Ras Dashen or Ras Dejen is the tallest mountain found in Ethiopia. Its name translates to “head guard.”

Why Is It Famous?

The fame of Ras Dashen comes from its elevation of 4,550 meters, which makes it Ethiopia’s highest mountain. This also makes it the 10th highest of all African mountains.

What Is Nearby?

The mountain is in the Simien Mountains National Park located in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia.  

Geological Description

Experts indicate that Ras Dashen forms the eastern peak of a rim belonging to a large volcano. Several ravines cut that volcanic rim’s northern half before draining into the nearby Takkazzi River. The Meshaha River Valley separates Ras Dashen from Mount Biuat, which is 4,510 meters.

Violent snowfalls are frequent at night on the mountain. This snow typically melts within hours, however, thanks to the sharp temperature disparities between day and night. Most of the annual rainfall is during summer, making snow rare during winter.

Geologically, the mountains in the Simien Range, including Ras Dashen, feature basalt volcanic rock. There are not any active volcanos in the area today. The Simien range is a set of eroded mountains rising above northern Ethiopia’s 9,000-foot plateau.

The mountain and other areas within the Simien Mountains National Park have its famous biosphere, which includes a cool climate and steep cliffs that lead to numerous species. The area’s highlands are made of dark trap basalt as well as bright, soft turf.

Events in Time

In 1841, Ferret and Galinier, French officers, ascended Ras Dashen. This is the first ascent completed by Eurasians on record. Given that the surrounding area and the conditions on the mountain itself are fairly hospitable, many locals have pastoral settlements that are at a high altitude. This makes it likely that there were previous ascents.


Ras Dashen is the highest mountain in Ethiopia and part of the gorgeous Simien Mountains National Park.