My high school was built next to the highest point in the state. The exact spot was in a trailer park out beyond the football field, just over the visitor's grandstand. Don't worry, we didn't get winded climbing the stairs and kids weren't lined up at the nurse's office complaining of nose bleeds. The exact elevation was 448 feet. We were in Delaware and of all the states only Florida has a lower "high point."
The formal name for this lofty zenith was Ebright Azimuth (Ebright for the name of the road and the family whose old horse farm was diced up for 20th century development and Azimuth for, well, whatever an azimuth is). We never knew this fancy sobriquet but plenty of people around the country knew the name Ebright Azimuth. They are highpointers (www.highpointers.org).
Highpointers are folks who seek to stand atop the highest point in each of the 50 states. The first person known to have tagged the summits of the 48 contiguous states was a fellow named Arthur Marshall back in 1936. After Hawaii and Alaska were added to the union in the 1950s, Vin Hoeman became the person to reach the top of all 50 states. To date fewer than 200 people have been documented to have climbed - as the case may be - all 50 highpoints.
Your dog can be a Highpointer too. She can't complete all the peaks - there are places she can't go legally (the spectacular Mount Katahdin at the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail in Maine, for instance), mountains she can't climb physically (the vertical rock climbs at the top of Gannett Peak in Montana), or both (Mount McKinley, the highest of American peaks at over 20,000 feet). But that leaves plenty of state summits for your dog to experience.
The highest mountain in America's Lower 48 is California's Mount Whitney at 14,494 feet. But the hike to the top is not arduous and so popular permits are rationed out to get on the trail. You can hike with your dog to the shadow of the summit but the final steps will be yours alone as you leave the dog-friendly Inyo National Forest and travel into Sequoia National Park, where dogs are banned from the trails.
That leaves as the highest spot in America where your dog is allowed to go Mount Elbert in Colorado, only 61 feet lower than Whitney. Luckily, the hike to the top is again a relatively easy one and plenty of dogs make the day-trip every year. The round trip is between 9 and 15 miles, depending on how close to the trailhead your vehicle can get you, and there is no rock scrambling or "mountain climbing" necessary.
That is not the case with many of Mount Elbert's brethren in the West. The most accessible highpoints elsewhere over 10,000 feet are in the desert southwest. Wheeler Peak (13,161 feet) in New Mexico and Boundary Peak (13,143 feet) in Arizona are both conquerable by your dog.
Moving east, the jewel for Highpointers in the Great Plains is South Dakota's Harney Peak that lords over the Black Hills. At 7,242 feet, Harney is the highest point in America east of the Rocky Mountains. The canine ascent is steady but easily manageable for your dog, with plenty of sitting room among the craggy rocks at the peak.
East of the Mississippi River there isn't a state high point your dog can't reach, save those on private or dog-restricted land. Of course, you don't need to climb at all on many - you can drive close to the top and take a short walk to the summit. Some of the famous auto mountain climbs are on Mount Washington (6,288 feet) in New Hamsphire , Mount Greylock (3,491 feet) in Massachusetts and Mount Mitchell (6,684 feet - the highest point east of the Mississippi) in North Carolina.
The smaller Eastern states also make it easier to tag several state highpoints on the same trip. In southwestern Pennsylvania your dog can make an easy one-mile hike to conquer Mount Davis (3,213 feet) then travel a few hours south to Backbone Mountain (3,360 feet) in Maryland. After you make the climb up an old fire road don't forget to sign the book with your dog's name and pick up a certificate validating his accomplishment. Next toodle over to Spruce Knob (4,863 feet) in West Virginia for a pleasant half-mile stroll from the parking lot atop the mountain to the actual summit.
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