of U.S. states
may be described in several ways: by
the elevation of their highest point, the elevation of their lowest
points, their mean elevation, and the difference between (range of)
their highest points and lowest points. The following list is a
comparison of elevation absolutes in the United States.
includes interval measures of
highest and lowest elevation for all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
Which state is "highest" and "lowest" is determined by the
definition of "high" and "low". For instance, Alaska could be
regarded as the highest state because Mount McKinley, at , is the highest point in the United
States. However, Colorado, with the
highest mean elevation of any state, could also be considered a
candidate for "highest state."
Determining which state is
"lowest" is equally problematic. For instance, Florida has the
lowest high point and the least difference between highest and
lowest point; Delaware has the
lowest mean elevation; and California has the lowest point in the United States—Death Valley's Badwater, at below sea
The list of highest points in each state are important to the sport
, where enthusiasts
attempt to visit the highest point in each of the contiguous continental forty-eight
or in all fifty states. As of 2006, 155 people
successfully traversed all fifty state highpoints. Roughly 200–300
people attend the Highpointers Club convention each year.
In the list below, the elevations shown rely on the National
of 1929 unless otherwise noted. The mean elevation for
each state is accurate to the nearest .
The National Geodetic Survey defines a vertical datum to be "a set of constants specifying the coordinate system used ... for calculating the coordinate points on the Earth", which is independent of geodetic measurements of specific points on the Earth.