The Highest Point in Pennsylvania

March 10, 2023

highest point in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is home to a variety of mountainous scenery, from imposing peaks like Mount Rainer to more subtle mountains. It's also home to several lakes, including Crystal Lake, the largest in the state, which is a water reservoir for Wyoming Valley and the surrounding areas.

The highest point in the state is on Mount Davis, which rises to 3,213 feet above sea level. It's located in southwestern Pennsylvania, within the boundaries of Forbes State Forest.

It's not the most pronounced "mountain" in Pennsylvania, but it's still higher than any other peak in the state!

Generally, when people think of the highest point in a state, they envision an elevated viewpoint with a sweeping view. However, the topography of southwest Pennsylvania, where Mount Davis is located, does not provide a dramatic ridgeline.

What's more, the ridgeline of Mount Davis is softer and rolling than the Rocky Mountains or other nearby hills, according to Rachael Mahony, an environmental education specialist with DCNR. This can cause visitors to feel as though they're not actually at the highest point in Pennsylvania when standing atop the observation tower.

This optical illusion is explained in the signage at the top of the tower. The heights of other nearby peaks may appear to be higher than they really are, but this is only due to the way we see the world and how it has changed over the centuries.

The next highest points in the state are on Blue Knob in Bedford County, and Laurel Hill in Fayette County. Both of these peaks are on the Appalachian Mountains, which slice through the center of the state.


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