US Tripoint Guide

Tripoint TableTripoint MapTripoint Lists
Tripoints Accessible by LandTripoints Accessible by Water
United States-Canada TripointsUnited States-Mexico Tripoints

[Ed: Paragraphs in italics are taken verbatim or heavily paraphrased from Jack Parsell’s book “Tri-State Corners in the United States” which is the basis for this guide.]

DISCLAIMER

Tri-state Pointing requires some venturing into remote areas across inhospitable terrain and private property (eg, the landowner of #24 AL-FL-GA doesn’t like folks roaming his property with tree stands he rents out to hunters). As tri-pointer Bill Wentzel says “Tri-pointing is not for wusses“.

Introduction

While pursuing the highest peaks in each state, you might consider visiting other geographic locations such as the lowest points or the tri-points, aka trifiniums. These are places where three States come together at a common point. Almost everyone is familiar with Four Comers in the southwestern U.S., where Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico meet at a spot in the Navajo Indian Reservation. However, not many people realize that there are sixty-one other spots where three States join. Of this total of sixty-two, thirty-eight either have markers or should have markers on land. The rest are in the middle of rivers, streams or lakes where no identifying marker can be placed.

This endeavor could be extended to include tri-points along the U.S.-Canadian and U.S.-Mexican borders. There are eleven locations where two U.S. States meet a Canadian province, and seven more where one State hooks up with two provinces. Similarly, at three spots, two U.S. States join at a Mexican State, and at five other locations it is two Mexicans adjoining one U.S. State. This gives a grand total of twenty-six locations of which only ten are on dry land.

Jack Parsell

Jack Parsell, tenth person to have climbed the 50 summits and first to have visited the 50 lowest points, decided to visit the 38 dry, land tri-point locations. On July 29, 1997, Jack and friends reached the survey marker at tri-point #5 ID-MT-WY which allowed him to complete his visits to all 38 of the dry land tri-points. Along the way Jack collected notes and photos and published a book “Tri-State Corners in the United States”.

It was Jack’s hope that his guide book will encourage others to visit these geographical locations, many of which are of significant historical interest. They vary from the remoteness of #2 ID-NV-OR and the difficult access of #5 ID-MT-WY to the ease of finding others such as #20 AR-MO-OK and #21 AR-LA-TX.

Resources

There are several websites with a focus on tri-pointing with maps, photos, updates, etc.

There are several websites with random posts on tri-pointing including but not limited to:

There are also several forums related to tri-pointing:

Tri-pointing is even making it into mainstream media:

Highpointers Club Benefits

The club has several links in our “Downloads” section related to tri-pointing:

Through the “Apex to Zenith” newsletter, club members receive continuing coverage on tri-points (for example, see Issue #102 – Third Quarter 2013 and 2015 Highpointers Club Directory among others). Updates (access, monument status, etc) are also found in the newsletter and posted online in this guide.

Club member Bill Wentzel has designed a completion certificate (see Issue #82 – Third Quarter 2008) which is presented to completers at our annual convention meetings. The criteria for earning a completion certificate are:
• Complete all 38 tri-points accessible by land OR
• Complete all 24 tri-points accessible by water OR
• Complete all 18 US-Canada tri-points and all 8 US-Mexico tri-points

That means if you complete all 87 tri-points associated with US states, you will earn 3 completion certificates! In addition you can download this “Tri-point Score Card” (MS Word) to keep track of your completion dates. You can track your progress against other club members at our “Tri-point Completers” page.

Bill Wentzel has also designed a Tripointing patch. You can buy this patch by contacting John Mitchler (jdmitchler@aol.com).

About this Guide

This page, “US Tripoint Guide”, is an aggregation of multiple sources. It is largely based on Jack’s guide book and can be viewed as his Fourth+ Edition. It includes several updates/clarifications to preferred access routes since Jack finished his adventures. It also links in content from Peakbagging, Wikipedia and The Corner Corner among others – online resources mentioned above. Please contact us at guides@highpointers.org if you have suggestions or updates.

