Physical Characteristics

What are the highest and lowest elevations in the United States?

Named in honor of U.S. president William McKinley (1843–1901), Mt. McKinley, Alaska, at 20,320 feet (6,194 meters), is the highest point in the United States and North America. Located in central Alaska, it is part of the Alaska Range. Its south peak measures 20,320 feet (6,194 meters) high and the north peak is 19,470 feet (5,931 meters) high. It boasts one of the world’s largest unbroken precipices and is the main scenic attraction at Denali National Park. Denali means the “high one” or the “great one” and is a Native American name sometimes used for Mt. McKinley. Mt. Whitney, California, at 14,494 feet (4,421 meters), is the highest point in the continental United States. Death Valley, California, at 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level, is the lowest point in the United States and in the western hemisphere.


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