High pointing is summiting to the highest point of each state. Now, you don’t have to hit all 50 to be a high pointer. Some people make it to 10, 20, 30, 40 and very little of people make it all the way to 50. What ever your number is, it is still an accomplishment and you are a high pointer.
They say approximately only ten people summit to all 50 states each year. That is an extremely low number. This definitely isn’t a goal that most people have in mind. I didn’t even know it was a thing until a few months ago and now that I know this is a thing, my number is 11.
There are Facebook groups you can join to see other people summiting the high points as well. A nice way to have a support group and ask questions when needed. The group we belong to is 50 state highpoints and they hold a convention each year.
All of the states vary in difficulty. Some you can literally drive up, where others you have to backpack for days to get there. Every one of these summits have trails that will lead you to the top, but with that said, some of them do require technical climbing skills and mountaineering experience. Not many, but a few. If you do not have mountaineering experience and the skill-set you need to summit on your own, you can hire a guide. I highly advice you do this! A common place to hire a guide is Mount Rainier in Washington. You can even take a class where they will teach you how to read the land, tie knots, ect. and they will get you prepared so you can do it on your own if you choose. There are easier and tougher routes as well for some of the peaks and this is something you need to look into before you start each hike.
Make sure you read the facts and make sure you are prepared before you attempt any hike. . The tallest point in Wyoming is the farthest from civilization and people generally take four days to complete this trip. You need to be aware of your surroundings and make sure you understand what you are getting yourself into.
Many of these hikes, bring you up to elevations of 12-13,000 feet. You need to be prepared for the harsh elements often found on these peaks. You will find yourself on these peaks with brutal elements such as high winds, lightening storms, hail, rain, and more. A storm can also roll in fast when you are up that high and you need to know what to do in those situations. I’m not trying to scare you. Summiting to the tops of mountains is one of my favorite things to do. I just want to stress that you need to be prepared and that is my biggest piece of advice. Bring extra water, make sure you have enough food, bring your first aid kit, check the weather, etc.
I hope this article helped and inspired you more than scared you. You can see America in the most diverse and beautiful way when high pointing. Also remember, you don’t need to do all 50. Any amount is great and I urge you to at least try it out.
Thank you for reading!