The Highest (and Lowest) Elevation Point in Each State

The United States is vast and geologically diverse, which inspires highpointing throughout the country. To “highpoint” is to reach the highest point of elevation in an area, and in the late 1980s, the trend emerged amongst U.S. travelers. Since then, highpointers have made an effort to reach as many high elevation points in as many states as possible. Although highpointing all 50 states is an ambitious undertaking, you may have already summited (or plummeted) to these highest and lowest elevation points in each state.


Sunset At Cheaha Overlook in The Cheaha Mountain State Park in Alabama.
Credit: JimVallee/ iStock

Highest: Cheaha Mountain (2,405 feet)
Lowest: Gulf of Mexico (sea level)

The word “cheaha” translates to “high place” in Mvskoke (also called Muscogee or Creek), a language spoken by both Muscogee/Creek and Seminole indigenous peoples, and indeed, Cheaha Mountain is the highest point of elevation in Alabama. Although Alabama is home to the famed Appalachian Mountains, this particular peak is located in the Talladega Range, which is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. On the other hand, the coastal region along the Gulf of Mexico in Mobile Bay is considered Alabama’s lowest elevation point at sea level.


Denali Mountain in Alaska in Fall Reflected in Wonder Lake.
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Highest: Denali (20,320 feet)
Lowest: Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea, and the Arctic Sea
(sea level)

Not only is Denali the tallest mountain in Alaska, but it’s also the highest peak in all of North America. The impressive mountain was once called Mount McKinley, but in 2015, it was renamed to honor the language spoken by the Athabascans, an indigenous people native to the area. Although the feat is both treacherous and physically challenging, climbing to Denali’s sky-high summit is attempted by adventure-seekers from around the world. The state’s shoreline, which offers access to the Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea, and the Arctic Sea, has the lowest elevation at sea level.


An aerial view of Horseshoe Bend, surrounded by the Colorado River in Page, Arizona.
Credit: Gert Boers/ Unsplash

Highest: Humphreys Peak (12,633 feet)
Lowest: Colorado River (70 feet)

Humphreys Peak, just north of Flagstaff, is the highest elevation point in the state of Arizona. With 3,000 feet of elevation gained over the course of five miles, climbing to the top of Humphreys is a beautiful but strenuous hike that offers a stunning view of the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the world, Coconino National Forest. Arizona’s lowest elevation point is located on the Colorado River, which carves through the Grand Canyon and forms the boundary between Arizona and its neighbors to the west.


Grand view of Mount Magazine State Park in Arkansas.
Credit: Zack Frank/ Shutterstock

Highest: Mount Magazine (2,753 feet)
Lowest: Ouachita River (55 feet)

Mount Magazine was named by French explorers, who heard a landslide coming down the mountain and thought it resembled the sound of a magazine’s exploding ammunition. Located in Mount Magazine State Park, the surrounding area is popular for rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking to Signal Hill, the highest point on Magazine’s flat-topped plateau. Farther south, the state’s lowest point is the Ouachita River, which runs for hundreds of miles through the state of Arkansas before crossing into the Louisiana lowlands.


Badwater Basin at Death Valley National Park, under high water level due to recent rainfall.
Credit: Josephine Lin/ Unsplash

Highest: Mount Whitney (14,494 feet)
Lowest: Death Valley (-282 feet)

Soaring to 14,494 feet above sea level, California’s Mount Whitney is the tallest peak in the contiguous U.S. Located on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevadas, the trail to the summit begins in Inyo National Forest and continues for 22 miles round-trip. The staggering height of Mount Whitney’s elevation is in stark contrast to California's lowest point in Death Valley. At 282 feet below sea level, Death Valley’s Badwater Basin is the lowest point of elevation in North America.


