Maximum Relief Counties by State *

* Compiled by Jerry Brekhus

Explanation and Definitions

This page lists the counties with the greatest elevation range within each state, i.e. the counties, one per state, with the greatest difference between their respective highest and lowest elevations.

The listed total reliefs are to be distinguished from a simple list of the elevation ranges for each state, regardless of the counties containing their respective highpoints and lowpoints.

These maximum-relief counties have come to be called Helman counties to both recognize the originator of the concept, and to greatly abbreviate their name. This H-system nomenclature results in some useful definitions -

Using the H-system, this page lists the H-counties for each state. Note how much simpler this is than to write out explicitly, "The counties with the greatest elevation range within each state.".

Jerry Brekhus was the main contributor to this list. Other participants include Bob Bolton, Dan Case, Dave Covill, Robert Greene, Jon Mann, Andy Martin, Darryl Montgomery, David Olson, and Mike Schwartz.

H-counties are listed in descending order of H-values given in feet. Note the high, positive correlation between the rank order of states on this list, with a rank-ordered list of state highpoint elevations. A similar correlation exists with the greatest prominence values for each state.

State County H-value Highpoint Elevation Lowpoint Elevation
**** ****** ******* ********* ******** ******** ********
AlaskaDenali Borough19935Mount McKinley20320Kantishna River385
CaliforniaInyo14776Mount Whitney14494Badwater Basin-282
WashingtonPierce14410Mount Rainier14410Puget Sound0
HawaiiHawaii13796Mauna Kea13796Pacific Ocean0
NevadaClark11436Charleston Peak11915Colorado River479
ArizonaCoconino11253Humphreys Peak12633Colorado River1380
OregonClackamas11229Mount Hood11239Willamette River10
WyomingBig Horn9527Cloud Peak13167Yellowtail Reservoir3640
MontanaCarbon9332Castle Mountain12612Yellowstone River3280
MontanaStillwater9329Mount Wood12649Yellowstone River3320
ColoradoBoulder9320Longs Peak14255Boulder Creek4935
Las Animas9306West Spanish Peak13626Purgatoire River4320
UtahSan Juan9021Mount Peale12721Lake Powell3700
IdahoLemhi8737Bell Mountain11612Salmon River2875
New MexicoMora8442Truchas Peak13102Canadian River4660
TexasBrewster6465Emory Peak7825Rio Grande1360
TennesseeSevier5793Clingmans Dome6643French Broad River850
New HampshireCoos5592Mount Washington6288Androscoggin River696
North CarolinaSwain5557Clingmans Dome6643Little Tennessee River1086
South DakotaPennington5342Harney Peak7242Cheyenne River1900
New YorkEssex5249Mount Marcy5344Lake Champlain95
MainePiscataquis5087Mount Katahdin5267Piscataquis River180
VermontChittenden4298Mount Mansfield4393Lake Champlain95
VirginiaWashington4200Whitetop Mountain5520North Fork Holston River1320
GeorgiaRabun3789Rabun Bald4680Tugaloo Lake891
West VirginiaPendleton3701Spruce Knob4861North Mill Creek1160
KentuckyHarlan3059Black Mountain4139Cumberland River1080
South CarolinaPickens2940Sassafras Mountain3560Clemson620
MassachusettsBerkshire2916Mount Greylock3487Hoosic River571
MarylandAllegany2475Dans Rock2895Potomac River420
ArkansasLogan2415Magazine Mountain2753Lake Dardanelle338
PennsylvaniaBedford2400Blue Knob3120Wills Creek720
OklahomaLe Flore2266spot elevation2666Arkansas River400
ConnecticutLitchfield2180Mount Frissell slope2380Lake Lillinonah200
NebraskaCherry2004Hazel BM4206Niobrara River2202
AlabamaClay1804Hernandez Peak2344Bills Creek540
MinnesotaCook1699Eagle Mountain2301Lake Superior602
New JerseySussex1483High Point1803Delaware River320
North DakotaDunn1442Killdeer Mountains3280Lake Sakakawea1838
MichiganBaraga1377Mount Arvon1979Lake Superior602
MissouriIron1312Taum Sauk Mountain1772Big Creek460
WisconsinAshland1270Mount Whittlesey1872Lake Superior602
Iron1268Pleasant Lake tower1870Lake Superior602
KansasWallace889Mount Sunflower4039Smoky Hill River3150
OhioScioto855near Mt Joy1340Ohio River485
Rhode IslandProvidence812Jerimoth Hill812Providence River0
IllinoisPope749Williams Hill1064Ohio River315
IowaAllamakee725one area1340Mississippi River615
IndianaClark654benchmark1037Ohio River383
MississippiAttala510McCool Lookout720Big Black River210
DelawareNew Castle448Ebright Azimuth448Delaware Bay0
LouisianaVernon Parish419spot elevation484Sabine River65
Bienville Parish415Driskill Mountain535Dugdemona River120
Claiborne Parish410at radio tower500Corney Bayou90
FloridaWalton345Britton Hill345Gulf of Mexico0

back to Information Maps page Helman counties map