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This is a list of the extreme points of the United States, the points that are farther north, south, east, or west than any other location in the country. Also included are extreme points in elevation.

There are a number of different interpretations for "easternmost" and "westernmost"; see below for full treatment.
Extreme points in the 50 states: Point Barrow, Ka Lae, Sail Rock, Peaked Island
Extreme points in the contiguous 48 states: Northwest Angle, Ballast Key, Sail Rock, Bodelteh Islands
Extreme points of the U.S. on the North American continent: Point Barrow, Cape Sable, West Quoddy Head, Cape Prince of Wales
Extreme points in all of U.S. territory: Point Barrow, Rose Atoll, Wake Island, Peaked Island (red); Point Udall, Udall Point (green). The International Date Line is shown in yellow.

Contents

Northernmost

Note that maps of the 48 states that are displayed in an equal-area projection (i.e. curved lines of latitude) can give the impression that the state of Maine extends further north than it actually does. The northernmost point in Maine is at approximately 47.46 degrees North latitude. This line of latitude passes through the southern suburbs of Seattle. From there, it is approximately 100 miles (160 km) north to the 49th parallel. A wide swath of land within the 48 states (encompassing portions of Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota) is therefore further north than any place in Maine. Included in this area are such places as Spokane, Washington, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Great Falls, Montana, Minot and Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Bemidji, Minnesota. Even Isle Royale and parts of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (such as the Keweenaw Peninsula) are further north than anywhere in Maine.

Southernmost

Note that maps of the 48 states that are displayed in an equal-area projection can give the impression that the state of Texas extends farther south than it actually does. The southernmost point in Texas (just southeast of Brownsville) is at approximately 25.84 degrees North latitude. This line of latitude passes through Hialeah, Florida, which is slightly north of Miami.

Easternmost

Note that maps of the 48 states that are displayed in an equal-area projection can give the impression that the state of Florida extends further east than it actually does. The easternmost point in Florida (Palm Beach Shores) is at approximately 80.03 degrees West longitude. This line of longitude passes through (or near) such places as Charleston, South Carolina, High Point, North Carolina, Salem, Virginia, Morgantown, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh and Erie, Pennsylvania – further west than all of New York, New Jersey, and all of the New England states.

Westernmost

Note that maps of the 48 states that are displayed in an equal-area projection can give the impression that the state of California extends further west than it actually does. The westernmost point in California (Cape Mendocino) is approximately seven miles east of the westernmost point in Oregon (Cape Blanco), and approximately 14 miles (23 km) east of the westernmost point in Washington (Cape Alava).

Extremes in elevation

Other

Interpretation of easternmost and westernmost

There are three methods for reckoning the eastern and western extremes of the United States.

One method is to use the Prime Meridian as the dividing line between east and west. This meridian running through Greenwich, London, is defined as 0 degrees longitude and could be called the least eastern and least western place in the world. The 180th meridian, on the opposite side of the globe, is therefore the easternmost and westernmost place in the world.

Another method is to use the International Date Line as the easternmost–westernmost extreme. On the equinox, the easternmost place would be where the day first begins, and the westernmost is where the day last ends.

Still another method is to first determine the geographic center of the country and from there measure the shortest distance to every other point. All U.S. territory is spread across less than 180° of longitude, so from any spot in the U.S. it is more direct to reach Point Udall, U.S. Virgin Islands, by traveling east than by traveling west. Likewise, there is not a single point in U.S. territory from which heading east is a shorter route to Orote Point, Guam, than heading west would be, even accounting for circumpolar routes.

See also

References

  1. ^ The Milepost 61st edition pg. 626 ISBN 978-1892-15426-2
  2. ^ "Colorado". MSN Encarta. Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. http://www.webcitation.org/5kwc211LH. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  3. ^ Rippold, R Scott (2007). "High on Alma". The Gazette (Colorado Springs). http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4191/is_20070108/ai_n17129574/pg_1. Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
  4. ^ 2009 Crater Lake National Park map
  5. ^ Sounding at 46° 54' 31"N, 86° 35' 52"W on NOAA chart 14963, Grand Marais to Big Bay Point, scale 1:120,000, 2006. Chart datum (as shown on the chart) is 601.1 feet above mean sea level at Rimouski, Quebec
  6. ^ Two identical soundings at 47° 45.2'N, 122° 26.0'W and 47° 44.6'N, 122° 25.4'W on NOAA chart 18446, Puget Sound: Apple Cove Point to Keyport, scale 1:25,000, 2005. Chart datum (as shown on the chart) is lower low water.
  7. ^ "Baker Island". Geographic Names Information System. U.S. Geological Survey. http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=gnispq:3:::NO::P3_FID:1392997. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  8. ^ "State University Encyclopedia: Equator". State University Encyclopedia. http://encycAAlopedia.stateunAAiversity.com/pages/6935/Equator.html. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  9. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Jarvis Island". CIA World Factbook. http://www.umsl.edu/services/govdocs/wofact2003/geos/dq.html#Geo. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 

External links

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