real life mountains tend to be stuck with a neutral, earthy color palette, your tattoo can be as vivid as you’d like! Adding a variety of colors but keeping the actual base design simple will allow you to be playful with the ink without worry.
Lotus Flower Tattoo
If you want to feature more than one focal point but want to keep your tattoo well-spaced, mountains are a good choice because of the amount of negative space they hold. Here, even with the shading, the mountain highlights the lotus flower rather than overpowering it.
Mountains don’t have to be serious. If you prefer a super whimsical, illustrated design, opt for fun colors, simple shapes, and one consistent line thickness to counteract the rigidity of the mountain’s image.
Mountains make great matching tattoos, as they represent solid relationship traits like consistency, reliability, and eternity. Keep the tattoos simple to further enhance those elements, or opt for a different style for each person for a unique touch.
For fans of enclosed tattoos (those that are boxed in by borders), mountains look great against triangles—rather than squares—because they play up the shape of the natural element. Go for an upside-down triangle to up the contrast and make the mountains feel even taller.
Background Mountains Tattoo
Mountains don't have to be the focal point of your design. Even though they’re large you can relegate them to the background of a soft nature scene, like this one.
If your love of mountains comes from your affinity for climbing them, why not make that passion the tattoo, rather than nature itself? Use other climbing designs like a carabiner or an actual climber to further illustrate your devotion.
For those who can’t choose between a realistic tattoo and something a bit more whimsical, why not choose both? Illustrating the mountains themselves in a slightly realistic style keeps them grounded, while the vibrant lines above the range add a bit of fun.
For many people, mountains are a symbol of wandering and adventure. If you’re one of those people, mountains make a great addition to a travel-oriented tattoo, like this one.
Specific Mountains Tattoo
If there’s a specific mountain range that means something to you, or a specific location with a mountainous landscape, a tattoo memorializing it means you’ll always carry it with you. Add small, important-to-you details like a rainbow flag for a personalized touch.
Negative Space Tattoo
For a fun subversion of mighty mountains, incorporate them into a negative space design. Instead of taking over the tattoo, they act as a detail to highlight the overall piece of ink.
Although mountains are known for blending into the landscape, don't let that stop you from getting a tattoo that stands out! Go for lots of colors, specifically light ones, if you want a whimsical design.