Extreme Points of the United States

Description view trip reports

Extreme points lie farther north, east, south, and west than any other point of a specific region. Here, we limit consideration to the contiguous 48 United States; the entire 50 states (so including Alaska and Hawaii); and all United States territory.

We also consider the lowest and highest elevation points to be extrema. An excellent reference with several tables and illustrations is available at wikipedia.org .

The 180th meridian, being at an arbitrarily selected location, poses certain issues for defining "easternmost" and "westernmost". This is especially true since Alaska crosses this meridian and hence contains land in the Eastern Hemisphere. We discount calling such land "easternmost" as a silly fiction generated by the date line's arbitrarily-selected location.

We define being east of a location if the shortest path, a great circle track, contains an east component, i.e. a true course on departure from 0° to 180°. A point is west of one's location if the great circle track has a true course on departure from 180° to 360°.

The following extreme points are abstracted from the above wikipedia page, and are reproduced here for the reader's convenience.

Coordinates use the NAD27 datum except where indicated by "datum uncertain" for certain extrema lying outside the contiguous 48 states. Here, the corresponding references do not specify the datum.

Please E-mail the webmaster with any corrections, comments, and updates.

Contiguous 48 United States

        1 Key West, Florida falsely bills itself as being the southernmost land in the forty-eight states.

50 United States

All United States Territory


    road map (Acme)     topographic chart (Acme)     aerial photograph (Flash Earth)

road map / topo chart / aerial image scale:     normal     regional overview                     Explanation


northernmost points (either type) - Northwest Angle, Minnesota and Point Barrow, Alaska

        Northwest Angle         Point Barrow (map only)        

southernmost points (any type) - Cape Sable or Ballast Key, Florida;
                                                                  Ka Lae, Hawaii; Rose Atoll, American Samoa

        Cape Sable         Ballast Key         Ka Lae         American Samoa (aerial image only)        

easternmost points (either type) - West Quoddy Head, Maine and Point Udall, Virgin Islands

        West Quoddy Head         Point Udall (aerial image only)        

westernmost points (any type) - Cape Alava or Bodelteh Islands, Washington;
                                                                Cape Prince of Wales or Peaked Island, Alaska;
                                                                Udall Point, Guam

        Cape Alava         Bodelteh Islands         Udall Point (aerial image only)

        Cape Prince of Wales (aerial image only)         Peaked Island (aerial image only)         photos

highest points (either type) - Mount Whitney, California and Mount McKinley, Alaska

lowest point - Badwater Basin in Death Valley, California

        topo chart / aerial image         photo


Disclaimer

Attempting to reach some of the points listed in this web site can be dangerous, and could lead to accidents resulting in injury or death. Some of the summits lie in rugged and isolated regions, where even minor mishaps can escalate into a life threatening crisis. Other locations lie on private property, military bases, and other areas where access is restricted. Trespassing in these areas can result in being arrested, shot at, or worse. Right of access to these areas is constantly changing, and access in the past does not guarantee present access. By use of this web page, the reader hereby releases the trip report authors, trip report compiler, and webmaster from liability for any injury, including but not limited to monetary loss, death, and other damages that might in any way be connected with this web site.

FAIR WARNING: These are "armchair mountaineer" articles, an offering for amusement, not action. Many of these peaks are potentially life threatening, or are on private property. Adequate mountaineer training and/or owner's permission are required if you choose to pursue this list. The authors cited on this page accept no responsibility for injury, or any liability related to these route descriptions.


back to text-only home page back to graphic home page