Where It’s At is an occasional feature that uses maps to show interesting stuff about our world. At least interesting to map geeks like me :)
For this inaugural post: Where can you can drop nearly 15,000 feet of elevation in just over 85 miles in the contiguous United States?
A clue: these two points also happen to be the highest elevation point and the lowest elevation point in the contiguous U.S.
And here’s the elevation profile along that line:
Note that it’s not a nice easy descent along that path, as there are mountain ranges in between. In fact, let’s go the other direction: if you wanted to (theoretically) walk along that 85 mile path from Badwater Basin to the top of Mt. Whitney, your elevation gain would be about 35,600 feet (that’s about 23% higher than Mt. Everest’s 29,029 foot elevation!)
Has anybody ever done this?
How-to: The above maps and facts were created using the Elevation on Google Maps tool, which has worldwide coverage. On that tool, you can draw an elevation profile by clicking the “Elevation Profile…” button on the left side of the map (double-click to finish drawing your path).
Power tip: To export the elevation data from the profile, first expand the chart into its own tab by using the button in the upper right of the chart, then click the “Download CSV” button. I opened the .csv file into Excel to calculate the elevation gain, which is the sum of elevation increases along your path (elevation gain exclude segments of elevation declines).