Highest point in Colorado on top of Mount Elbert in the Sawatch Range near Leadville, Colorado.
Credit: Roschetzky Photography/ Shutterstock

Highest: Mount Elbert (14,439 feet)
Lowest: Arikaree River (3,315 feet)

Although there are 58 “fourteeners” (mountains that exceed 14,000 feet) in Colorado, Mount Elbert is the tallest of them all at 14,439 feet above sea level. Named after Samuel Hitt Elbert, former governor of the territory of Colorado in the late 1800s, Mount Elbert is a sought-after summit, not only for its sheer height — it is the second-highest peak in the contiguous United States — but also because the trail to the mountaintop is easier than those of other fourteeners in Colorado. At 3,315 feet above sea level, the state’s lowest elevation point on the Arikaree River is taller than the highest elevation point of 18 other states.


The New Haven Shoreline on a cloudy day on the north side of the Long Island Sound.
Credit: Enzo Figueres/ Contributor/ Getty Images

Highest: Mount Frissell (2,380 feet)
Lowest: Long Island Sound (sea level)

Located in the Berkshire Mountains, the highest point of elevation in the state of Connecticut is located on the trail to the top of Mount Frissell. While the actual summit is located in Massachusetts, many hikers traverse this trail to reach the tallest point in Connecticut. The trail is also unique in that it travels over the point where New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut state lines meet. The state’s lowest point is at sea level on the Long Island Sound, a tidal estuary of the Atlantic between Connecticut and Long Island in New York.


Herring Point in Henlopen State Park showcasing the Atlantic Ocean, at sunrise.
Credit: Brycia James/ iStock

Highest: Ebright Azimuth (447 feet)
Lowest: Atlantic Ocean (sea level)

Although there’s been some debate regarding the matter, the Delaware Geological Survey has declared Ebright Azimuth the state’s highest natural point of elevation at 447 feet above sea level. (The other contested point can be found in Centreville, which measures at 445.58 feet above sea level.) The elevated site is located on Ebright Road, on the very edge of the state line bordering Pennsylvania. Not far from Ebright Azimuth, the Delaware River flows into the Atlantic Ocean — the state’s lowest point at sea level.


An aerial view of the Atlantic Ocean in Jupiter Beach, Florida.
Credit: Chase Baker/ Unsplash

Highest: Britton Hill (345 feet)
Lowest: Atlantic Ocean (sea level)

The highest point of elevation in Florida isn’t high at all. In fact, at 345 feet above sea level, Britton Hill is the lowest high point of elevation in the United States. The hill is located in Lakewood Park near the Alabama border in the Florida Panhandle. Surrounded almost entirely by water, much of Florida is at sea level, giving the state an approximate mean elevation of 100 feet.


View of Brasstown Bald located in Georgia.
Credit: Ben Dutton/ Unsplash

Highest: Brasstown Bald (4,784 feet)
Lowest: Atlantic Ocean (sea level)

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Brasstown Bald might be the highest natural point in Georgia, but that doesn’t mean it’s inaccessible. After a short, 0.6-mile trek from the visitor center, hikers who make the summit are rewarded with sweeping views of the surrounding Chattahoochee National Forest all the way to South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. The state’s lowest point, on the other hand, is the Atlantic Ocean on Georgia’s east coast.


A snow covered crater on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
Credit: Justinreznick/ iStock

Highest: Mauna Kea (13,796 feet)
Lowest: Pacific Ocean (sea level)

At 13,796 feet above sea level, Mauna Kea is the tallest point of elevation in Hawaii — and perhaps the world. But how can that be, when everyone knows that Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on Earth? According to Business Insider, Mount Everest is the tallest peak above sea level. However, when it comes to the sheer height of a natural peak, the dormant volcano Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island stands nearly a mile over Everest, with 19,700 feet of mountain submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean. Since it’s 33,500 feet tall, Mauna Kea soars over all other competition.


Snake River and the Snake River Canyon which cuts deeply into the surrounding plain. Below Twin Falls, Idaho.
Credit: NNehring/ iStock

Highest: Borah Peak (12,662 feet)
Lowest: Snake River (710 feet)

Idaho has some pretty impressive mountaintops, and Borah Peak is the tallest of them all. The mountain is also unique in that it has one of the few mountain trails in the contiguous U.S. that climbs an elevation of over 5,000 feet from trailhead to summit. Since this ascent is under five miles, it makes for a pretty steep climb. Elsewhere in the state, the Snake River, a tributary of the Columbia River, is the lowest point of elevation at 710 feet above sea level.


