The Mount Lebanon range extends along the entire country for about 170 km (110 mi), parallel to the Mediterranean coast. Their highest peak is Qurnat as Sawda', at 3,088 m (10,131 ft). The range receives a substantial amount of precipitation, including snow, which averages around 4 m (13 ft) deep.
Lebanon has historically been defined by the mountains, which provided protection for the local population. In Lebanon, changes in scenery are related less to geographical distances than to altitudes. The mountains were known for their oak and pine forests. The last remaining old growth groves of the famous Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani var. libanii) are on the high slopes of Mount Lebanon, in the Cedars of God World Heritage Site.
The Phoenicians used the forests from Mount Lebanon to build their ship fleet and to trade with their Levantine neighbors. The Phoenicians and successor rulers consistently replanted and restocked the range; even as late as the 16th century, its forested area was considerable.