Charles Mound

Coordinates: 42°30′14.55931″N 90°14′23.01334″W / 42.5040442528°N 90.2397259278°W / 42.5040442528; -90.2397259278
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Charles Mound
Looking eastward at Charles Mound, the highest point in Illinois.jpg
Looking eastward at Charles Mound, the highest point in Illinois from Elizabeth Scales Mound Road, September 2016
Highest point
Elevation1,235 ft (376 m) NAVD 88[1]
Prominence95 ft (29 m)[2]
ListingU.S. state high points 45th
Coordinates42°30′14.55931″N 90°14′23.01334″W / 42.5040442528°N 90.2397259278°W / 42.5040442528; -90.2397259278[1]
Charles Mound is located in Illinois
Charles Mound
Charles Mound
Illinois state highpoint
CountryUnited States
CountyJo Daviess
TownshipScales Mound
Topo mapUSGS Shullsburg

Charles Mound[3] is a gentle, 1,235-foot (376 m) high hill located in Scales Mound Township, Jo Daviess County, Illinois, United States. It is 2 miles (3.2 km) northeast of the small town of Scales Mound, and 11 miles (18 km) northeast of Galena. Despite its name, Charles Mound is a naturally occurring, erosional feature and is not to be confused with the intentional mounds created by native cultures. It is the highest natural point in the state and is thus considered a state highpoint. It is the lowest state highpoint in the Midwestern region of the United States.


Sign at the summit of Charles Mound, June 2016
Charles Mound, July 2014

Charles Mound is the highest natural point in Illinois. (The highest point is the Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower.) The top of the hill is about 0.25 miles (400 m) from the Wisconsin border. It is within the Driftless Area, a region of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin that was not covered or ground down by the last continental glaciers. The hill itself is an erosional remnant, similar to that on which the original village site of Scales Mound was located. Shallow Elizabeth silt loam soil is on the summit and the surrounding area has deeper silty clay loam of the Lacrescent series.[4]


Elijah Charles, one of the region's first permanent settlers, arrived in 1828 and settled at the base of the mound and the hill assumed his name.[5]


Charles Mound is located on rolling farmland. The land owners, Jean and Wayne Wuebbels, allow public access on the first full weekends of the months of June, July, August, and September.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Charles". NGS Data Sheet. National Geodetic Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Department of Commerce. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  2. ^ "Charles Mound, Illinois". Retrieved 2012-10-17.
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Charles Mound
  4. ^ "SoilWeb: An Online Soil Survey Browser | California Soil Resource Lab".
  5. ^ Mansberger, Floyd (1990-04-02). "Scales Mound Historic District" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  6. ^ "2011 Access Dates for Illinois". The Highpointers Foundation. 2011-02-01. Retrieved 2011-08-20.

External links[edit]