Mississippi River and train from Illinois.
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Highest: Charles Mound (1,235 feet)
Lowest: Mississippi River (279 feet)

Much of Illinois is as flat as the eye can see, with the exception of the northwest corner of the state. While the rest of the state was flattened by a glacier, the area around Galena is home to a few rolling hills and limestone bluffs. It is in this area that the state’s highest point, Charles Mound, rises 1,235 feet above sea level. Not far from Charles Mound, the Mississippi River serves as the border to Iowa and is home to the state’s lowest point of elevation at 279 feet above sea level.


Dusk on the Ohio River at Madison, Indiana.
Credit: David Arment/ iStock

Highest: Hoosier Hill (1,257 feet)
Lowest: Ohio River (320 feet)

The highest point in Indiana is aptly named Hoosier Hill, and it’s located on farmland in Franklin Township. The point of elevation and the surrounding property is located on private land, but the owners generously allow visitors onto the property. Marked with a large, carved stone announcing the 1,257-foot elevation, the short yet scenic journey to the highest point in Indiana is under one half-mile. The state’s lowest point is located on the Ohio River Byway, a scenic drive that provides beautiful scenery of the southern Indiana river.


A barn sits in a field in Hawkeye Point, Iowa.
Credit: Bernard Friel/ Education Images/ Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Highest: Hawkeye Point (1,670 feet)
Lowest: Mississippi River (480 feet)

As a Midwestern state known for its flat landscape, Iowa’s tallest point of elevation is located in the rolling farmland of the northwest corner of the state. At 1,670 feet above sea level, Hawkeye Point is marked by a large mosaic compass and accompanied by expansive views. For highpointers, Hawkeye Point also has signposts that point to the high elevation points in other states. On the other edge of Iowa, the lowest point of elevation is the Mississippi River, which flows from Minnesota down to the Gulf of Mexico.


A sign at Summit of Mount Sunflower, Kansa, saying it's the highest point in the state.
Credit: Fredlyfish4/ Shutterstock

Highest: Mount Sunflower (4,039 feet)
Lowest: Verdigris River (679 feet)

At 4,039 feet above sea level, Mount Sunflower is Kansas’ highest point of elevation. On the western edge of the state less than a mile from the Colorado border, Mount Sunflower is not so much a mountain as it is a small rise on the Western Plains. In fact, the elevation point would hardly be noticeable if it were not marked with the prominent metal sculpture bearing its name. In the southeast corner of the state, the lowest point is on the Verdigris River, a northern branch of the Arkansas River.


Aerial view of Cape Girardeau on the Mississippi River and border between Missouri and Kentucky.
Credit: Jacob Boomsma/ Shutterstock

Highest: Black Mountain (4,145 feet)
Lowest: Mississippi River (257 feet)

At 4,145 feet tall, Black Mountain is an impressive peak for a state that is better known for its green pastures and rolling hills. Until recently, Black Mountain was a difficult summit to reach; it was privately owned for coal mining and access to the site required a waiver. In 2018, the state took ownership of Black Mountain, making general improvements so that more people could make the trip to the highest point in the state. As for the lowest point, the Mississippi River runs for a short length along the state’s western border at 257 feet above sea level.


Ferns hanging on the terraces of a building in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
Credit: Rosie Kerr/ Unsplash

Highest: Driskill Mountain (535 feet)
Lowest: New Orleans ( -8 feet)

At 585 feet above sea level, Driskill Mountain is a “mountain” in the loosest sense of the word. But since Louisiana is tied with Florida for the lowest average state elevation at 100 feet above sea level, Driskill Mountain is quite tall for the low-lying state. Visitors who want the honor of standing atop the summit can make the short hike from a trailhead located in Bienville Parish. The state’s lowest point is the city of New Orleans, which is located below sea level, primarily due to loose soil, rising sea levels, and improper city drainage.


Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park in Maine.
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Highest: Mount Katahdin (5,267 feet)
Lowest: Atlantic Ocean (sea level)

Located within the confines of Baxter State Park, Maine’s highest point of elevation is Mount Katahdin at 5,267 feet above sea level. The word Katahdin translates to “Greatest Mountain'' in the indigenous Penobscot language, and the peak is one of the most coveted summits in New England. Permits to make the arduous hike to Katahdin must be obtained months in advance, but the unparalleled views are worth the climb. If you prefer the salty breeze of the Atlantic in summer, Maine’s rocky coastline is the lowest elevation point in the state.


Sideling Hill in the Allegheny Mountains, which is where the highest elevation of Maryland is located.
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Highest: Hoye-Crest (3,360 feet)
Lowest: Atlantic Ocean (sea level)

Although it's better known for its lowest point of elevation on the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland is also home to three mountain ranges: the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Appalachian Mountains, and the Allegheny Mountains. Hoye-Crest, Maryland’s highest point of elevation, is located in the Alleghenies. Although Hoye-Crest is recognized as the tallest peak in the state, accessing the summit isn’t easy. To reach the elevation point, hikers must climb Backbone Mountain and then follow a trail that travels north along the Virginia-Maryland state line.


A red spruce tree grows at the summit of Mt. Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts.
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Highest: Mount Greylock (3,491 feet)
Lowest: Atlantic Ocean (sea level)

Massachusetts is famous for its vacation destinations at sea level, with Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard drawing millions of visitors every year. However, the western part of the state, home to the Berkshire Mountains, also has great appeal to outdoor enthusiasts, as it provides ample space for hiking and camping. It is in the Berkshires that Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts, can be accessed on foot or by vehicle. In winter, the 3,491-foot mountain is also a popular spot for skiing and snowmobiling.


Grand Portal Point morning at Lake Superior Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan.
Credit: John McCormick/ Shutterstock

Highest: Mount Arvon (1,979 feet)
Lowest: Lake Erie (571 feet)

Surrounded by four Great Lakes, Michigan's lowest point of elevation happens to be on Lake Erie. In the opposite direction, the state’s highest point is Mount Arvon. Located in the Upper Peninsula, Mount Arvon stands 1,979 feet above sea level and can be accessed by trekking a two-mile trail through the woods. Although it’s on private land, the landowners permit hikers to visit the high point, which provides unrestricted views of Lake Superior.


View of Eagle Mountain in Minnesota.
Credit: Marina Hannus/ Shutterstock

Highest: Eagle Mountain (2,302 feet)
Lowest: Lake Superior (601 feet)

The northeastern corner of Minnesota is home to Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It is in this remote part of the state that the tallest point in Minnesota, Eagle Mountain, can be summited. To reach this highest elevation point, hikers must obtain a permit to trek the 3.5-mile trail. The lowest point in the state is the shoreline of Lake Superior, which separates the state from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.


Pier at sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Credit: Joseph Sohm/ Shutterstock

Highest: Woodall Mountain (807 feet)
Lowest: Gulf of Mexico (sea level)

The highest point of elevation in Mississippi is Woodall Mountain. Although the land is privately owned and maintained, the owners allow visitors to access the highest point by car or via a short trail through the woods. The spot is marked with a bench, plaque, and visitor register. The lowest point in Mississippi is 370 miles directly south along the Gulf of Mexico, where the city of Biloxi is a popular stop for visitors to the region.


A view of the Ozark Mountains from Minne Sauk Falls in Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, Missouri.
Credit: Steven Schremp/ Shutterstock

Highest: Taum Sauk Mountain (1,772 feet)
Lowest: Saint Francis River (230 feet)

The tallest peak in Missouri, Taum Sauk Mountain, is located in a state park that bears the same name. Since the high elevation point features a lookout tower, visitors will get to appreciate views of the surrounding Saint Francois Mountains. For the scores of tourists who frequent the park annually, Taum Sauk also offers a campground for overnight stays and 7,500 acres of hiking trails to explore. The lowest point in Missouri is the Saint Francis River, a tributary of the Mississippi that flows from Missouri to Arkansas.


