Special Report

The Highest Point in Every State

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Comprising 26 climate zones and 25 physically unique regions, the United States is one of the most geographically diverse nations in the world. Measured by the distance from base to summit, the U.S. is home to both the tallest land-based mountain — Denali in Alaska — and the eighth lowest place — Death Valley in California — on Earth.

The topographical diversity of the United States can have an effect on the health, economy, and culture of all Americans. According to the trade organization Outdoor Industry Association, the outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in consumer spending annually and directly supports 7.6 million jobs. States with higher elevations often generate more revenue from outdoor tourism, when adjusted for population, and have greater access to opportunities for physical activity.

To determine the highest point in every state, 24/7 Wall St. used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Statistical Abstract of the United States. The highest peaks range in elevation from just 345 feet in Florida to 20,320 feet in Alaska.

Click here to see the highest point in every state.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodologies.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

1. Alabama
> Highest peak: Cheaha Mountain
> Elevation: 2,407 ft.
> Coordinates: 33.5° N, 85.8° W

The name “Cheaha” comes from the Muskogee word “chaha,” which translates to “high place.”


Source: Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man) / Wikimedia Commons

2. Alaska
> Highest peak: Denali
> Elevation: 20,320 ft.
> Coordinates: 63.1° N, 151.0° W

For over a century, Denali was known as Mount McKinley, but the moniker was returned to the original Native Alaskan name in 2015.

Source: Adbar / Wikimedia Commons

3. Arizona
> Highest peak: Humphreys Peak
> Elevation: 12,633 ft.
> Coordinates: 35.3° N, 111.7° W

Though it was named Humphreys Peak around 1870, the mountain was also named San Francisco Peak due to a General Land Office error. It wasn’t fixed until 1933.

Source: Fredlyfish4 / Wikimedia Commons

4. Arkansas
> Highest peak: Magazine Mountain
> Elevation: 2,753 ft.
> Coordinates: 35.2° N, 93.6° W

Mount Magazine got its peculiar name when French explorers heard a landslide and mistook the loud sound for an exploding ammunition magazine.


Source: Geographer / Wikimedia Commons

5. California
> Highest peak: Mount Whitney
> Elevation: 14,494 ft.
> Coordinates: 36.6° N, 118.3° W

The tallest mountain in the lower 48 states, Mount Whitney is such a popular climbing destination that hikers need a permit to climb it to minimize the ecological impact.

Source: Rick Kimpel / Wikimedia Commons

6. Colorado
> Highest peak: Mt. Elbert
> Elevation: 14,433 ft.
> Coordinates: 39.1° N, 106.4° W

Even though Mount Elbert is the tallest peak in Colorado at 14,433 feet, it is one of the easier “14ers” to climb. Many hikers call it the “gentle giant” of the Rocky Mountains.


Source: Wikimedia Commons

7. Connecticut
> Highest peak: Mt. Frissell
> Elevation: 2,380 ft.
> Coordinates: 42.0° N, 73.5° W

Though part of Mount Frissell is the highest point in Connecticut, the peak is actually in Massachusetts. This makes Connecticut the only state whose highest point isn’t a true peak.

Source: Photo by and (c)2006 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man) / Wikimedia Commons

8. Delaware
> Highest peak: Ebright Road
> Elevation: 448 ft.
> Coordinates: 39.8° N, 75.5° W

Delaware has no mountains or peaks so its highest point, the Ebright Azimuth, is marked by a sign on a road in Centerville near the Pennsylvania border.

Source: Ebyabe / Wikimedia Commons

9. Florida
> Highest peak: Britton Hill
> Elevation: 345 ft.
> Coordinates: 31.0° N, 86.3° W

At just 345 feet, Britton Hill is the lowest high point of any state. Florida’s tourism website says the surrounding park is a great place for a family picnic and “your grandmother can get to the top without breaking a sweat.”


Source: Thomson200 / Wikimedia Commons

10. Georgia
> Highest peak: Brasstown Bald
> Elevation: 4,784 ft.
> Coordinates: 34.9° N, 83.8° W

If you climb Brasstown Bald, located in the northeastern corner of Georgia, you can reportedly see North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee on a clear day.

Source: Alan L / Wikimedia Commons

11. Hawaii
> Highest peak: Mauna Kea
> Elevation: 13,796 ft.
> Coordinates: 19.8° N, 155.5° W

Mauna Kea is 13,796 feet above sea level, but most of the mountain is under water. From base to tip, Mauna Kea is actually 33,500 feet tall — more than 4,000 feet taller than Mount Everest.


