List of extreme points of the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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, extreme distances, and other points of peculiar geographic interest.

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 U.S. territory: Point Barrow, Rose Atoll, Wake Island, Peaked Island (red dots); Point Udall, Guam, and Point Udall, USVI are shown as green dots. The International Date Line is shown in yellow.

Northernmost points

Southernmost points

Easternmost points

Westernmost points

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 zero 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.[ citation needed]

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 Point Udall, Guam, than heading west would be, even accounting for circumpolar routes. The two Udalls for whom the two Points are named were brothers, Mo Udall in Guam and Stewart Udall in the Virgin Islands. [4]

Highest points

Lowest points

Other points




Extremes in distance

Note that some map projections make diagonal lines appear longer than they actually are. However, the diagonal line from Kure Atoll, Hawaii to West Quoddy Head, Maine is only 5,797 miles (9,329 km) and the diagonal from Cape Wrangell, Attu Island, Alaska to Log Point on Elliott Key, Florida is only 5,505 miles (8,859 km).


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