|Denali - 20,322 ft|
WASHINGTON - The National Park Service says it won't get in the middle of the decades-long, Ohio-versus-Alaska fight over changing the name of North America's tallest mountain to Denali.
They mean "changing the name back to Denali", which is what the Natives have been calling it for thousands of years. But I digress.
On Wednesday, the park service was asked to weigh in on Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s bill that would change Mount McKinley’s official name to Denali, as it is referred to by many residents of the state.“The National Park Service appreciates the long history and public interest for both the name Mount McKinley and the traditional Athabaskan name Denali,” Victor Knox, a director with the park service, said at the Senate hearing.
That's big of them. While we understand and sympathize with the Ohioans' desire to memorialize President McKinley, who hailed from that state, he never visited Alaska. And it's not clear why they thought that particular peak was the right one. There are literally thousands of unnamed mountains in Alaska. But Denali was and is well-known, a landmark visible for hundreds of miles.
And Alaskans still call it Denali, by the way. If one hears it referred to as "Mt. McKinley", one can be sure that it's a tourist - or a recent immigrant - speaking that name.