This page contains three major sections below. The first contains a large table which lists all the tri-points: the 38 dry land tri-points, the 24 wet water tri-points, the 18 U.S.-Canada tri-points and the 8 U.S.-Mexico tri-points.
The middle section contains an interactive map showing the location of all the tri-points. Below it is an information panel. If you click a map icon or a tri-point link, the tri-point’s details (general info, trip reports and updates, photos, etc.) will appear in the information panel. The “View”/”Print” links will open the tri-point’s details in a separate window/tab for clean printing to take with you. The last section is a series of lists in case you are only interested in certain types of tri-points.

Naming convention

We have moved away from Jack’s naming convention and use the alphabetical order found on most tri-point related websites. We still adhere to Jack’s numbering system which arbitarily starts at the western-most tri-point and proceeds easterly. This has been extended to handle the wet tri-points, U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico tri-points which Jack originally didn’t number.

Note that Four Corners (AZ-CO-NM-UT) is really four tri-State points in one location, but is counted as only one spot for our purposes. The District of Columbia at its twin junctions with Virginia and Maryland is counted as only one location. Also, one of the wet ones, Missouri – Kentucky – Tennessee actually consists of three separate locations because of an S bend in the Mississippi River which isolates a small area of Kentucky.

Please note that we adhere to Jack’s categorization of land versus water tri-points. Due to drought, or rivers changing course or other factors, some tri-points may “swap” categories. For example, #65 AR-LA-MS is currently dry while #34 NJ-NY-PA is currently wet. We provide links to satellite and topo maps for each tri-point where you can verify their current land/water condition.


Tripoint TableTripoint MapTripoint Lists
Tripoints Accessible by LandTripoints Accessible by Water
United States-Canada TripointsUnited States-Mexico Tripoints

This table provides summary information about all the tri-points.
ID – Jack’s numbering system extended to include all tri-points.
    the link goes to the corresponding “The Corner Corner” page
States – Tri-point name
    the link goes to our details section
Type – whether it is land-based (dry), water-based (wet) or involves Canada/Mexico
    the link goes to our summary lists at the bottom
Pvt – whether the tri-point is privately owned. Please contact owner before going.
Elev – the elevation in feet
Dist – the distance (from car or from shore) to the tri-point in miles
[You may re-sort this table by clicking the small arrows found in the column headers.]

