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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
Elevation 1,235 ft (376 m) NAVD 88
Prominence 95 ft (29 m)
Listing U.S. state high points 45th
Charles Mound is located in Illinois
Charles Mound
Charles Mound
Illinois state highpoint
Location Jo Daviess County, Illinois,
United States
Topo map USGS Shullsburg

Charles Mound is a gentle, 1,235-foot (376 m) high hill in northern Jo Daviess County, Illinois, United States, near the small town of Scales Mound, and 11 miles (18 km) northeast of Galena. It is the highest natural point in the state; thus, it is considered a highpoint.


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.

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


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.


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.

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