Source: Public Domain

12. Idaho
> Highest peak: Borah Peak
> Elevation: 12,662 ft.
> Coordinates: 44.1° N, 113.8° W

Borah Peak can make for a difficult climb, particularly near the peak. The top of the mountain is so treacherous that it has gained the nickname “Chickenout Ridge.”

Source: TheCatalyst31 / Wikimedia Commons

13. Illinois
> Highest peak: Charles Mound
> Elevation: 1,235 ft.
> Coordinates: 42.5° N, 90.2° W

Unlike most state high points, Charles Mound in Illinois actually sits on private property. The owners, however, are reportedly welcoming to people who hope to stand on Illinois’ highest point.

Source: Hyrum Wright / Wikimedia Commons

14. Indiana
> Highest peak: Hoosier Hill
> Elevation: 1,257 ft.
> Coordinates: 40.0° N, 84.9° W

Indiana’s highest point, Hoosier Hill, is a nondescript area in the woods of Wayne County. Perhaps the hill’s biggest claim to fame is that it was the last place Arthur H. Marshall visited in his quest to visit the highest point in the lower 48 states. Marshall is believed to be the first person to visit all 48 sites, making him the first known “highpointer”.


Source: Wikimedia Commons

15. Iowa
> Highest peak: Hawkeye Point
> Elevation: 1,670 ft.
> Coordinates: 43.5° N, 95.7° W

Hawkeye Point only rises slightly above the surrounding farmland in Osceola, Iowa. The point sits on private land, but the owners have created a marker and make it accessible to the public.

Source: Fredlyfish4 / Wikimedia Commons

16. Kansas
> Highest peak: Mount Sunflower
> Elevation: 4,039 ft.
> Coordinates: 39.0° N, 102.0° W

The state of Kansas is scientifically flatter than a pancake, so its highest point is barely distinguishable from the rest of the state. The name Mount Sunflower is tongue in cheek. The owners of the land, apparently in on the joke, put a plaque at Kansas’ highest point reading “Nothing happened here in 1897.”


Source: LongLiveRock / Wikimedia Commons

17. Kentucky
> Highest peak: Black Mountain
> Elevation: 4,145 ft.
> Coordinates: 36.9° N, 82.9° W

Black Mountain has been a huge source of coal in Kentucky for decades. The mining has left the mountain in such precarious shape that would-be climbers must sign a waiver before summiting.

Source: Fredlyfish4 / Wikimedia Commons

18. Louisiana
> Highest peak: Driskill Mountain
> Elevation: 535 ft.
> Coordinates: 32.4° N, 92.9° W

Louisiana sits partially below sea level and its highest point doesn’t rise too much higher than that. Driskill Mountain, located in the northern part of the state, is just 535 feet above sea level.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

19. Maine
> Highest peak: Mount Katahdin
> Elevation: 5,268 ft.
> Coordinates: 45.9° N, 68.9° W

Mount Katahdin derives its name from the Penobscot tribe. In the Penobscot language, “Katahdin” roughly translates to “greatest mountain.” The mountain is the northernmost point on the Appalachian Trail.


Source: Brian M. Powell / Wikimedia Commons

20. Maryland
> Highest peak: Hoye Crest
> Elevation: 3,360 ft.
> Coordinates: 39.2° N, 79.5° W

Backbone Mountain, along with other parts of the Allegheny Mountains, make up part of the Eastern Continental Divide. The mountains help to naturally sort the water into the Chesapeake Bay before the water finally flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

Source: Protophobic / Wikimedia Commons

21. Massachusetts
> Highest peak: Mount Greylock
> Elevation: 3,491 ft.
> Coordinates: 42.6° N, 73.2° W

Mount Greylock has a unique place in literary history. It has reportedly inspired writers like Herman Melville and Oliver Wendell Holmes, who was also a jurist. The mountain even serves as the school for American witches and wizards in J.K. Rowling’s original “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”


Source: RomanKahler / Wikimedia Commons

22. Michigan
> Highest peak: Mount Arvon
> Elevation: 1,979 ft.
> Coordinates: 46.8° N, 88.2° W

Mount Arvon only recently claimed the title as the highest place in Michigan. For years, Mount Curwood was believed to be Michigan’s highest point, but a 1982 survey revealed that Arvon edged out Curwood by just under 1 foot.

