A High Place


This picture, taken just west of Lakin, Kansas, is at 3,100 feet above sea level. The photo looks east, and if you set off on Route 50 in that direction, you will never be higher during the 1,647 miles to Ocean City, Maryland, and the Atlantic Ocean.

The plains of Kansas may look flat, but there is a gentle but continuous rise to the west. You gain 2,360 feet from the Missouri-Kansas border at Kansas City, Kansas (altitude 740 feet), to the location of the photos on this page.

The highest location east of this point occurs where Route 50 crosses Backbone Mountain in western Maryland, at 3,095 feet.

Looking north from the same spot:

Looking south:

And looking west:

Drive west, as shown in this last photo, and you’ll continue to imperceptibly gain altitude until the base of the Rocky Mountains at Canon City, Colorado, altitude 5,332 feet.

Route 50 in Kansas

Main Route 50 page