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Highest and Lowest Elevations in Continental U.S. Are In Same County

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California’s Inyo County is home to the highest point in the lower 48, Mount Whitney. This Sierra Nevada peak is just five feet short of measuring 14,500 feet above sea level.

Less than 100 miles to the southeast, still in Inyo County, is Death Valley. This depression’s deepest point (near Badwater) lies some 282 feet below sea level. This is the lowest point not just in the 48 contiguous states, but in the whole North American continent.

There are a few neighboring mountains from which, on a clear day, you can see both of these locations. The temperature variation between these spots (the notoriously hot Death Valley and the thin, cold peak of Whitney) can be incredible.

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  • Nathan Burrill

    What about the bottom of Lake Superior? I heard that was the lowest point.