US Territory Guide

Territory Map/TableTerritory Details

The United States has several non-State entities as well which you may be interested in summitting. The most notable one is the District of Columbia. Others may be interested in the 5 populated territories (American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands). There are 11 additional territories – 3 in the Caribbean and 8 in the Pacific. But I thought embassies were territories too? This popular misconception is wrong. Paraphrasing from the US State Dept, while embassies represent sovereign states, they are on the host country’s territory.

The following map/table data is gathered from internet resources such as “Wikipedia”, the “CIA Factbook” and other online articles. It is suggested that you start with wikipedia’s “Territories of the United States” which describes the history and nuances of all the types of territories. You may find the Dept of Interior’s “Definitions of Insular Area Political Organizations useful. The USGS has “Territorial Acquisitions of the United States” which mentions these territories, along with a map of the territorial acquisitions which form the 50 States of today.

The elevations and locations of the 11 unpopulated territories should be taken as estimates only. Remember that many of the US Minor Outlying Islands (the 8 unpopulated territories in the Pacific) have been heavily modified from WWII onward. If you find the “true” highpoint today, it would be hard to tell whether it was man-made or not. Please note that special permission is required to land on many of the unpopulated territories (wildlife refuge, military, etc).

Resources

Through the “Apex to Zenith” newsletter, club members receive continuing coverage on territories. Updates (access, monument status, etc) are found in the newsletter and posted online in this guide. A small sample of articles are:

  • #115-16q4 p15-16 [John Mitchler] MP: 26 feet From History
  • #112-16q1 p17-18 [Ruth Anne Heselbarth, Mick Dunn, Thomas Martin] PR: Trip reports
  • #109-15q2 p6 [Jilly Koly, Raina Ferrai] DC: Fort Reno - The Nation's Highpoint
  • #107-14q4 p14-17 [John Mitchler] MP: The Last Unclimbed US Highpoint?
  • #106-14q3 p10 [John Mitchler] MP: Northern Marianas added to Club's official list
  • #82-08q3 p11 [Robert Hyman] DC: US Board on Geographic Names
  • #81-08q2 pCover,5-7 [John Mitchler] DC: A New National Highpoint
  • #78-07q3 p3 [Newsletter] DC: Marker is Installed at the New Location
  • #76-07q1 p19 [Robert Hyman] DC: Highpoint of Washington DC is Surveyed

Finally, you can see who has completed the populated territories at our “Territory Score Board” page.

[You may re-sort this table by clicking the small arrows found in the column headers.]


Place
(info panel)
Type Highpoint
(wiki)
Access Elevation
(forum)
District of ColumbiaFederal DistrictPoint Reno 410
American SamoaTerritoryLata Mountain 3,160
GuamTerritoryMount Lamlam 1,332
Northern Marianas IslandsCommonwealthAgrihan 3,166
Puerto RicoCommonwealthCerro de Punta 4,390
US Virgin IslandsTerritoryCrown MountainPvt1,556
Baker IslandPossessionunnamedNWR26
Howland IslandPossessionunnamedNWR10
Jarvis IslandPossessionunnamedNWR23
Johnston AtollPossessionSummit PeakNWR16
Kingman ReefPossessionsubmergedNWR5
Midway IslandsPossessionunnamedNWR44
Palmyra AtollPossessionSand IslandNWR6
Wake IslandPossessionDucks PointNWR20
Bajo Nuevo BankPossessionunnamed 6
Navassa IslandPossessionDunning HillNWR253
Serranilla BankPossessionBeacon Cay 3
Marshall IslandsAssociated StateLikiep Atoll 33
Federated States of MicronesiaAssociated StateMount Ngihneni 2,595
PalauAssociated StateMount Ngerchelchauus 794

Territory Map/TableTerritory Details

This section contains information panels for each “territory”. Click on the name of the “territory” and a panel opens up presenting the details about the “territory”.

District of Columbia - Point Reno[Federal District]

American Samoa - Lata Mountain[Territory]

Guam - Mount Lamlam[Territory]

Northern Marianas Islands - Agrihan[Commonwealth]

Puerto Rico - Cerro de Punta[Commonwealth]

US Virgin Islands - Crown Mountain[Territory]

Baker Island - unnamed[Possession]

Howland Island - unnamed[Possession]

Jarvis Island - unnamed[Possession]

Johnston Atoll - Summit Peak[Possession]

Kingman Reef - submerged[Possession]

Midway Islands - unnamed[Possession]

Palmyra Atoll - Sand Island[Possession]

Wake Island - Ducks Point[Possession]

Bajo Nuevo Bank - unnamed[Possession]

Navassa Island - Dunning Hill[Possession]

Serranilla Bank - Beacon Cay[Possession]

Marshall Islands - Likiep Atoll[Associated State]

Federated States of Micronesia - Mount Ngihneni[Associated State]

Palau - Mount Ngerchelchauus[Associated State]

Please contact us at guides@highpointers.org if you have any suggestions or trip reports/updates you would like to share.