Extreme & Interesting Geographical Points of the USA
Take the ultimate road trip and see interesting and less known areas like the far corners and extreme points of the United States such as the southernmost, northernmost, eastern and northwestern most areas as well as the center of the United States and North America. I got the smallest town in America and the four corners and more in. It took me 5 years and a lot of money to get these locations in. Some say I’m crazy, I call it passion. Everyone posts a photo of them at the Southernmost point in Keywest but that is more out of convenience than intentional travel to that spot.
Something about being the only person on land at some corner at that time seems amazing to me. Like in Barrow, I went to Point Barrow and for at least 30 minutes I was the most Northern person in America. The emotions of having those moments can’t be described in a photo.
Northernmost Point in the USA
Barrow, Alaska is the northernmost city in the United States, with nearby Point Barrow being the nation’s northernmost point and is the 11th northernmost public community in the world.
Point Barrow or Nuvuk is a headland on the Arctic coast in the U.S. state of Alaska, 9 miles (14 km) northeast of Barrow. It is the northernmost point of all the territory of the United States, at 71°23′20″N 156°28′45″W
The distance to the North Pole is 1,122 nautical miles (1,291 mi; 2,078 km).
Whale Bone Arch to the Arctic Ocean, the sun did set after about 1.5 hours but it never got dark that night, it was sunset light until sunrise. The land of the midnight sun during the summer and during the winter a couple months of darkness. Location of the Whale Bone Arch is at 71.298618, -156.773536
Walking into the Arctic ocean at Point Barrow was fun, the water was very cold as expected. Even had a chunk of ice on the shore. I lost feeling in my feet after just a few waves.
Northernmost Point of the 48 States
Northernmost Point Buoy of the Contiguous United States outside of Jerry’s Restaurant & Lounge, 7609 Young’s Bay Dr NW, Angle Inlet, MN 56711. You have to go through Canada to get to this part of America.
Jerry’s is the furthest north bar in the lower 48 and the only one on the mainland at the Northwest Angle.
Northwestmost Point of the 48 States
Northwest Point in the US – Cape Flattery Washington
A Makah Recreation Pass can be purchased at the Makah Tribal Museum or Washburn’s grocery
1.5 miles, roundtrip hike
From Port Angeles follow US 101 west for 5 miles to the junction with State Route 112. Turn right (west) on SR 112, continuing for 64 miles to the community of Neah Bay. (Alternatively, take US 101 to Sappho and drive SR 113 north to SR 112 and then on to Neah Bay. This way is longer, but not as curvy.) Just past the Makah Tribal Museum is Washburn’s, where you can purchase the required recreation pass. Continue west on Bayview Avenue for 1 mile, following signs for “Cape Flattery and Beaches.”Turn left on Fort Street, and in 0.1 mile turn right on 3rd Street. In another 0.1 mile turn left on Cape Flattery Road. In 2.5 miles pass the Tribal Center. Proceed for another 5.1 miles to the trailhead. Privy available.
Southwesternmost Point of the Lower 48 States
Southwestern most in the Contiguous United States
Border Field State Park the boundary from Tijuana Mexico and California
1500 Monument Rd, San Diego, CA 92154
Southernmost Point of the Lower 48 States
Southernmost Point Buoy in Key West , Florida
This is the one almost everyone gets to sooner or later, the others locations are much harder to just be in the area for.
Corner of Whitehead St & South St, Key West, FL 33040
Easternmost Point of the Lower 48 States
Easternmost Point in the United States, West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Lubec, Maine
973 S Lubec Rd, Lubec, Maine 04652
Most Northeasternmost Town – Madawaska, Maine
The most northeastern town in the contiguous United States and the most northern town in Maine. It is mostly French-speaking as Quebec is nearby.
Most Northeasternmost City – Caribou Maine
Close to New Brunswick, Canada about 4 hours north from the easternmost point at West Quoddy Head Lighthouse
Center of North America
Geographical Center of North America Monument at the corner of US Hwy 2 and State Route 3 in Rugby, North Dakota
Geographical Center of the 50 States
Tourist version for Geographic Center of the Nation Monument
415 5th Ave, Belle Fourche, SD 57717
True Geographical Center of Entire United States (50 states)
True Center of the Nation / North of Belle Fourche, South Dakota
26 minutes North from the Tourist version of the Geographical Center in Belle Fourche, South Dakota
Head north on US-85 N/5th Ave toward Edmunds St/Riverside Dr
Continue to follow US-85 N for 14.0 mi
Turn left onto Old US Hwy 85, Destination will be on the right in 7.7 miles
Center of the 48 States
Geographic Center of the Contiguous United States (Center of the 48 states) Lebanon, Kansas
The Geographic Center of the United States (contiguous 48) is located about two miles northwest of Lebanon, Kansas. Take US Highway 281 north 1 mile, and turn west one mile on K-191 to the maker that has been erected at the end of the paved road. The actual center is about a half mile away in the center of a former hog farm.
