"Highpointing" is the pursuit of climbing to the top of the highest point above sea level in each of the 50 United States of America. In many ways, this is an entirely arbitrary goal, since many of the flat eastern states' highpoints consist of little more than low hills or elevated sections of prairie. But in some parts of the nation, to reign as a state's high point requires a vaulted summit soaring high into the sky, and it is precisely these lofty mountain peaks that inspire the imagination and encourage climbers to set their sights upon these distinguished summits.

This guidebook skips the ho-hum hills of the Midwest and instead shares the renowned and challenging summits of the Western USA. While Alaska and Hawaii do, of course, count as "west," this guidebook focuses on the highpoints in the most mountainous region of the Lower 48, specifically Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and California.

Each and every one of the high points in these 11 states offers a beautiful, inspiring summit that is well worth the effort to climb. But be forewarned: some of these mountains are easy hikes, and others are challenging mountaineering excursions that have proved deadly on many occasions. Respect these mountains, and if you can't safely gain the summit, have the humility to turn around so that you can live to climb another day.

Routes included

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