A Guide to the Highest Points in the 50 states:

There are a number of people (Highpointers) who have visited all 50 highest points (points, not peaks, there aren't peaks in places like Louisiana) in the United States. It's not a difficult feat if you make it past Denali, Mt. Ranier, Granite Peak, and Gannett Peak. It's actually quite interesting to look at the differences in elevation extremes by state. I personally have been to 18 of these high places, but I don't see myself completing all 50 by the time I'm unable to do so anymore.

For each state, HP stands for "Highest Point." Elevations are listed in feet above sea level. I don't have figures for height in meters, but I would be willing to add it if someone can find a complete or partial listing. With all natural phenomena, elevation above sea level changs slightly over time. Mountain range upheavel and erosion can change some mountain elevations as much as 1-2 feet over a 50 year period. Elevations are determined by the USGS in 1995, and are subject to their error.

The Martin Classification of Difficulty for U.S. State Highpoints is presented here. It is the general standard for classifying difficulty for U.S. high points. It is only relative to this scale of high points, and does not apply to other technical rating systems. Something that gets a 9 here, may be ranked lower on a different mountaineering or climbing scale.

Difficulty ratings correspond to the following definitions and include the number of points earning that difficulty:

  • Class 1 (21) - Drive-up sites and highpoints with vertical gains less than 130 feet and less than 0.6 miles round trip from car.
  • Class 2 (7) - Highpoints with vertical gains between 150-400 feet and from 0.4 to 2.0 miles round trip from car.
  • Class 3 (3) - Highpoints with vertical gains between 450-750 feet and from 2.2 to 3.6 miles round trip from car.
  • Class 4 (4) - Highpoints with vertical gains between 600-1,500 feet and from 5.8 to 8.6 miles round trip from car.
  • Class 5 (3) - Highpoints with vertical gains between 2,950-4,200 feet and from 8.4 to 14.8 miles round trip from car.
  • Class 6 (4) - Highpoints with vertical gains between 3,250-5,000 feet, from 6.2 to 9.0 miles round trip from car, and with summits over 12,633 feet.
  • Class 7 (2) - Highpoints with vertical gains between 5,350-6,750 feet, from 21.4 to 28.8 miles round trip from car, with summits over 13,528 feet, and likely requiring more than one day to summit and return
  • Class 8 (2) - Highpoints with vertical gains at 5,300 feet or better, between 6.8 to 8.0 miles round trip from car, with summits over 11,239 feet, and requiring handholds and/or the use of ropes.
  • Class 9 (3) - Highpoints with vertical gains between 7,000-9,100 feet, from 16.0 to 40.4 miles round trip from car, with summits over 12,799 feet, and requiring technical skill on rock and glacier where ropes are required.
  • Class 10 (1) - Highpoint with a vertical gain between 24,500 feet, 46.0 miles round trip from base camp, summit elevation of 20,320 feet, and requiring technical skills for glacier travel where ropes are required.

The above difficulty listing can be found here and was reformatted to fit your screen:

The List:

Cheaha Mountain
HP: 2,407
Difficulty: 1

Denali (Mt. McKinley)
HP: 20,320
Difficulty: 10

Humphreys Peak
HP: 12,633
Difficulty: 6

Magazine Mt.
HP: 2,753
Difficulty: 2

Mt. Whitney
HP: 14,494
Difficulty: 7

Mt. Elbert
HP: 14,433
Difficulty: 6

Mt. Frissell--S slope
HP: 2,380
Difficulty: 3

Ebright Azimuth
HP: 448
Difficulty: 1

Britton Hill
HP: 345
Difficulty: 1

Brasstown Bald
HP: 4,784
Difficulty: 2

Mauna Kea
HP: 13,796
Difficulty: 2

Borah Peak
HP: 12,662
Difficulty: 8

Charles Mound
HP: 1,235
Difficulty: 1

Hoosier Hill Point
HP: 1,257
Difficulty: 1

Hawkeye Point
HP: 1,670
Difficulty: 1

Mt. Sunflower
HP: 4,039
Difficulty: 1

Black Mt.
HP: 4,139
Difficulty: 1

Driskill Mt.
HP: 535
Difficulty: 2

Mt. Katahdin
HP: 5,267
Difficulty: 5

Backbone Mt.
HP: 3,360
Difficulty: 3

Mt. Greylock
HP: 3,487
Difficulty: 1

Mt. Arvon
HP: 1,979
Difficulty: 2

Eagle Mt.
HP: 2,301
Difficulty: 4

Woodall Mt.
HP: 806
Difficulty: 1

Taum Sauk Mt.
HP: 1,772
Difficulty: 1

Granite Peak
HP: 12,799
Difficulty: 9

Panorama Point
HP: 5,424
Difficulty: 1

Boundary Peak
HP: 13,140
Difficulty: 6

New Hampshire
Mt. Washington
HP: 6,288
Difficulty: 1

New Jersey
High Point
HP: 1,803
Difficulty: 1

New Mexico
Wheeler Peak
HP: 13,161
Difficulty: 6

New York
Mt. Marcy
HP: 5,344
Difficulty: 5

North Carolina
Mt. Mitchell
HP: 6,684
Difficulty: 1

North Dakota
White Butte
HP: 3,506
Difficulty: 2

Campbell Hill
HP: 1,549
Difficulty: 1

Black Mesa
HP: 4,973
Difficulty: 4

Mt. Hood
HP: 11,239
Difficulty: 8

Mt. Davis
HP: 3,213
Difficulty: 1

Rhode Island
Jerimoth Hill
HP: 812
Difficulty: 1

South Carolina
Sassafras Mt.
HP: 3,560
Difficulty: 1

South Dakota
Harney Peak
HP: 7,242
Difficulty: 4

Harney Peak
HP: 6,642
Difficulty: 2

Guadalupe Peak
HP: 8,749
Difficulty: 5

Kings Peak
HP: 13,529
Difficulty: 7

Mt. Mansfield
HP: 4,393
Difficulty: 3

Mt. Rogers
HP: 5,729
Difficulty: 4

Mt. Rainier
HP: 14,410
Difficulty: 9

West Virginia
Spruce Knob
HP: 4,861
Difficulty: 1

Timms Hill
HP: 1,951
Difficulty: 1

Gannett Peak
HP: 13,804
Difficulty: 9


  • Ashley, F. Highpoints of the states. 1970: La Siesta Press. out of print.
  • Holmes, D. W. Highpoints of the United States: a guide to the fifty state summits. 2nd ed. from Don Holmes, 1998.

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