Geodetic Center of North American
Located at 39.224618, -98.527385 – on a dirt road Co Rd 691 near Delhi, KS. It is on private land but there is a sign by the road. There is also a replica marker and sign talking about it about 40 minutes away on a roadside park in Osborne, KS 67473 (39.452317, -98.693355)
Meades Ranch Triangulation Station, Probably the most widely known of all triangulation stations in the United States, “Meades Ranch” is located in Osborne County in north-central Kansas. This station was first established in 1891 as one of many points on the east-west transcontinental triangulation network along the 39th Parallel. It was named for a local homesteader named William H. Meade.
This was the “Primary Station” for all Mexican, American, and Canadian surveys, known as the North American Datum of 1927 (NAD 27). For most of the modern era, this was the geodetic center of the continent, and one of the most significant survey points in the world.
In 1986, the North American Datum of 1983 was officially adopted with the mass center of the earth as its datum point. With the new adjustment and the NAD83 Datum now in place, “Meades Ranch” was no longer a prominent point with the change in the datum point and it became just one of nearly 250,000 other triangulation stations. Surveyors, however, still hold this triangulation station with reverence since it was the focal point of all geodetic surveys from 1901-1986. with the advent of NAD83, the position on “Meades Ranch” that had been held fixed since 1901 was changed to latitude 39°13’26.71982” and the longitude 98°32’31.74686” (NAD83). The current position which has been updated with the use of GPS technology is now latitude 39°13’26.71218″ and longitude 98°32’31.74604″ (NAD83 2007).
Geodetic Center of the United States Plaque – posted on an Historical Marker sign in Osbourne KS:
“On a ranch 18 miles southeast of this marker a bronze plate marks the most important spot on this continent to surveyors and map makers. Engraved in the bronze is a cross-mark and on the tiny point where the lines cross depend the surveys of a sixth of the worlds surface. This is the Geodetic Center of the United States. The “Primary Station” for all North American surveys. It was located in 1901 by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. Later Canada and Mexico adopted the point and its supporting system as the base for their surveys and it is now known as the “North American Datum.” What Greenwich is to the Longitude of the world, there-fore, a Kansas pasture is to the lines and boundaries of this continent.It must not be confused with the Geographic Center of the United States, which is 42 miles north, in Smith County. ”
– Erected by Kansas Histroical Society and State Highway Commission.
Official Population Center of the United States as of 2010
At census every 10 years they determine where the center of population is at Plato, Missouri, population 109 is the official center of population. Some experts claim Tebbetts, Missouri is the Geographic Population Center. So naturally, I went to visit both.
The population center of the United States has been migrating to the west and south over the decades. In 1790, when the Census Bureau first started tracking this sort of thing, the “center” of the U.S. population was in Kent County, Maryland.
As the decades passed, this center point moved gradually west and south. At first, this was because the new nation kept adding states in those directions. Lately, the trend continues as people move southwest, generally for blue-sky weather and for jobs that are leaving the Rust Belt and Northeast.
In 1870, not long after Plato got its name, the center of the United States was in Highland County, Ohio. In subsequent decades, the U.S. population center has trekked through Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. It’s now crossing Missouri.
This mobile dot tells the story of American history — from colonization to Westward expansion and on to the current trend of southwestern suburbanization.
The Famous Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle Sign and the tour company brought out the red carpet even. We took the James W. Dalton Highway, or the Ice Road Truckers highway made popular by the TV show, usually referred to as the Dalton Highway, is a 414-mile road in Alaska. It begins at the Elliott Highway, north of Fairbanks, and ends at Deadhorse near the Arctic Ocean and the Prudhoe Bay oil fields.
I took a small tour to the Arctic Circle sign with Northern Alaska Tour Co, it was informative, relaxing and I would totally do it again. It was nice to eat a Salmon burger at the Yukon River too.
- View the remarkable Trans Alaska Pipeline.
- Visit the Arctic Circle Trading Post situated in the rural community of Joy, Alaska.
- Travel the rugged Dalton Highway made famous by the construction of the Trans Alaska Pipeline.
