The Rocky Mountains, west of the Great Plains, extend north to south across the country, peaking at 14,400 ft. (4,401 m) with Mt. Elbert in Colorado. The Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges run close to the Pacific coast, both ranges reaching altitudes higher than 14,000 ft. (4,300 m). The lowest (Badwater Basin) and highest (Mt. Whitney) points in the contiguous United States are in the state of California, and only about 84 miles (135 km) apart. At an elevation of 20,310 ft. (6,190 m), Alaska's Denali is the highest peak in the country and in North America. To the East the Appalachian Mountain range is mostly in the United States (U.S.) but it extends into southeastern Canada, forming a zone from 100 to 300 mi (160 to 480 km) wide, running from the island of Newfoundland 1,500 mi (2,400 km) southwestward to Central Alabama in the United States. The range covers parts of the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, which comprise an overseas territory of France. The system is divided into a series of ranges, with the individual mountains averaging around 3,000 ft. (910 m). The highest of the group is Mount Mitchell in North Carolina at 6,684 ft. (2,037 m), which is the highest point in the United States east of the Mississippi River.
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