OverviewCounty Highpointing (or COHPing) is the pursuit of standing atop the highpoints of the 3,142 counties within the 50 United States. How one gets there is not so important, you just have to stand atop it (or put any body part over the top). Most counties have obvious points or summits that can be recognized as the highpoint, while those at lower elevations may have dozens of possible locations, all of which are required to be reached in order to claim an ascent. Add to this that a county is a man-made political boundary often without consideration of the physical terrain that underlies it, and you can see what gives this hobby the aura of the bizarre among climbers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Probably no other outdoor pursuit will do more to entice you to visit areas of the state or nation that you would never have considered otherwise, and therein lies the reason for its growing popularity.
There are many county highpoints that are less than thrilling and don't even represent the best highpoint in a specific county. Yet there are others that will make you work for every foot and are great mountains to climb. The Grand Teton is a county highpoint, as is Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood. Perhaps we can share our enjoyment of county highpointing by pointing out some of the difficult ones that aren't lofty or alpine but yet are hard and difficult to get to the top of. Little Blue Peak in Yolo county California comes to mind. An excellent resource on this already exists at the County Highpointers website but since Summit Post is really oriented to the peaks and mountains, this site will try to serve by pointing out those county highpoints that are true mountaineering /climbing challenges as well as good hiking efforts.
Interactive MapHighlighted states have their own individual COHP pages on SummitPost.
|Mount Hood||OR||Clackamas/Hood River||A||1||1||1||2||8|
|Washakie Needles||WY||Hot Springs||B||8||11|
Books that are oriented to County HighpointingCounty Highpoints by Andy Martin 126 pages of lists covering every state in the union. Available from Andy at:
Old Adit Press
3030 N. Sarsaparilla Pl.
Tucson, Az 85749
The last price I saw on this book was $12, a must have if you are interested in county highpoints.
California County Summits by Gary Suttle. This book created a lot of interest in California and has been the "Bible" of California county highpointers. Originally produced in 1993, it is a little out of date but still helpful in the majority of the counties. Amazon has a few used copies in stock at this writing.
Hiking Colorado's Summits, A guide to exploring the county highpoints by John Mitchler and Dave Covill.
High in Utah by Weibel and Miller. This book and another one called Hiking Utahs Summits are responsible for the flurry of activity in Utah where many devotees have occupied themselves with chasing after the county highpoints of this varied and super scenic state.
Arizona may have a book forthcoming in the near future about its county highpoints and that would be a welcome addition as the highpointer who is putting this guide together has extensive experience with the Arizona county highpoints. Stay tuned for that one.