ID States Type Pvt Elev Dist
1CA-NV-ORLand 5,2852
2ID-NV-ORLand 5,2741
3ID-NV-UTLandYES5,2333
4AZ-NV-UTLand 2,7034
5ID-MT-WYLand 8,3304-10
6ID-UT-WYLand 7,0570.57
7CO-UT-WYLand 8,4080
8AZ-CO-NM-UTLand 4,8660
9MT-ND-SDLand 3,0481.6
10MT-SD-WYLand 3,4220.5
11NE-SD-WYLandYES3,9321
12CO-NE-WYLand 5,3860
13CO-KS-NELand 3,4440
14CO-NM-OKLand 4,4450
15NM-OK-TXLand 4,7140
16CO-KS-OKLand 3,6870
17MN-ND-SDLand 9700
18IA-MN-SDLand 1,4100
19KS-MO-OKLand 1,0240
20AR-MO-OKLand 1,1290
21AR-LA-TXLand 2260.01
22IN-MI-OHLand 1,0660
23AL-GA-TNLand 7200.11
24AL-FL-GALandYES700.25
25GA-NC-TNLandYES1,7600.11
26GA-NC-SCLand 2,1493.5
27KY-TN-VALand 1,9871.1
28NC-TN-VALandYES4,6281.5
29KY-VA-WVLand 8270.6
30MD-PA-WVLand 2,3200.57
31MD-VA-WVLandYES2600.25
32.1DC-MD-VA (North)LandYES100.03
32.2DC-MD-VA (South)Land 80.12
33DE-MD-PALand 2550.15
34NJ-NY-PALand 4200
35CT-MA-NYLand 2,1461.5
36MA-NY-VTLand 1,4171
37MA-NH-VTLandYES1970.15
38CT-MA-RILand 6300.8
51ID-OR-WAWater (river) 8560.06
52AZ-CA-NV
[LP of Nevada]
Water (river) 4790.02
53IA-NE-SDWater (river) 1,0760.07
54IA-MO-NEWater (river) 9090.05
55KS-MO-NE
[LP of Nebraska]
Water (river) 8400.07
56AR-OK-TXWater (river) 3020.06
57MI-MN-WIWater (lake) 6002.5
58IA-MN-WIWater (river) 6200.10
59IL-IA-WIWater (river) 5970.06
60IL-IA-MO
[LP of Iowa]
Water (river) 4860.25
61IL-KY-MO
[LP of Illinois]
Water (river) 2950.25
62.1KY-MO-TN (West)Water (river) 2690.25
62.2KY-MO-TN (Middle)Water (river) 2760.25
62.3KY-MO-TN (East)
[LP of Kentucky]
Water (river) 2790.25
63AR-MO-TNWater (river) 2460.03
64AR-MS-TN
[LP of Tennessee]
Water (river) 1770.13
65AR-LA-MSWater (river) 820.13
66AL-MS-TNWater (river) 4100.25
67IL-MI-WIWater (lake) 57440
68IL-IN-MIWater (lake) 5749.5
69IL-IN-KY
[LP of Indiana]
Water (river) 3250.14
70IN-KY-OH
[LP of Ohio]
Water (river) 4530.13
71KY-OH-WVWater (river) 5180.02
72OH-PA-WVWater (river) 6650.01
73DE-NJ-PA
[LP of Pennsylvania]
Water (river) 00.5
74CT-NY-RIWater (ocean) 01
101AK-BC-YTCanada, Land 7,79240-75
102BC-ID-WACanada, Land 5,9559
103BC-ID-MTCanada, Land 4,5900.5
104AB-BC-MTCanada, Land 7,4602.3
105AB-MT-SKCanada, Land 2,8001.1
106MT-ND-SKCanada, Land 2,1880.34-0.57
107MB-ND-SKCanada, Land 1,5500
108MB-MN-ND
[LP of North Dakota]
Canada, Water (river) 7510.28
109MB-MN-ONCanada, Water (lake) 1,0604
110MI-MN-ONCanada, Water (lake) 6005
111MI-OH-ON
[LP of Michigan]
Canada, Water (lake) 5717.33
112OH-ON-PACanada, Water (lake) 57124.5-28
113NY-ON-PACanada, Water (lake) 57115
114NY-ON-QCCanada, Water (river) 1443.5
115NY-QC-VT
[LP of Vermont]
Canada, Water (lake) 950.9
116NH-QC-VTCanada, Water (river) 1,0730.07
117ME-NH-QCCanada, Land 2,6000.10
118ME-NB-QCCanada, Water (river) 5710.08
151AZ-BCN-CA
[LP of Arizona]
Mexico, Water (river) 1080.04
152AZ-BCN-SONMexico, Water (river) 740.11
153AZ-NM-SONMexico, Land 4,8361.25
154CHH-NM-SONMexico, Land 6,6832.2
155CHH-NM-TXMexico, Water (river) 3,7570.09
156CHH-COA-TXMexico, Water (river) 2,0140.85
157COA-NLE-TXMexico, Water (river) 4401.8
158NLE-TAM-TXMexico, Water (river) 4000.09

[Canada: AB = Alberta, BC = British Columbia, MB = Manitoba, NB = New Brunswick, ON = Ontario, QC = Quebec, SK = Saskatchewan, YT = Yukon Territory]
[Mexico: BCN = Baja California, CHH = Chihuahua, COA = Coahuila, NLE = Nuevo Leon, SON = Sonora, TAM = Tamaulipas]


Tripoint TableTripoint MapTripoint Lists
Tripoints Accessible by LandTripoints Accessible by Water
United States-Canada TripointsUnited States-Mexico Tripoints


Tripoint TableTripoint MapTripoint Lists
Tripoints Accessible by LandTripoints Accessible by Water
United States-Canada TripointsUnited States-Mexico Tripoints

This final section is for those people who like lists. We separate the tri-points into those accessible by land, those accessible by water, those which involve Canada and those which involve Mexico. We also provide an index sorted by state of its tri-points.

