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Elevation is a geographical statistic, most commonly measured in feet or meters, that denotes how high or low a location is in relation to the mean sea level of Earth. Elevation has a variety of practical uses and can strongly affect an area’s climate. The elevation of Mammoth Lakes is 7,880 feet (2,402 m), which is exceptionally high for a town or city. Most major urban locations around the United States and even internationally are located in low-lying coastal regions at elevations of 500 feet (152 m) or lower.
The average elevation in the United States is 2,500 feet (760 m), so the elevation of Mammoth Lakes is over 5,000 feet (1,524 m) higher than the national average. The average elevation in the state of California is the 11th highest in the country at 2,900 feet (880 m), so Mammoth Lakes is one of the highest points in the entire state and is technically the highest incorporated community in California. The highest elevation location in all of California is Mount Whitney, which is also the highest mountain in the contiguous United States and has an elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 m), while the state’s lowest point is Badwater Basin, which has an elevation of 279 feet (85 m) below sea level and is also the lowest elevation point in all of North America.
Most of California’s big cities are located along the coast, resulting in vastly different elevations when compared to Mammoth Lakes. Los Angeles, for example, has an average elevation of around 285 feet (87 m), while San Francisco has an elevation of 52 feet (16 m), San Diego is situated at an elevation of 62 feet (19 m), and the state capital of Sacramento has an elevation of 30 feet (9 m).