Rangers of the North
Misty Mountains (also known by its Sindarin name of Hithaeglir) is a mountain range, running for 795 miles (1280 kilometres) from north to south, between Eriador and the valley of the Great River, Anduin, and from Mount Gundabad in the far north to Methedras in the south.
The northernmost peak of the Misty Mountains was Mount Gundabad, where according to legend Durin awoke, though it was later an abode of Orcs. The greatest Dwarven realm in Middle-earth, Khazad-dûm, was located at the midpoint of the Misty Mountains. The three peaks that were part of Khazad-dûm were Caradhras (Redhorn), Celebdil (Silvertine) and Fanuidhol (Cloudyhead). Inside Celebdil, the Dwarves built the Endless Stair, from the foundations of the mountain to the top of it. The southernmost peak of the Misty Mountains was Methedras.
THE THREE PEAKS ABOVE MORIA
Khuzdul Name Height Sindarin Westron
Barazinbar 16,002’ Caradhras Redhorn
Bundushathur 15,111’ Fanuidhol Cloudyhead
Zirak-zigil 15,499’ Celebdil Silvertine
The most important passes are the High Pass and the Redhorn Pass. There was also a pass at the source of the Gladden.
The Gap of Rohan was the valley (probably of the River Isen) between the southernmost peaks of the Misty Mountains and the northernmost of the White Mountains. There may have been a gap between Mount Gundabad in the Misty Mountains and the westernmost extremity of the Grey Mountains, though published maps differ on this point.
Rivers originating in the Misty Mountains:
Flowing West: Hoarwell, Bruinen, Glanduin, and Isen.
Flowing East: Langwell, Rushdown, Gladden, Silverlode, Nimrodel, Entwash.
The Misty Mountains were created by Melkor who wanted to make it difficult for Oromë, who often rode across Middle-earth hunting, to pass. They were far taller in those days and had a more dreaded appearance.
During the later Third Age the Pass became dangerous again because of the Orcs. Only with the War of the Dwarves and Orcs, which nearly wiped out all Orcs of the mountains, did it become safe again. Nevertheless by the time of the Quest of Erebor the goblins of Goblin Town had burrowed their way back to it, and eventually captured Bilbo Baggins and Thorin Oakenshield’s Dwarf company.
Though the orc population has not recovered completely (the battle of the five armies also weakened them) it is now once again a dangerous place, where both trolls and orcs waylay travellers or launch raids on the few settlements near the mountains.