Tripoints Accessible by Land:

  1. California-Nevada-Oregon
  2. Idaho-Nevada-Oregon
  3. Idaho-Nevada-Utah
  4. Arizona-Nevada-Utah
  5. Idaho-Montana-Wyoming
  6. Idaho-Utah-Wyoming
  7. Colorado-Utah-Wyoming
  8. Arizona-Colorado-New Mexico-Utah (Four Corners)
  9. Montana-North Dakota-South Dakota
  10. Montana-South Dakota-Wyoming
  11. Nebraska-South Dakota-Wyoming
  12. Colorado-Nebraska-Wyoming
  13. Colorado-Kansas-Nebraska
  14. Colorado-New Mexico-Oklahoma
  15. New Mexico-Oklahoma-Texas
  16. Colorado-Kansas-Oklahoma
  17. Minnesota-North Dakota-South Dakota
  18. Iowa-Minnesota-South Dakota
  19. Kansas-Missouri-Oklahoma
  20. Arkansas-Missouri-Oklahoma
  21. Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas
  22. Indiana-Michigan-Ohio
  23. Alabama-Georgia-Tennessee
  24. Alabama-Florida-Georgia
  25. Georgia-North Carolina-Tennessee
  26. Georgia-North Carolina-South Carolina
  27. Kentucky-Tennessee-Virginia
  28. North Carolina-Tennessee-Virginia
  29. Kentucky-Virginia-West Virginia
  30. Maryland-Pennsylvania-West Virginia
  31. Maryland-Virginia-West Virginia
  32. District of Columbia-Maryland-Virginia (32.1 North) (32.2 South)
  33. Delaware-Maryland-Pennsylvania
  34. New Jersey-New York-Pennsylvania
  35. Connecticut-Massachusetts-New York
  36. Massachusetts-New York-Vermont
  37. Massachusetts-New Hampshire-Vermont
  38. Connecticut-Massachusetts-Rhode Island
  39. Alaska-British Columbia-Yukon Territory
  40. British Columbia-Idaho-Washington
  41. British Columbia-Idaho-Montana
  42. Alberta-British Columbia-Montana
  43. Alberta-Montana-Saskatchewan
  44. Montana-North Dakota-Saskatchewan
  45. Manitoba-North Dakota-Saskatchewan
  46. Maine-New Hampshire-Quebec
  47. Arizona-New Mexico-Sonora
  48. Chihuahua-New Mexico-Sonora

Tripoints Accessible by Water:

  1. Idaho-Oregon-Washington
  2. Arizona-California-Nevada
  3. Iowa-Nebraska-South Dakota
  4. Iowa-Missouri-Nebraska
  5. Kansas-Missouri-Nebraska
  6. Oklahoma-Arkansas-Texas
  7. Michigan-Minnesota-Wisconsin
  8. Iowa-Minnesota-Wisconsin
  9. Illinois-Iowa-Wisconsin
  10. Illinois-Iowa-Missouri
  11. Illinois-Kentucky-Missouri
  12. Kentucky-Missouri-Tennessee (62.1 West), (62.2 Middle), (62.3 East)
  13. Arkansas-Missouri-Tennessee
  14. Arkansas-Mississippi-Tennessee
  15. Arkansas-Louisiana-Mississippi
  16. Alabama-Mississippi-Tennessee
  17. Illinois-Michigan-Wisconsin
  18. Illinois-Indiana-Michigan
  19. Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky
  20. Indiana-Kentucky-Ohio
  21. Kentucky-Ohio-West Virginia
  22. Ohio-Pennsylvania-West Virginia
  23. Delaware-New Jersey-Pennsylvania
  24. Connecticut-New York-Rhode Island
  25. Manitoba-Minnesota-North Dakota
  26. Manitoba-Minnesota-Ontario
  27. Michigan-Minnesota-Ontario
  28. Michigan-Ontario-Ohio
  29. Ohio-Ontario-Pennsylvania
  30. New York-Ontario-Pennsylvania
  31. New York-Ontario-Quebec
  32. New York-Quebec-Vermont
  33. New Hampshire-Quebec-Vermont
  34. Maine-New Brunswick-Quebec
  35. Arizona-Baja California-California
  36. Arizona-Baja California-Sonora
  37. Chihuahua-New Mexico-Texas
  38. Chihuahua-Coahuila-Texas
  39. Coahuila-Nuevo Leon-Texas
  40. Nuevo Leon-Tamaulipas-Texas

