Mount McKinley 83 Feet Shorter, New Data Shows

September 12, 2013 3:18 pm Last Updated: July 18, 2015 5:19 pm

Mount McKinley is 83 feet shorter that previously thought. North America’s tallest mountain, also known as Mount Denali, is just over 20,000 feet tall.

Officials found found that the peak, located in Alaska, is 20,237 feet rather than 20,320 feet, according to a press release from Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell’s office.

He cited data that was referenced by recent orthometric survey data.

“That’s 83 feet shorter than we thought,” Treadwell said. “The good news is: Denali is still the tallest peak in North America.”

A field recording conducted in 1989 found that the peak was 14 feet shorter, following a recording in 1952.

“Alaska’s maps are nearly 50 years old and have never met National Map Accuracy Standards,” Treadwell said, according to the release. “The combined effort of multiple federal partners and the State of Alaska to get Alaska mapped is making great progress.”

The state invested nearly $10 million in Alaska’s Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative since 2010, while the U.S. government invested $14 million to the overall cost of creating a digital elevation model of Alaska.

McKinley, located in the Alaska Range, is the only North American mountain that exceeds 6,000 meters. The next tallest is Mount Logan in the Yukon region of Canada, which is 19,551 feet tall, and following that, Pico de Orizaba in Mexico is the third tallest mountain at 18,491 feet.

In the 48 lower U.S. states, Mount Whitney in California’s Sierra Nevada range is the second tallest, and Mount Rainier in Washington state is the third tallest.