A view towards the summit of Granite Peak in Montana.
Credit: Jason Maehl/ Shutterstock

Highest: Granite Peak (12,799 feet)
Lowest: Kootenai River (1,800 feet)

Montana has no shortage of impressive peaks, but of all the summits in the state, Granite Peak is the tallest. At 12,799 feet tall, this mountaintop is located in the Beartooth Mountains, an especially rugged mountain range in the southeastern corner of the state. The peak can be spotted from Beartooth Pass, a scenic road that runs between Red Lodge and Cooke City. The lowest point in Montana is the Kootenai River, which flows through the towns of Libby and Troy, and is a premier destination for anglers.


Dawn over the Missouri River at Brownville in Nebraska.
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Highest: Panorama Point (5,427 feet)
Lowest: Missouri River (840 feet)

Since Nebraska is a Midwestern state known for its flat plains, it’s surprising that the highest elevation point is an astonishing 5,427 feet above sea level. Named for the wide-open visibility it provides, Panorama Point is marked by a granite monument. Without this marker, it would be hard to tell that this particular spot is the highest in Nebraska. The lowest point is 840 feet above sea level on the Missouri River, located at the opposite end of the state.


View of Boundary Peak, the highest peak in Nevada.
Credit: Dominic Gentilcore PhD/ Shutterstock

Highest: Boundary Peak (13,140 feet)
Lowest: Colorado River (479 feet)

Although Las Vegas is the biggest lure for people traveling to Nevada, the state also boasts some pretty tall peaks for hikers and rock climbers. The highest of them all is Boundary Peak, which rises 13,140 feet above sea level, and can be accessed from two different, but equally difficult, trails. The 360-degree views from the top offer glimpses of Mono Lake Basin, the Sierra Nevadas, White Mountain Wilderness, and the Great Basin. The state’s lowest point is along the Colorado River, which delineates the state’s southern boundary with Arizona.

New Hampshire

View of the rocky, rugged White Mountains from the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire.
Credit: Jon Bilous/ Shutterstock

Highest: Mount Washington (6,288 feet)
Lowest: Atlantic Ocean (sea level)

The highest natural point of elevation in both New Hampshire and the Northeast is Mount Washington, a magnificent peak in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains. This high elevation point can be accessed in numerous ways: hikers can reach the summit using a network of trails, vehicles can access the Mount Washington Auto Road, or passengers can ride the Mount Washington Cog Railway to the summit. In addition to the White Mountains, New Hampshire is also home to 18 miles of Atlantic shoreline that runs between Massachusetts and Maine.

New Jersey

A view of High Point Monument on a beautiful summer day.
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Highest: High Point (1,803 feet)
Lowest: Atlantic Ocean (sea level)

New Jersey’s highest elevation point is aptly named High Point and it stands 1,803 feet above sea level, offering views of the Delaware River and rolling hills of Pennsylvania. The park surrounding the peak, named High Point State Park, features landscaping designed by the Olmstead brothers, sons of Frederick Law Olmsted who famously designed Central Park. The lowest point in the state is the Jersey Shore coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, a vibrant seaside destination in summer.

New Mexico

View of nature alongside a trail going up the tallest Mountain in New Mexico, Wheeler Peak.
Credit: RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/ iStock

Highest: Wheeler Peak (13,167 feet)
Lowest: Red Bluff Reservoir (2,842 feet)

Located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico, Wheeler Peak soars above sea level to 13,167 feet. The summit can be reached from the base of Taos Ski Valley and is a challenging hike that passes through old avalanche paths and offers vistas of rock formations formed by glaciers. Similar to other states in the Rockies, New Mexico’s lowest elevation point is still quite high. At 2,842 feet above sea level, Red Bluff Reservoir is taller than the sum total of Florida, Delaware, Louisiana, and Mississippi’s highest elevation points.