Source: Yinan Chen / Wikimedia Commons

23. Minnesota
> Highest peak: Eagle Mountain
> Elevation: 2,301 ft.
> Coordinates: 47.9° N, 90.6° W

If you’re going to try to summit Eagle Mountain in Minnesota, be sure to double check your map before you go. There is another Eagle Mountain in Lutsen, Minnesota that is much shorter.

Source: Skye Marthaler / Wikimedia Commons

24. Mississippi
> Highest peak: Woodall Mountain
> Elevation: 806 ft.
> Coordinates: 34.8° N, 88.2° W

During the Civil War, Woodall Mountain provided Union forces with a huge tactical advantage. Soldiers used the mountain, then called Yow Hill, in the Battle of Iuka to rain down artillery on Confederate soldiers and drive them out of town.


Source: Westhoff / iStock

25. Missouri
> Highest peak: Taum Sauk Mountain
> Elevation: 1,772 ft.
> Coordinates: 37.6° N, 90.7° W

Taum Sauk Mountain State Park crosses paths with the Ozark Trail. It also features Mina Sauk Falls, which is the largest waterfall in Missouri as well.

Source: jfisher2167 / Wikimedia Commons

26. Montana
> Highest peak: Granite Peak
> Elevation: 12,799 ft.
> Coordinates: 45.2° N, 109.8° W

Granite Peak is one of the most dangerous state high points to get to because of its strenuous hiking trails and challenging rock climbing. It’s believed that no one made it to the summit until 1923.


Source: Ammodramus / Wikimedia Commons

27. Nebraska
> Highest peak: Panorama Point
> Elevation: 5,424 ft.
> Coordinates: 41.0° N, 104.0° W

Panorama Point is just slightly higher than its surrounding areas and may be tough to tell apart were it not for a marker placed there. Still, Panorama Point provides an excellent view of the Nebraska plains.

Source: Famartin / Wikimedia Commons

28. Nevada
> Highest peak: Boundary Peak
> Elevation: 13,140 ft.
> Coordinates: 37.8° N, 118.4° W

Boundary Peak is appropriately named because of its proximity to California. Boundary Peak is about 200 feet shorter than its twin, Montgomery Peak, but Montgomery sits within California’s state borders.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

29. New Hampshire
> Highest peak: Mount Washington
> Elevation: 6,288 ft.
> Coordinates: 44.3° N, 71.3° W

Mount Washington is known more for its volatile weather than its height. The mountain is home to an observatory that recorded temperatures of -100 degrees with windchill in early January. The fastest gust of wind ever, at 231 miles per hour, also was recorded there in 1934. The record stood until 1996, when it was replaced by a typhoon in Australia.


Source: Famartin / Wikimedia Commons

30. New Jersey
> Highest peak: High Point
> Elevation: 1,803 ft.
> Coordinates: 41.3° N, 74.7° W

The appropriately named High Point peaks out above the rest of the Kittatinny Mountains in New Jersey. As if it’s not tall enough, an obelisk at the peak adds another 220 feet to the top of High Point. It was placed there in 1930 as a war veteran memorial.

Source: JordanListon / iStock

31. New Mexico
> Highest peak: Wheeler Peak
> Elevation: 13,161 ft.
> Coordinates: 36.6° N, 105.4° W

For much of its history, Wheeler Peak was named Taos Peak. The name was changed in 1950 in honor of George Montague Wheeler, who led the effort to survey New Mexico and other areas in the Southwest.


Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

32. New York
> Highest peak: Mount Marcy
> Elevation: 5,344 ft.
> Coordinates: 44.1° N, 73.9° W

New York is known for its tall buildings, but its tallest natural peak reaches just over 1 mile above sea level. Mount Marcy sits in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. As far as mountains go, Marcy is fairly isolated, providing spectacular views of the surrounding area.

Source: Brian Stansberry / Wikimedia Commons

33. North Carolina
> Highest peak: Mount Mitchell
> Elevation: 6,684 ft.
> Coordinates: 35.8° N, 82.3° W

Mount Mitchell is named for Elisha Mitchell, the professor who determined that the mountain was in fact the tallest in the eastern U.S. Tragically, Mitchell died after his findings were challenged. When he went back to prove his claim, he fell to his death at a nearby waterfall.

