In Brief

North America's Tallest Mountain Gets Downsized

Mount McKinley, Denali
Denali in Alaska is the tallest mountain peak in North America. (Image credit: Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstock)

Topographic maps showing the elevation of Alaska's Mount McKinley – North America's tallest peak – have been off by 83 feet (25 meters) for decades, according to an updated map released by the U.S. Geological Survey earlier this month, Reuters reports.

The published height of Mount McKinley, also known as Denali, has been listed as 20,320 feet (6,194 m) since 1952 – a height undoubtedly cited by many a proud hiker who has attempted to summit the peak, amongst others who find solace in the mountain. But new radar data shows that the mountain is actually 20,237 feet (6,168 m) high. Though slightly less impressive, the updated height has not affected the mountain's status as the highest peak in North America.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to correct the new elevation of the mountain. It is 20,237 feet, not 23,237 feet. 

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Live Science Contributor
Laura Poppick is a contributing writer for Live Science, with a focus on earth and environmental news. Laura has a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Laura has a good eye for finding fossils in unlikely places, will pull over to examine sedimentary layers in highway roadcuts, and has gone swimming in the Arctic Ocean.