- Experience the mighty Yukon River. Marvel at the majestic beauty of the northland’s most famous waterway and learn of the river’s storied past.
- Cross the Arctic Circle and receive an official Arctic Circle Adventure Certificate.
- Explore up close the amazing arctic tundra and feel the veins of ice just beneath the surface.
- Departs 6:30 am; returns between 10:30 and 11:30 pm.
Highest Point of North America
Highest Point in North America, Mount Denali / Mount McKinley Alaska at 20,310 feet. Though it was covered by clouds most of the time, here are some Lenticular clouds (Altocumulus lenticularis) that came off of it.
The Lowest Point in North America
Badwater Basin in Death Valley, California (-282 feet) with an elevation of 282 ft (86 m) below sea level.
Highest wind measurement in the world at Mount Washington, New Hampshire
From Mt. Washington, you can see Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York Massachusetts, and Quebec.
Smallest Town in the USA Buford, Wyoming (right off I-80)
At 8,000 feet (2,400 m) of elevation, this is the highest populated settlement along the First Transcontinental Railroad (today’s Overland Route), and on the transcontinental Interstate 80.
4 Corners Monument
Four Corners Monument marks the quadripoint in the Southwestern United States where the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet.
The area is very remote. The tiny community of Teec Nos Pos, AZ, is six miles away and it has a gas station.
Longitudinal Centre of Canada
Just follow the Trans Canada Highway West of Winnipeg, Canada to coordinates 49.76773-96.8097 (49degrees 46′ 02.40″ 96degrees 48’35”). This point is between the two highway signs. It is approximately 8.2 miles (13.2 km) West of the junction of CA100 and CA 1 or approximately 6.7 miles (10.8 km) East of the junction of CA207 and CA 1 (near Deacons Corner, MB).
The American Meridian
Also known as The Washington Meridian. Modern geographers measure degrees of longitude from the Prime Meridian running through Greenwich, England, but things didn’t always work this way. In fact, America, like many other countries, long maintained its own “Prime Meridian” for domestic and international cartographic measurements and surveys. This meridian was the basis for determining state borders and other domestic surveys, and formed a key part of demarcating a rapidly growing United States. It wasn’t until the International Meridian Conference in 1884 that most countries, including the United States, agreed to standardize their meridians on the British line.
See Seven States – Rock City on Lookout Mountain, Georgia
Rock City claims that you can see 7 states from that point: Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. But what can you really see from this point? Georgia and Tennessee are easy to see. At Rock City you are standing in Georgia and Tennessee is just to the north. On clear days you can see some of the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. Alabama, however, is on the other side of Lookout Mountain, so it is impossible to see from Rock City no matter how clear it is.
The mountains around Chattanooga and the curvature of the earth’s surface mean that the farthest you can see is 110 miles and Virginia, Kentucky, and South Carolina are all farther away than 110 miles.
You can see five states from the top of Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts: Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. From Mt. Washington in New Hampshire, you can see Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York Massachusetts, and Quebec.
Although Seven states might be a tall claim, it is still a nice place to visit on a sunny day.
Stewiacke, Nova Scotia – Halfway between the Equator & The North Pole
The most western border marker for the USA / Canada in Point Roberts, Washington
The line at Haskell Free Library at Derby Line, Vermont, where the border goes through the building and you can walk the sidewalk between the border.
Though there are more geographical places of interest left to see, I feel I got more than most people will ever see in their lifetime. Many of the extreme points listed below are very dangerous to get too in remote areas.
Some of the leftover spots to visit at some point.
The North American pole of inaccessibility is located at 43°22′N 101°58′W, about eleven miles (18 km) southeast of the town of Kyle on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Bennett County, South Dakota, 1,025 miles (1,650 km) from the nearest coastline. There is no sign or monument.
Westernmost – Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska (65.64° N, 168.12° W)
The westernmost point on the North American continent.
– Peaked Island, offshore from Cape Wrangell,
Attu Island, Alaska (52.92° N, 172.44° E)
Anchor Point, Alaska is the westernmost point in the North American highway system.
For the 48 States
Westernmost – Cape Alava, Washington (48.16974° N, 124.73004° W)
The westernmost point on the mainland.
– Bodelteh Islands, Washington (48.17761° N, 124.76479° W)
The westernmost land permanently above the waterline.
All the United States Territory
Southernmost – Rose Atoll, American Samoa (14.374° S, 170.7595° W)
Easternmost – Point Udall, Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (17.7555° N, 64.5650° W)
Westernmost – Udall Point, Guam (13.4475° N, 144.6182° E)