Cavanal Hill viewed from the southeast side
|Elevation||2,385 ft (727 m) |
|Prominence||1,775 ft (541 m)|
|Parent range||Ouachita Mountains|
|Topo map||USGS Cavanal Mountain|
Cavanal Hill (officially Cavanal Mountain), located near Poteau, Oklahoma, is billed by a local chamber of commerce as the, "tallest hill in the world", because the elevation of its summit is 1,999 feet (609 m). The actual summit elevation is 2,385 feet (727 m) above sea level; the difference in elevation between the summit and the Poteau River 3 miles (5 km) to the north is 1,960 feet (600 m).
The billing is based on the delineation between a hill and a mountain, that being if the geographical feature were 2,000 feet or higher than its base, then it would be classified as a mountain instead of a hill. However, the Geographic Names Information System listing do contain several summits with "hill" in their names which are higher than 2,000 feet.
One source claims that the name is derived from a French word meaning "cave." Oklahoma Historian Muriel H. Wright wrote that cavanol is a corruption of the French word caverneux, meaning "cavernous."
Cavanal Hill was a notable landmark for French explorers who travelled this area in the 18th Century and gave the landmark its name. Thomas Nuttall studied plant life here in 1819, and learned about other natural wonders from local French trappers and Indians who were living here.
Cavanal Hill is now the site of mountain bike races and the highly advertised Cavanal Hill Killer 5-Mile Walk. A 4.5 miles (7.2 km) blacktopped road leads to the summit where visitors can enjoy picturesque views of the Poteau River Valley. Reportedly, one can see Mount Magazine in Arkansas from here on a clear day.
- "Cavanal Mountain". ListsOfJohn.com. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- "Cavanal Mountain". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- "Cavanal Hill". Poteau Chamber of Commerce (Poteau, OK). Retrieved 2009-09-14.
- U.S. Geological Survey Poteau West 7.5 minute quadrangle
-  TravelOK.com Website. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
- Wright, Muriel H. "Some Geographic Names of French Origin in Oklahoma." Chronicles of Oklahoma. Vol.7, No. 2. June 1929. Accessed November 16, 2016.