New York

Hikers gather admiring the highest view in the entire state of New York, Mount Marcy.
Credit: Andrew Fraieli/ iStock

Highest: Mount Marcy (5,344 feet)
Lowest: Atlantic Ocean (sea level)

The Empire State Building has nothing on Mount Marcy, which is the highest natural point of elevation in the state of New York. While the famous skyscraper soars 1,454 feet tall, Mount Marcy is more than double its height at 5,344 above sea level. A sought-after peak in the Adirondacks, the shortest hike to the summit is on the Van Hoevenberg Trail, which is 15 miles round-trip. New York’s lowest point is the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean in the southeastern corner of the state.

North Carolina

A view of Mount Michell, the highest peak in the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina.
Credit: Frederik Flagstad/ iStock

Highest: Mount Mitchell (6,684 feet)
Lowest: Atlantic Ocean (sea level)

As the highest point of elevation in North Carolina, Mount Mitchell is also the tallest peak east of the Mississippi. The 6,684-foot peak is located in Mount Mitchell State Park, which contains a vast network of trails, a museum, and a campground for visitors. The summit features an observation deck that can be accessed via a 0.25-mile paved trail. As the crow flies, the lowest point in the state is about 350 miles due east, where the Atlantic Ocean meets North Carolina’s beautiful beaches.

North Dakota

The Red River in Fargo North Dakota at Sunrise.
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Highest: White Butte (3,508 feet)
Lowest: Red River of the North (750 feet)

The Badlands and buttes of North Dakota formed thousands of years ago from eroded sandstone, and among the state’s many rock formations, White Butte is the tallest at 3,508 feet above sea level. Named for its stark coloring, White Butte can be accessed by paying a cash donation in order to hike the three-mile trail located on private property. The Red River is the lowest point in the state and forms the eastern border between North Dakota and Minnesota.


Elevated view of the Roebling Suspension Bridge with a view of the Cincinnati skyline and the Ohio River below.
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Highest: Campbell Hill (1,549 feet)
Lowest: Ohio River (455 feet)

Campbell Hill, the highest point in Ohio at 1,549 feet, is located near the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, a technical school in the city of Bellefontaine. Visitors are welcome on the campus and can find the elevation point near the flagpole by Building 2, with an “X” marking the spot. Campbell Hill is a mere two-hour drive from Indiana’s Hoosier Hill, making it easy for highpointers to check off both elevation points on the same day. Just like Indiana, Ohio's low point is also on the Ohio River, at 455 feet above sea level.


A rock formation known as The Wedding Party, located in Oklahoma's Black Mesa.
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Highest: Black Mesa (4,973 feet)
Lowest: Little River (289 feet)

Nestled between Colorado and New Mexico in the Oklahoma Panhandle stands Black Mesa, the highest elevation point in the state. Named for the black lava rock that formed the mesa 30 million years ago, Black Mesa’s ecosystem is a haven for rare wildlife and plants, making it a popular location for birdwatching. To reach the highest point in Oklahoma, hikers must trek 4.25 miles on a winding trail to the top. The lowest point in the state is the Little River, a small tributary that flows for 130 miles through the state.


Mount Hood in Oregon at sunrise with a view of Trillium Lake.
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Highest: Mount Hood (11,249 feet)
Lowest: Pacific Ocean (sea level)

Located in the Cascade Range, Mount Hood is a potentially active stratovolcano 50 miles from Portland, Oregon. The last eruption was in 1781 and today it is closely monitored for any volcanic activity, so it is generally considered safe to ski or hike the mountain without fear of an eruption. At 11,249 feet tall, Mount Hood is covered in snow year-round and is home to six different ski areas that are open for much of the year. The lowest point in Oregon is 80 miles from Portland in the other direction, where the Pacific meets Oregon’s rocky coastline.


A view from the peak of Mount Davis, the highest point in Pennsylvania.
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Highest: Mount Davis (3,213 feet)
Lowest: Delaware River (sea level)

As the highest point in Pennsylvania, Mount Davis can be accessed by car, but since the view is shrouded by trees, it’s best to climb the observation tower’s six flights of stairs. Trekking to the top of the tower might require endurance, but the feat promises stunning views from the top. On the opposite end of the state, the Delaware River is Pennsylvania’s lowest point at sea level and it serves as the border between the Keystone State and neighboring New Jersey.

