The Most Extreme Points of North America

Cape Spear in Newfoundland, Canada is considered one of the easternmost points in North America. Editorial credit: meunierd /

The size of the North American continent varies depending on where one places the continental boundaries. Some define the U.S, Mexico, and Canada as the only countries on the continent while others include the Caribbean states. In some instances, Continental North America is defined as all territory north of the South American countries including the Central American nations. The following are the extreme points of North America.

7. Northernmost Point in North America

Kaffeklubben Island in Greenland is the northernmost point in North America. Although Greenland is politically administered as part of the Kingdom of Denmark, it is geographically situated on the North American continent. When Greenland is detached from the continent, then Cape Columbia in Nunavut, Canada becomes the northernmost point. Zenith Point, Canada is the northernmost point in mainland North America.

6. Southernmost Point in North America

The Costa Rican territory of Cocos Island in the Pacific Ocean is the southernmost point of North America. The island sits 342 miles off the coast of Costa Rica. It is a designated national park, and only park rangers are allowed to establish settlements. However, the cape of Punta Mariato in Panama is the southernmost point in mainland North America. The cape makes up the southwestern tip of the Azuero Peninsula.

5. Westernmost Point in North America

The westernmost point in the continent depends on how one defines "westernmost." If the definition is based on the International Date Line, then Cape Wrangell on Attu Island in Alaska is the westernmost point. If the definition is based on the 180th meridian, then the Amatignak Island in Alaska's Aleutian archipelago as Attu Island is located in the eastern hemisphere. However, Cape Prince of Wales is the western point in mainland North America.

4. Easternmost Point in North America

Nordostrundingen in Greenland is the easternmost point of the continent. If Greenland is omitted then Cape Spear in Newfoundland, Canada becomes the easternmost. However, if the east-west is based on the longitudes then is Pochnoi Point on the Island of Semisopochnoi, Alaska, is thus the easternmost point. The easternmost point in mainland North America is Cape Saint Charles, Labrador.

3. Highest Point in North America

The highest point in North America is Denali, formerly Mount McKinley. The mountain’s peak lies 20,310 feet above the sea level and 18,000 feet above the ground level. Denali is considered the third most prominent peak in the world.

2. Lowest Point in North America

Badwater Basin in Death Valley California is the lowest point in North America. The basin sits 282 ft below sea level and is fed by a small spring. The water is salty and undrinkable but can support a variety of animal and plant species.

1. Geographic Center of North America

A geographic center refers to the arithmetic mean of a two-dimensional shape of a region. In other words, the middle-point of a region. The method used to calculate the center of a region or a county has been controversial as researchers disagree on whether to move islands to the mainland or account them where they are located. The center of North America has been determined to be 48°10′N 100°10′W; six miles west of Balta in Pierce County, North Dakota, US.


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