Source: Courtesy of Good Free Photos

34. North Dakota
> Highest peak: White Butte
> Elevation: 3,506 ft.
> Coordinates: 46.4° N, 103.3° W

White Butte resides in the Little Missouri National Grasslands, but it is noticeable because of its chalky white color. The source of the color is from the bentonite clay that makes up the butte, which was formed by a glacier that covered the area thousands of years earlier.


Source: Courtesy of Good Free Photos

35. Ohio
> Highest peak: Campbell Hill
> Elevation: 1,550 ft.
> Coordinates: 40.4° N, 83.7° W

Campbell Hill in Ohio is just the high point of a gentle slope near some farmland. The hill was once home to an Air Force base, but that has since moved. A vocational school now sits in its place.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

36. Oklahoma
> Highest peak: Black Mesa
> Elevation: 4,973 ft.
> Coordinates: 36.9° N, 103.0° W

Oklahoma’s Black Mesa was once outside the jurisdiction of law enforcement, making it an ideal place for outlaws such as Black Jack Ketchum and William Coe to avoid authorities. More recently, some Oklahomans have claimed they were abducted by aliens near the Black Mesa area.


Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

37. Oregon
> Highest peak: Mount Hood
> Elevation: 11,239 ft.
> Coordinates: 45.4° N, 121.7° W

The volcano Mount Hood hasn’t erupted in well over a century, and the U.S. Geological Survey believes the chances of an imminent eruption are very slim. The peak of Mount Hood is covered with 11 different glaciers.

Source: Jarek Tuszyński / Wikimedia Commons

38. Pennsylvania
> Highest peak: Mount Davis
> Elevation: 3,213 ft.
> Coordinates: 39.8° N, 79.2° W

Though Mount Davis towers over the rest of Pennsylvania, the peak is relatively flat. This means it can be hard to see much of the surrounding area like the base of the mountain.

Source: Fredlyfish4 / Wikimedia Commons

39. Rhode Island
> Highest peak: Jerimoth Hill
> Elevation: 812 ft.
> Coordinates: 41.9° N, 71.8° W

Despite its low elevation, Jerimoth Hill used to be one of the most difficult state high points to reach. The hike wasn’t difficult, but the man who owned the land was notoriously unfriendly to those wanting to summit the hill. Eventually, he relented and sold the land, which is now open to hikers.


Source: DXR / Wikimedia Commons

40. South Carolina
> Highest peak: Sassafras Mountain
> Elevation: 3,560 ft.
> Coordinates: 35.1° N, 82.8° W

Sassafras Mountain is dwarfed by many nearby mountains in the Blue Ridge Mountain Range. It may have been largely unnoticed, except that it falls just on the South Carolina side of the border with North Carolina, making it the tallest in its state.

Source: Vocaro / Wikimedia Commons

41. South Dakota
> Highest peak: Black Elk Peak
> Elevation: 7,242 ft.
> Coordinates: 43.9° N, 103.5° W

Until 2016, Black Elk Peak was named Harney Peak. There was a significant effort from Native American groups to change the name as Gen. William Harney gained notoriety for fighting Natives during the U.S. westward expansion, whereas Black Elk was a revered spiritual leader.


Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock

42. Tennessee
> Highest peak: Clingmans Dome
> Elevation: 6,643 ft.
> Coordinates: 35.6° N, 83.5° W

Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is so tall that it is one of the few spots that can offer both hiking and skiing. The road up to the peak is closed from December through March to cars, but cross-country skiers can still get around.

Source: Leaflet / Wikimedia Commons

43. Texas
> Highest peak: Guadalupe Peak
> Elevation: 8,749 ft.
> Coordinates: 31.9° N, 104.9° W

Guadalupe Peak is a challenge to hike, but those who can muster the six- to eight-hour round trip journey will be rewarded with an unparalleled view of the American Southwest. American Airlines placed a steel monument at the top of the peak in 1958 to honor stagecoach drivers who delivered mail to remote areas in the 1800s.

Source: Hyrum K. Wright / Wikimedia Commons

44. Utah
> Highest peak: Kings Peak
> Elevation: 13,528 ft.
> Coordinates: 40.8° N, 110.4° W

Despite its regal views, Kings Peak wasn’t named after a monarch. The name comes from Clarence King, the The United States Geological Survey’s first director. Anyone hoping to summit Kings Peak should carve out at least two days for the trip as the standard hiking trip is nearly 30 miles round trip.