Rhode Island

View of Newport in Rhode Island and the Atlantic Ocean.
Credit: DenisTangneyJr/ iStock

Highest: Jerimoth Hill (812 feet)
Lowest: Atlantic Ocean (sea level)

Marked by rock cairns, a geological survey marker, and a visitor register, the highest point in Rhode Island is easy to visit. The 0.3-mile trail to Jerimoth Hill features an elevation gain of six feet, which means it’s accessible for all ages and abilities, and an easy spot to check off the list for highpointers. Since Rhode Island is a small state, driving to the lowest point on the Atlantic will take less than an hour. The state’s 400 miles of shoreline are home to both sandy beaches and rocky coast, making it a welcome spot for tourists during warmer months.

South Carolina

Beautiful sunset from the peak of Sassafras Mountain, the tallest point in the State of South Carolina.
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Highest: Sassafras Mountain (3,560 feet)
Lowest: Atlantic Ocean (sea level)

Located directly on the border of North Carolina and South Carolina, Sassafras Mountain is the highest point in the southern state. As recently as 2019, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources unveiled an observatory tower at the peak’s 3,560-foot summit. The Sassafras Tower offers views of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. The lowest point of elevation is the state’s tidal coastline along the Atlantic, which is renowned for its beautiful beaches.

South Dakota

A view of the Harney Peak Fire Lookout Tower in Black Elk Wilderness, South Dakota.
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Highest: Black Elk Peak (7,242 feet)
Lowest: Big Stone Lake (966 feet)

Until 2016, Black Elk Peak was called Harney Peak, named for a commander who fought in the Plains Wars in 1857. As the highest point east of the Rockies, Black Elk Peak stands 7,242 feet above sea level and is situated in the Black Hills of South Dakota. To access the high point, hikers can trek the 7.4-mile loop trail that passes a lake before reaching the old fire tower at the summit. The lowest point in South Dakota is Big Stone Lake, a narrow body of water that demarcates the boundaries between South Dakota and Minnesota.


The observation deck of Clingman's Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains.
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Highest: Clingmans Dome (6,643 feet)
Lowest: Mississippi River (178 feet)

The highest point in Tennessee is Clingmans Dome, located within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At 6,643 feet above sea level, Clingman’s Dome is the third-tallest peak east of the Mississippi, with North Carolina’s Mount Mitchell and Mount Craig preceding it. The highest point in Tennessee features an observation tower that produces vistas as far as 100 miles on a clear day. The Mississippi River on the state's western boundary is the lowest elevation point in the state at 178 feet above sea level.


Landscape view of the sunset in Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas.
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Highest: Guadalupe Peak (8,751 feet)
Lowest: Gulf of Mexico (sea level)

Everything is bigger in Texas, and the mountain peaks are no different. The top of Texas is Guadalupe Peak, and at 8,751 feet above sea level, it lives up to the state’s motto. The peak is located in Guadalupe Mountains National Park along the New Mexico-Texas border. To reach the summit, a nine-mile, round-trip hike must be endeavored. The lowest point in the state is southeast, where the Texas shoreline meets the Gulf of Mexico at sea level.


The top of kings peak, the tallest mountain in Utah.
Credit: Magic Wonders/ Shutterstock

Highest: Kings Peak (13,534 feet)
Lowest: Beaver Dam Wash (2,000 feet)

Kings Peak is the tallest mountain in Utah, reaching 13,534 feet above sea level. Located in the Uinta Mountains, Kings is often busy with hikers attempting to summit the highest peak in the state. Since the 26-mile hike is strenuous, most backpackers break the journey up by camping overnight near the alpine lakes along the trail. As for the state’s lowest point, Beaver Dam Wash is a seasonal stream in southern Utah situated 2,000 feet above sea level.


