I recently got excited about “highpointing,” or visiting the highest point of elevation in ever state. I had heard of it a long time before but when a friend started posted pictures of his hikes I started getting excited about it.
To be fair, there’s a huge disparity between the 345′ elevation of Britton Hill, Florida and the 20,320′ elevation of Mt. Denali in Alaska. Many of the site are accessible by car with very little effort, while some require lots of planning, permits, and even miles of hiking.
I realize Denali is 90% out of my reach at this point and maybe even Hawaii’s Mauna Kea (more for logistics than anything else), but what about the continental 48?
Technically I already have three: Massachusetts’ Mount Greylock (3,491′), North Carolina’s Mount Mitchell (6,684′), and New Hampshire’s Mount Washington (6,288′), which I first did at age 7 and have done several times since, most recently in 2015.
With any of these “challenge” type of activities, there are so many ways you can count these things. I drove much of the way up Mount Mitchell so does that count? I did Mount Greylock when I was like 10, so does that count? I’m not going to get super technical with this hobby and put lots of rules on it but I would love to go back to Greylock if possible. And the reality is time and logistics will probably make driving necessary for many that are accessible by car.
The weather was was beautiful for the end of December we decided to take a mini-vacation to West Virginia for a couple days. So I thought what better time to kick off my newest hobby of highpointing than with a visit to Spruce Knob (4,863′). This is another one of the drive-up summits with a short walk to a tower. The weather was nice but gray and as we drove up the last half mile on the way to the top, we finally hit the ceiling and got socked in. No view from the top but it’s a beautiful drive. We also took some time to find a Geocache near the summit as well.
Since we were “in the neighborhood,” the next day went to Blackwater Falls State Park (which needs its own trip sometime) before swinging up to Western Maryland to hike Hoye Crest on the top of Backbone Mountain (3,360′). This easy 4-mile hike was a lot of fun and unlike the day before we didn’t run into any fog. I was able to grab a Geocache up here as well. If I make that my requirement (must grab a Geocache at the summit), I’ll definitely need to do Greylock again.
I have no idea how long this hobby will take me but it’s kinda fun to think about planning these locations into my future travel. And it will definitely be a good challenge for me, especially with peaks like Whitney (CA), Rainier (WA), Hood (OR), Gannett Peak (WY), and Granite (MT) to name a few.
Let me know if you’ve ever done any highpointing or if you’re interested in any future adventures in the future!