United States-Canada Tripoints:

  1. Alaska-British Columbia-Yukon Territory
  2. British Columbia-Idaho-Washington
  3. British Columbia-Idaho-Montana
  4. Alberta-British Columbia-Montana
  5. Alberta-Montana-Saskatchewan
  6. Montana-North Dakota-Saskatchewan
  7. Manitoba-North Dakota-Saskatchewan
  8. Manitoba-Minnesota-North Dakota
  9. Manitoba-Minnesota-Ontario
  10. Michigan-Minnesota-Ontario
  11. Michigan-Ontario-Ohio
  12. Ohio-Ontario-Pennsylvania
  13. New York-Ontario-Pennsylvania
  14. New York-Ontario-Quebec
  15. New York-Quebec-Vermont
  16. New Hampshire-Quebec-Vermont
  17. Maine-New Hampshire-Quebec
  18. Maine-New Brunswick-Quebec

United States-Mexico Tripoints:

  1. Arizona-Baja California-California
  2. Arizona-Baja California-Sonora
  3. Arizona-New Mexico-Sonora
  4. Chihuahua-New Mexico-Sonora
  5. Chihuahua-New Mexico-Texas
  6. Chihuahua-Coahuila-Texas
  7. Coahuila-Nuevo Leon-Texas
  8. Nuevo Leon-Tamaulipas-Texas

Tripoint Index by State:

 

Whew! You made it to the bottom of the guide. If you have suggestions or updates, please contact us – guides@highpointers.org.

Appendix – Interview with Jack Parsell

[Ed: This is an excerpt of an interview with Jack and Joyce Parsell by Roger Rowlett. The full interview was featured in Issue #60 – First Quarter 2003 of the “Apex to Zenith” newsletter.]

What got you interested in doing a book on tri-states?

They were always a curiosity. But when Clark, Joyce and I were coming back from a highpointing trip out West in 1990, we stopped at the three tri-state points in the Oklahoma panhandle. Later, after doing most of them I decided to write the book since there was growing interest in tri-points.

Where did you get your information?

The best reference is a government pamphlet, “Boundaries of the United States and the Several States, Geological Survey Paper #909.” The edition I have is 1976 and I don’t think it’s been updated. It used to cost $5.20. I don’t know what it costs now. It has a tremendous amount of information on the boundary treaties and it goes into the boundary surveys for each state. There’s also another book on the Principal Meridians. The Principal Meridians are the starting points for surveys. Some of them have handsome monuments. But the book itself is very technical and would be of interest mostly to surveyors.

There’s of course a tremendous amount of information on the web.

There’s Brian Butler’s “Corner Corner” Website where you can incidentally downloand my tri-point book.
http://www.bjbsoftware.com/corners/

And there’s the BoundaryPoint Yahoo discussion group. I have posted a lot of information there including a report about the Oklahoma 2002 convention.
http://groups/yahoo.com/group/BoundaryPoint/

Do you have a favorite tri-point?

We liked the ones in the mountains in the West. There’s the Colorado-Wyoming-Utah. It’s up around 8400 feet. It’s a lousy road but we were lucky to get there with a two-wheel drive. Idaho-Wyoming-Montana is on the Continental Divide in Yellowstone Park. It was still a desolate spot since it hadn’t totally recovered from the 1988 Yellowstone fire when we visited in 1997.

What do people think when you visit?

Most people are very friendly and very cooperative. Once we had a property owner come at us with a dog and shotgun at Maryland-Pennsylvania-Delaware. After we told him what we were doing, he showed us the spot.

You have also visited several European intersections.

Many Europeans are very passionate about the points and boundaries. They have a lot of boundary quirks that interest them greatly. There are exclaves (land that is surrounded by another country); enclaves (the surrounded land) and condominiums (land that is jointly owned). For example, there’s an island between France and Spain where the border runs down the middle. They take turns administering each year. I don’t know of any place in the U.S. that is like that.