Vermont mountain range seen from the top of Mount Mansfield near Stowe, Vermont.
Credit: Nitin Chavan/ iStock

Highest: Mount Mansfield (4,393 feet)
Lowest: Lake Champlain (95 feet)

Mount Mansfield is beloved in Vermont for being the tallest peak in the state at 4,393 feet above sea level. One side of the mountain is home to Stowe Mountain Resort, a popular ski resort located in the picturesque town of Stowe, while the other side is open to hikers who want to reach the peak on foot. The 360-degree view at the top offers vistas of the Green Mountains, Adirondacks, White Mountains, and even Mount Royal in Quebec, Canada. It also offers a view of Lake Champlain, which is the state’s lowest point of elevation at 95 feet above sea level.


Sunset over Mount Rogers Virginia.
Credit: Gabriel Quiles/ Shutterstock

Highest: Mount Rogers (5,729 feet)
Lowest: Atlantic Ocean (sea level)

Virginia’s highest peak is Mount Rogers, named for William Barton Rogers, the founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the first geologist in the state. Located in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, Mount Rogers can be reached via a 12-mile trail. The hike traverses land that's home to a herd of wild ponies descended from Shetlands. Wild ponies can also be discovered at the state’s lowest elevation point, as coastal Virginia is home to Assateague Island, which is best-known for its band of wild horses that enjoy frolicking in the saltwater.


View of Mt. Rainier at the end of an empty long highway.
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Highest: Mount Rainier (14,410 feet)
Lowest: Pacific Ocean (sea level)

As the tallest peak in Washington state, Mount Rainier is an iconic landmark that reaches a whopping 14,410 feet above sea level. On a clear day, the large, snow-covered stratovolcano serves as a scenic backdrop for Seattle’s skyline. Despite being an active volcano (the last eruption occurred in 1894), Mount Rainier is also an outdoor playground, providing access to trails, skiing, and camping to Washington residents and visitors. The lowest point in the state is along the state’s rugged coastline on the Pacific Coast, which also provides ample activities for outdoor enthusiasts.

West Virginia

Morning light and fog on Spruce Knob Lake, Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia.
Credit: Jon Bilous/ iStock

Highest: Spruce Knob (4,863 feet)
Lowest: Potomac River (240 feet)

For being the 13th most isolated peak in the contiguous U.S., Spruce Knob isn’t too difficult to reach. The 4,863-foot summit and observation tower can be accessed by driving approximately 22 miles from Seneca Rocks, although more adventurous visitors can trek to the top on the Huckleberry Trail, which runs for 11 miles through the West Virginia backcountry. At the top, the 0.5-mile Whispering Spruce Trail encircles the summit and offers panoramic views. The lowest point in the state is along the Potomac River, located between Maryland and West Virginia.


Top of Timms Hills in Wisconsin.
Credit: Maarten Daams/ Shutterstock

Highest: Timms Hill (1,951 feet)
Lowest: Lake Michigan (579 feet)

The highest point in Wisconsin, known as Timms Hill, stands 1,961 feet above sea level and is home to two separate observation towers. The metal observation tower holds communication equipment and is marked with the state’s survey marker. The other is a wooden tower with several flights of stairs that can be climbed to obtain a better perspective. The 0.4-mile trail also connects to Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail, a 1,000-mile National Scenic Trail that runs through the entire state. The state’s lowest point is along Lake Michigan.


Top view of Gannet Peak in Wyoming, the states highest point.
Credit: Jeff Bernhard/ Shutterstock

Highest: Gannett Peak (13,804 feet)
Lowest: Belle Fourche River (3,099 feet)

The Grand Teton Range might be Wyoming’s most famous mountain range, but Gannett Peak is the state’s tallest mountain. Located in the Wild River Range 70 miles southwest of the Tetons, Gannett is also the most isolated peak in the state. As a result, reaching the summit is no easy feat and is considered one of the more difficult climbs that Wyoming has to offer. At 3,099 feet above sea level, the lowest elevation point is the Belle Fourche River, a tributary of the Cheyenne River that translates to “beautiful fork” in French.

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