There are 50 states in the United States, and each one of them has a highpoint, defined as the highest elevation reached in the state. Some states have imposing snow-covered peaks (Alaska, Washington), while others have highpoints that are little more than molehills (Kansas). Each highpoint is unique, and of course begs a visit. If you like lists, this sport is for you. Less than a hundred people have been to all 50 high points -- a surprisingly low number (although many are currently aspiring) -- which is related to the fact that reaching some highpoints require a serious mountaineering quest. The most formidable highpoint is of course Mount McKinley, standing at 20,320 feet above sea level. But many of the mountaineers who have the skills and courage to summit McKinley do not have any desire to trek all the way over to the panhandle of Florida to scale the 345 foot highpoint (there are taller buildings in the state, but they don't count!) -- for some reason, they just don't get as much satisfaction out of a 1000 mile drive for a quarter hour photo op with Florida's high point. So these two factors in combination results in the low number of completers.
I've visited all 50 states (completing this task in 2000 with my visit of Maine), and am currently working on the 50 highpoints. So far, I've visited 21 of them.
Does this sound like an interesting hobby you'd like to take up? There's a club dedicated to the 50 Highpoints: The Highpointers Club. This site contains great info about highpoint news including private property and access issues, accidents, club get-togethers, and the like.
For more news, lists, maps, etc., visit Roger Rowlett's americasroof.org. Their state-by-state guide has excellent links and info. They also have a list of all the 14'ners in the United States. And lest you think that East Coasters are missing it, there are also lists and clubs for them. Check out the East Beyond 6000 list and the South Beyond 6000. Northeastern peak-baggers also have some fun, since there are a large number of peaks above 4000+ feet.
Do you have a more global view of peak bagging? Checking out this link on the 7 Summits: 7summits.com.
For a compilation of the lists, go here.
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