Highland Mountains

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Artwork of the Highland Mountains on Reach.
The Highland Mountains covered in snow.

The Highland Mountains, or informally the 'Highlands' are a large range of alpine mountains located within the Viery Territory of the human colony, and UNSC fortress world Reach.[1] Located at the center[2] of the northernmost continent[3] Eposz,[4] the mountain range stretches many hundreds of kilometers, comprising thousands or tens of thousands of individual peaks. The Highland Mountains are mostly granite.[5] They were home to a large number of UNSC training complexes and top-secret research facilities.[2]


Topography and ecology[edit]

The Military Wilderness Training Preserve within the Highland Mountains.[1]

Wild blueberry bushes and cedar trees grew in the mountains.[6] East of the Highland Mountains is the Arany Basin.[7]




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A part of Longhorn Valley at the mountains during the Fall of Reach.

Human-Covenant war[edit]

Main article: Human-Covenant war

After the Fall of Reach on August 30, 2552, The Highlands were one of the few areas on Reach to escape the Covenant plasma bombardment[8], though glassing did occur in the area on a small scale.[9] The Covenant concentrated their forces in the region and set up an extensive excavation operation around Menachite Mountain in order to uncover a massive subterranean Forerunner structure.[10]

A flag was recovered from the mountains and put on display at Outpost Discovery.[11]

Post-Covenant war[edit]

Main article: Operation: WOLFE

The Highland Mountains experienced widespread ecological disaster in the wake of much of the planet's glassing. Firestorms from the surrounding plains spread up into the Highlands, burning entire forests and melting through rock. Months of black rain followed, washing the mountainsides bare, and causing landslides the size of cities to wash down into the lower valleys.[8]

By 2559, areas that had once been snow-covered slopes had been replaced by banks of seared dirt and charred stone. Entire meadows still lay blanketed in cinders and ash. Forested areas had been replaced by bare stony wastelands, and valleys were filled in by kilometers-deep bogs of mud and ash. Small areas on the lower slopes however, showed signs of recovery, with foliage beginning to regenerate between the massive scars left by landslides.[8]

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List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b Halo Waypoint, Defiant to the End: (Defunct, copy on Wayback Machine) (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  2. ^ a b Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 43
  3. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, p. 216
  4. ^ Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 19
  5. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, p. 229
  6. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, p. 64-65
  7. ^ Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 1
  8. ^ a b c Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 18
  9. ^ Halo: Reach, multiplayer map Highlands
  10. ^ Halo: First Strike, p. 184 (2003 edition)
  11. ^ Halo: Outpost Discovery, Hall of History - Capture the Flag exhibit