The Mississippi River is often referred to as the continental divide, geologically and culturally. To the west of the river are the tallest points in the country, most of which are in the Rocky Mountains and Alaska. To the east, however, are a few high-elevation peaks that may not be as tall but are equally as beautiful!
Today, we will take a look at these various points and learn a bit about them. Let’s discover the 5 highest points east of the Mississippi!
North Carolina: Highest State East of the Mississippi River
Before we move on, it’s important to note that 8 of the top 10 points east of the Mississippi are found within a few miles of one another in the Blue Ridge or Great Smoky Mountain ranges. Outside of North Carolina, however, the highest points are a bit more diverse. This is because the Appalachian Mountain Range reaches its highest point above sea level in the region and includes the tallest mountains and regions across the entire eastern United States.
Tallest Peak: Mount Mitchell
The tallest single peak east of the Mississippi is Mount Mitchell. Mount Mitchell is located in North Carolina in Yancey County, around the Central Blue Ridge Range. It has an elevation of 6,684 feet, beating out its nearest competitor by around 40 feet. In addition to being the tallest peak, Mount Mitchell is also the tallest point overall in the eastern U.S. Standing on the peak on a clear day, visibility is around 85 miles. Since the point is relatively low when compared to other mountains in the western United States, it can be visited via car and a short hike up a paved path. The mountains in this region offer a unique microclimate for various flora and fauna that can’t be found anywhere else in the area. The crisp, cool weather and associated black spruce trees give this region the title of “The Black Mountains.”
Highest Elevation Town: Beech Mountain
Only a short 2-hour drive from Mount Mitchell is the town of Beech Mountain, North Carolina. Beech Mountain is the highest incorporated community east of the Mississippi and is situated at an elevation of 5,506 feet. The town is located in Avery and Watauga counties and has a total land area of 6.7 square miles. Beech Mountain is primarily a skiing town and is built on tourism. During the peak of ski season, it has a population of 10,000, although it’s usually much lower. Its mild summers and cold winters make it a popular vacation destination for people in the surrounding region, particularly in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.
Tallest Peak Outside of North Carolina: Mount Washington
For our first entry outside of North Carolina, we have Mount Washington. Mount Washington is the 8th tallest peak east of the Mississippi and the tallest peak outside of the North Carolina/Tennessee border, with an elevation of 6,288 feet. It is located in New Hampshire along the White Mountains. The White Mountains cover about a quarter of the state and spread into Maine, and are regarded as the most rugged mountains in New England. Additionally, Mount Washington is the most topographically prominent peak east of the Mississippi, meaning that it is the most prominent mountain in relation to the surrounding area.
Highest Point on the Appalachian Trail: Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome is one of the most famous locations on the Appalachian Trail. It’s regarded as the highest point along the trail and is the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi. It is the highest point in Tennessee and is located in the Great Smoky Mountains. The only taller peaks are the nearby Mount Mitchell and Mount Craig, all of which are located within Mount Mitchell State Park. Clingmans Dome is known for its large observatory, an observation tower with 360-degree views that allow 100-mile visibility on the clearest days.
Highest Point in Canada: Mount Caubvick
Although Mount Caubvick isn’t located in the United States, it is still east of the Mississippi! Mount Caubvick is the highest point east of the Mississippi in Canada. It is located in Newfoundland and Labrador in the Selamiut Range of the Torngat Mountains. It is quite distinct as it rises a sharp 5,420 feet from the nearby ocean, making it a prominent landmark in the region.
Summary of 5 Highest Points East of the Mississippi River
Here’s a recap of the five points at the highest elevations east of the Mississippi that we took a look at:
|1||Mount Mitchell||Tallest peak|
|2||Beech Mountain||Highest elevation town|
|3||Mount Washington||Tallest peak outside of North Carolina|
|4||Clingmans Dome||Highest point on the Appalachian Trail|
|5||Mount Caubvick||Highest point in Canada|
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