Special Report

The Highest Point in Every State

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.

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.

States with higher elevations often generate more revenue from outdoor tourism, when adjusted for population, and have greater access to opportunities for physical activity. All 10 of the states with the highest average elevations generate more revenue per capita from outdoor recreation tourism than the national average.

According to the trade organization Outdoor Industry Association, the outdoor recreation economy generates $689 billion in consumer spending annually and directly supports 4.3 billion jobs.

To determine the highest point in every state, 24/7 Tempo used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract of the United States. The highest peaks range in elevation from just 345 feet in Florida to 20,320 feet in Alaska. Outdoor recreation consumer spending figures came from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and are for 2020. Conventional outdoor recreation activities (such as camping, hiking, boating, and hunting); other core activities.

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