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Oklahomyths: The World’s “Highest” Hill

Fact-checking a persistent Oklahoma myth



 



THE CLAIM: Cavanal Hill is billed as “the world’s highest hill.” At 1,999 feet above sea level, 565 feet lower than Sugar Loaf, Cavanal stands one foot short of the American designation for a mountain’s minimum height.
 

THE SOURCE: Oklahoma Today, March/April 2015

FACT CHECK:  This subject was a tough one given that one of 405’s editors grew up in Poteau and had always believed it – the Poteau Chamber of Commerce website, poteauchamber.com, echoes the claim, and when “World’s Highest Hill” is searched in Google, the first several results are of Cavanal. But there’s a fly in the notoriety ointment: There is no American designation for the difference between a mountain and a hill. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, “The U.S. Board on Geographic Names once stated that the difference between a hill and a mountain in the U.S. was 1,000 feet of local relief, but even this was abandoned in the early 1970s.” The science-related How It Works reference guide summarizes: “Essentially, a hill becomes a mountain when someone names it as such.”

Oklahoma’s tallest hills are more than 300 miles west of Poteau, near the Texas border. Beaver County’s Indian Hill, the state’s eighth-highest peak, measures 2,592 feet. Bonham Hill (2,142 feet) and Ant Hill (2,041 feet), both near Sayre, are also higher than Cavanal. Beyond the state’s borders, the Black Hills of South Dakota, home to Mount Rushmore, measure in at more than 7,200 feet.

At 1,999 feet tall, towering over LeFlore County’s Poteau River Valley, Cavanal remains one of the state’s more impressive peaks. Its name comes from the French word for cave, a tribute to the coal mines on its eastern slopes. Today, its plateaued summit bristles with antennas and cell towers. A winding five-mile-long road – home to the Cavanal Killer 8k run each spring – twists and switchbacks up its wooded slopes, past homes with panoramic views of the Poteau River Valley and neighboring Arkansas.

Several Oklahoma peaks less lofty than Cavanal are designated as mountains. Among them: Blue Mountain (1,985 feet) near Wister; Haystack Mountain (1,959 feet) near Sayre; Phantom Mountain (1,949 feet) and Dead Man Mountain (1,890 feet), both near Grandfield; Candy Mountain (1,056 feet) and Eagle Mountain (994 feet) near Heavener; and Potts Mountain (663 feet) and Baldridge Mountain (636 feet), both near Wister.

The careful observer might note that the signs on the top of Cavanal touting its claim to fame employ quotation marks – “The World’s Highest Hill” – as if to imply a wink.

 

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August 2019

ARTSPACE at Untitled is excited to debut the digital artworks produced from the original photography of Lawrence Leif Hultberg. A skilled American photographer and abstract painter born in 1953,...

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Cost: $4-$6

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Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
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Telephone: 580.252.6692
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ARTSPACE at Untitled is excited to debut the digital artworks produced from the original photography of Lawrence Leif Hultberg. A skilled American photographer and abstract painter born in 1953,...

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Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
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ARTSPACE at Untitled is excited to debut the digital artworks produced from the original photography of Lawrence Leif Hultberg. A skilled American photographer and abstract painter born in 1953,...

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1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Contact Name: Laura Warriner
Website »

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Urban Abstracts is a series of digital artworks by Lawrence Hultberg produced from his original photography. Patterns, textures and geometric shapes are found everywhere, especially within an urban...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

A Texas State of Mind, featuring the art of Larry G. Lemons of Nocona, TX, is coming to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK.  A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 - 6:30...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
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Cost: Free

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Artspace at Untitled
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National Cowboy Western Heritage Museum
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ARTSPACE at Untitled
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Telephone: 405-815-9995
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Featuring more than 70 works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift of...

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Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
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More information

A Texas State of Mind, featuring the art of Larry G. Lemons of Nocona, TX, is coming to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK.  A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 - 6:30...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
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ARTSPACE at Untitled is excited to debut the digital artworks produced from the original photography of Lawrence Leif Hultberg. A skilled American photographer and abstract painter born in 1953,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Contact Name: Laura Warriner
Website »

More information

From Albert Bierstadt’s glowing landscape Emigrants Crossing the Plains to pieces by Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, see some of the finest Western art in the country. View...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission

Where:
National Cowboy Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

ARTSPACE at Untitled is excited to debut the digital artworks produced from the original photography of Lawrence Leif Hultberg. A skilled American photographer and abstract painter born in 1953,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Contact Name: Laura Warriner
Website »

More information

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ARTSPACE at Untitled is excited to debut the digital artworks produced from the original photography of Lawrence Leif Hultberg. A skilled American photographer and abstract painter born in 1953,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Contact Name: Laura Warriner
Website »

More information

Urban Abstracts is a series of digital artworks by Lawrence Hultberg produced from his original photography. Patterns, textures and geometric shapes are found everywhere, especially within an urban...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Featuring more than 70 works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift of...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A Texas State of Mind, featuring the art of Larry G. Lemons of Nocona, TX, is coming to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK.  A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 - 6:30...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