Source: Michlaovic / Wikimedia Commons

45. Vermont
> Highest peak: Mount Mansfield
> Elevation: 4,393 ft.
> Coordinates: 44.5° N, 72.8° W

Many tall mountain peaks could be described as beautiful, but Mount Mansfield may be the only one that might be considered handsome. When viewed from the east, the mountain resembles a man’s face in profile. Parts of the mountain have gained anatomical nicknames, including Adams Apple, Chin, Nose, and Forehead.

Source: BramReusen / iStock

46. Virginia
> Highest peak: Mount Rogers
> Elevation: 5,729 ft.
> Coordinates: 36.7° N, 81.5° W

Mount Rogers is a popular tourist destination, offering numerous different outdoor activities. Visitors can hike, swim, ride horses, and even cross-country ski during the winter. The area has 500 miles of trails and welcomes over 1 million visitors annually.


Source: Tobi 87 / Wikimedia Commons

47. Washington
> Highest peak: Mount Rainier
> Elevation: 14,411 ft.
> Coordinates: 46.9° N, 121.8° W

Though it may be enticing to climbers and hikers in the Pacific Northwest, Mount Rainier should be viewed with some caution. The United States Geological Survey reports that Rainier is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the country, and it may go off with little or no warning.

Source: ForestWander / Wikimedia Commons

48. West Virginia
> Highest peak: Spruce Knob
> Elevation: 4,863 ft.
> Coordinates: 38.7° N, 79.5° W

Spruce Knob towers over the rest of West Virginia and the entire Allegheny Mountain range. There is an observation deck at the top of the mountain, offering a full view of the surrounding area.

Source: Skye Marthaler / Wikimedia Commons

49. Wisconsin
> Highest peak: Timms Hill
> Elevation: 1,951 ft.
> Coordinates: 45.5° N, 90.2° W

Timms Hill sits between Timms Lake and Bass Lake, making it an optimal fishing destination. During the colder months, the hill is still accessible by snowmobile and offers a place for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.


Source: U.S. Forest Service / Wikimedia Commons

50. Wyoming
> Highest peak: Gannett Peak
> Elevation: 13,804 ft.
> Coordinates: 43.2° N, 109.7° W

Gannett Peak in Wyoming is reserved for only the most experienced mountaineers and climbers. The tallest of the Wind River mountain range is extremely remote and challenging to climb. Most people need several days to get to the top.

In general, the tallest mountains are in the West. The nation’s 15 tallest peaks are all west of the 100th Meridian, or the 100° W longitude line that marks the eastern boundary of the Great Plains.

The states with the tallest mountains are not necessarily the highest states above sea level. While the summit of Washington’s Mount Rainier reaches 14,411 feet, the fourth highest peak of any state, the average elevation of the state is 1,700 feet, approximately 70% of the national elevation of 2,500 feet. The state with the highest average elevation is Colorado, which stands at 6,800 feet above sea level.

Some states also have more topographic diversity than others. While California has the second highest peak of any state, it also has the lowest elevation in the country. Situated 282 feet below sea level, Death Valley is the lowest point in both California and the United States as a whole. The difference between California’s 14,494-foot peak atop Mount Whitney and its Death Valley trough is nearly 3 miles. Meanwhile, in flatter states such as Florida and Delaware, the difference between the highest and lowest point is less than 500 feet.

Mountainous states provide residents with access to recreational opportunities, which may ultimately contribute to positive health outcomes. In states like California, Colorado, and Washington, which have the second, third, and fourth highest peaks in the country, approximately 90% of residents have adequate access to locations for physical activity such as parks and recreational centers — much greater than the 84% national average.

Residents of higher elevation states tend to have healthier behaviors overall. According to County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program, in California, Colorado, and Washington, the shares of adults who do not regularly exercise are respectively 17.4%, 17.1%, and 14.4% — the fifth lowest, fourth lowest, and lowest inactivity rates in the nation.

States with higher elevations tend to have larger outdoor tourism industries. All 10 of the states with the highest average elevations generate more revenue per capita from outdoor recreation tourism than the national average.

To determine the highest point in every state, 24/7 Wall St. used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Statistical Abstract of the United States. Outdoor recreation consumer spending figures came from the Outdoor Industry Association and are for 2017. Population data came from the Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey. All data are for the most recent period available.

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