Grenada is a volcanic island, and as a result, much of its terrain is mountainous, comprised of true mountains (those peaks exceeding a thousand feet) and many smaller hills. The resulting volcanic soil is what creates the lush tropical jungles present on the island. The views from the tops of these mountains and volcanoes make for some of the most beautiful seascapes in the Caribbean.
How many mountains and volcanoes are there in Grenada? There are more than 20 mountainous landforms in Grenada but only eleven that qualify as a true mountain and/or volcano. They incude:
- Mount St. Catherine (volcano mountain)
- Mount Qua Qua
- Mount Nelson
- South East Mountain
- Mount Granby
- Mount Sinai
- Mount Felix
- Mount Melville
- Mount Airy
- Mount Morice
- Kick ‘Em Jenny (volcano)
These mountains and volcanoes offer beautiful vistas and thrilling hikes. Read on to find out more about sightseeing in the mountains of Grenada.
The Mountains of Grenada
There are more than 20 mountainous landforms on the tiny island of Grenada and the two smaller islands, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Seven of those landforms qualify to carry the prestigious title of “mountain”. According to National Geographic, most geologists classify a mountain as a landform that rises at least 1,000 feet above its surrounding area.
There are nine true mountains, and they’re all located on the main island, Grenada.
Mount Saint Catherine
Mount Saint Catherine is the highest mountain in Grenada, measuring in at 2,755 feet. We’ll discuss more Mount Saint Catherine in the next section when we introduce the island’s volcanoes.
Mount Qua Qua
Mount Qua Qua is located in Grand Etang National Park, the heart of Grenada’s wild rainforests on the mainland. This area is popular for its wide variety of biomes and rich reservoirs of wildlife and native foliage. The hiking in this area ranges from moderate fifteen-minute walks to seriously challenging climbing treks. Mount Qua Qua is 1,853 feet and the fourth tallest mountain in all of Grenada.
Mount Nelson has an elevation of 1,677 feet and is located near St. Mark, Grenada. This mountain is the tallest peak located in St. Mark, but it is only the fifth tallest mountain in Grenada.
South East Mountain
South East Mountain has an elevation of 1,667 feet and is located near St. Andrew, Grenada. South East Mountain is only the third tallest peak in St. Andrew and the sixth tallest in all of Grenada. These mountains are known for the several small rivers that stream from them, leading to a series of spectacular waterfalls.
Mount Granby has an elevation of 1,442 feet and is located near St. John, Grenada. Mount Granby is the tallest mountain in all of Saint John but only the seventh tallest mountain in Grenada.
Mount Sinai has an elevation of 1,379 feet and is located near St. Andrew, Grenada. Mount Sinai is named after the mountain in Egypt, mentioned multiple times throughout the books of the Bible as well as the Quran.
Mount Felix has an elevation of 1,270 feet and is located near St. John, Grenada. Mount Felix is the second tallest mountain in St. John but only the ninth tallest mountain in Grenada. Mount Felix is located near Pearls Airport, a derelict airport captured by General MacArthur in WWII that was replaced by Maurice Bishop International Airport in 1984.
Three of Grenada’s mountains reside in St. George parish and include:
- Mount Melville: Mount Melville stands 1,015 feet high.
- Mount Airy: Mount Airy is 1,061 feet tall.
- Mount Moritz: Mount Moritz is 1,093 feet tall.
The Volcanoes of Grenada
Along with its mountains, there are also two volcanoes located in/near Grenada: Kick ‘Em Jenny and Mount Saint Catherine.
Kick ‘Em Jenny – Underwater Volcano
Kick ‘Em Jenny is unique among Grenada’s peaks because it is an active underwater volcano located beneath the waves on the southern end of Grenada’s main island. Kick ‘Em Jenny is known as the most active volcano in the entire Caribbean, according to Geology.com.
This volcano is known for small regular eruptions and has erupted 13 times since its initial recorded eruption in 1939. Kick ‘Em Jenny towers 4,300 feet above the ocean floor but also lies 600 feet beneath the ocean’s surface.
This underwater volcano is truly amazing. One of a kind, really. Read more about it here: Kick ‘Em Jenny Grenada’s Kickass Underwater Volcano.
Mount Saint Catherine
Mount Saint Catherine is the tallest peak in the nation at an elevation of 2,755 feet. One of the most spectacular viewpoints in Grenada, groups of tourists can often be seen resting and toasting with rum at its summit. While Kick ‘Em Jenny is classified as an active volcano, there are no recent eruptions of Mount Saint Catherine on the historical record, and it is classified as dormant.
Grenada and The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center
One of the major areas of interest on Mount Saint Catherine is the Seismic Research Center run by the University of the West Indies. This university research lab keeps track of all seismic activity (including both volcanic activity and earthquake activity) within the English-speaking Caribbean.
This research center was established in 1952 as part of the Colonial Development and Welfare (CDW) Project. Now comprised of fifty different research stations, the Seismic Research Center looks out over all of Grenada and the rest of the surrounding Caribbean. These stations keep track of any seismic threats to the region and educate both visitors to Grenada and the world on the tectonic impact of seismic activity.
Hiking the Mountains of Grenada—Tips and Highlights
If you’re looking for some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world, you could do a lot worse than the rainforests of Grenada. Between the diverse wildlife and the plentiful breathtaking waterfalls, there are plenty of things to see and do.
To get the most out of hiking the mountains of Grenada, keep the following tips in mind:
- Wear close-toed shoes, not flip-flops. You’re in the Caribbean, so of course, you’ll likely be tempted to wear your sandals or flip-flops everywhere you go. However, the hiking trails in Grenada can be quite challenging, with rough or very slippery terrain depending on which trails you traverse, so you’ll need something with a bit more traction.
Hiking boots are likely to get saturated with water as you wade through streams and puddles unless you bring a pair that is waterproofed, so plastic closed-toed shoes such as Crocs are a good middle option to avoid a twisted ankle.
- Take a guide. Many of the trails in Grenada’s parks are not well-marked, and if you’re going to venture deep into the rainforests, it is safest to do so with someone who knows the area. If you do choose to hike alone, there are local farmers who can help redirect you if you do wander off the path.
- Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and insect repellent. Remember that you’re going to be hiking through a rainforest, so despite the shade, it’s likely to be both humid and hot. It’s easy to get dehydrated when you’re having fun and not paying attention to how you feel, so to avoid sun-related illness, be sure to make sure you’re hydrated throughout the day.
The Mountains and Volcanoes of Grenada are a True Caribbean Treasure
The rolling green landscape of Grenada is one of its major attractions, and if you’re the outdoorsy type and make sure you come prepared, you can find some of the best trails and breathtaking peaks in the entire Caribbean.
Kick ‘Em Jenny might be a bit difficult, if not impossible, to see, but you can’t leave Grenada without seeing the island from the top of Mount Saint Catherine.