From Albert Bierstadt’s glowing landscape Emigrants Crossing the Plains to pieces by Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, see some of the finest Western art in the country. View...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission

Where:
National Cowboy Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

ARTSPACE at Untitled is excited to debut the digital artworks produced from the original photography of Lawrence Leif Hultberg. A skilled American photographer and abstract painter born in 1953,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Contact Name: Laura Warriner
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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Cost: free

Where:
National Cowboy Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd st
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View map »

More information

ARTSPACE at Untitled is excited to debut the digital artworks produced from the original photography of Lawrence Leif Hultberg. A skilled American photographer and abstract painter born in 1953,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Contact Name: Laura Warriner
Website »

More information

Urban Abstracts is a series of digital artworks by Lawrence Hultberg produced from his original photography. Patterns, textures and geometric shapes are found everywhere, especially within an urban...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Featuring more than 70 works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift of...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A Texas State of Mind, featuring the art of Larry G. Lemons of Nocona, TX, is coming to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK.  A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 - 6:30...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

From Albert Bierstadt’s glowing landscape Emigrants Crossing the Plains to pieces by Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, see some of the finest Western art in the country. View...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission

Where:
National Cowboy Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

ARTSPACE at Untitled is excited to debut the digital artworks produced from the original photography of Lawrence Leif Hultberg. A skilled American photographer and abstract painter born in 1953,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Contact Name: Laura Warriner
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

ARTSPACE at Untitled is excited to debut the digital artworks produced from the original photography of Lawrence Leif Hultberg. A skilled American photographer and abstract painter born in 1953,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Contact Name: Laura Warriner
Website »

More information

Urban Abstracts is a series of digital artworks by Lawrence Hultberg produced from his original photography. Patterns, textures and geometric shapes are found everywhere, especially within an urban...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Featuring more than 70 works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift of...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A Texas State of Mind, featuring the art of Larry G. Lemons of Nocona, TX, is coming to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK.  A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 - 6:30...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

From Albert Bierstadt’s glowing landscape Emigrants Crossing the Plains to pieces by Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, see some of the finest Western art in the country. View...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission

Where:
National Cowboy Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

ARTSPACE at Untitled is excited to debut the digital artworks produced from the original photography of Lawrence Leif Hultberg. A skilled American photographer and abstract painter born in 1953,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Contact Name: Laura Warriner
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District & Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and, quite possibly, an amazing...

Cost: Adult: $20 Seniors and Children: $15

Where:
Regatta Park Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73119
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma River Cruises
Telephone: 405-702-7755
Contact Name: Che Loessberg
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District & Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris Wheel, and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma...

Cost: Adults $20; Seniors and Children $15

Where:
Regatta Park Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73119
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma River Cruises
Telephone: 405-702-7755
Contact Name: Che Loessberg
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than 70 works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift of...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

ARTSPACE at Untitled is excited to debut the digital artworks produced from the original photography of Lawrence Leif Hultberg. A skilled American photographer and abstract painter born in 1953,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Contact Name: Laura Warriner
Website »

More information

Urban Abstracts is a series of digital artworks by Lawrence Hultberg produced from his original photography. Patterns, textures and geometric shapes are found everywhere, especially within an urban...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

A Texas State of Mind, featuring the art of Larry G. Lemons of Nocona, TX, is coming to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK.  A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 - 6:30...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

Spend your holiday weekend at Andy Alligator’s! From Saturday, August 31st through Monday, September 2nd, save $5 on a Dual Park Pass! This includes all day access to both the Water Park and...

Cost: $31.95

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park
3300 Market Place
Norman, OK  73072
View map »

More information

Art Moments 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Enjoy a variety of 10-minute spotlight talks throughout the galleries to introduce different works in the Museum’s temporary exhibitions or permanent...

Cost: Free with Museum admisison

Where:
National Cowboy Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

ARTSPACE at Untitled is excited to debut the digital artworks produced from the original photography of Lawrence Leif Hultberg. A skilled American photographer and abstract painter born in 1953,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Contact Name: Laura Warriner
Website »

More information

Come pre-party with us on the patio this Saturday at the Sheraton Hotel. Enjoy our signature cocktail drinks and food bar menu. DJ Catherine Ouellette will be spinning your favorite tunes...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown Hotel
1 North Broadway Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »

More information

We're poppin' champagne on the patio this Saturday and raffling off a bottle of Perrier-Jouet valued at $300! Come pre-party with us and DJ Catherine Ouellette from 6pm-10pm -...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown Hotel
1, N Broadway Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »

More information

America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: $59.95

Where:
The Skirvin Hilton
1 Park Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District & Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and, quite possibly, an amazing...

Cost: Adult: $20 Seniors and Children: $15

Where:
Regatta Park Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73119
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma River Cruises
Telephone: 405-702-7755
Contact Name: Che Loessberg
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District & Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris Wheel, and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma...

Cost: Adults $20; Seniors and Children $15

Where:
Regatta Park Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73119
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma River Cruises
Telephone: 405-702-7755
Contact Name: Che Loessberg
Website »

More information

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