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The 10 Highest Airports In The United States

Bring your high altitude gear - here are the 10 highest public airports in the US.

10) Mackay, ID - 7,920'

Copper Basin is the highest turf-only airport in the US. The runway is only 4,700' long, it's surrounded by mountains, and summer density altitude often exceeds 10,000'. It's safe to say there's no shortage of challenges here.


9) Del Norte, CO - 7,949'

Astronaut Kent Rominger airport is a fitting name, because you practically need a space suit to land here. Keep an eye out, because mountainous terrain surrounds the airport in all directions, including several 12,000+ foot peaks within 15 miles of the runway.

9 Colorado DOT

8) Buena Vista, CO - 7,950'

Central Colorado Regional airport is in the heart of Colorado's high country, and it's pretty easy to tell. Mt. Princeton (14,197') is less than 7 miles from the runway.


7) Walden, CO - 8,154'

Walden-Jackson County airport is relatively tame compared to the others on this list, except for one thing: the runway is only 5,900' long, and there's a 50 foot drop off the end of it.

7 Colorado DOT

6) Granby, CO - 8,207'

Granby-Grand County airport has a uniquely challenging feature - a 525' terrain incline 1 mile from the runway. The airport recommends only experienced pilots takeoff to the east because the ground rises so quickly.

6 Eric Magnuson

5) Westcliffe, CO - 8,290'

Not only is Silver West airport high altitude, it's also close the US Air Force Academy, which means it has intensive student training in the area.

5 Colorado DOT

4) Angel Fire, NM - 8,380'

Angel Fire is named after the "fiery afternoon light on the alpine peaks." You'll want to watch out for those peaks too - Wheeler Peak (13,167') is less than 10 miles from the runway.

4 Vans Air Force

3) Creede, CO - 8,680'

Mineral County Memorial airport has a pattern altitude of 9,500', as well as mountains surrounding the airport in all directions. Sounds exciting!


2) Telluride, CO - 9,070'

Not only is Telluride the second highest airport in the US, it's also in a canyon, and it has a cliff at the end of the runway. Yikes.

6-telluride Granger Meador

1) Leadville, CO - 9,934'

Lake County airport holds high altitude honors at nearly 10,000 feet elevation (the city is over 10,000', and it's the highest city in the US). Bring your turbocharger with you, because you might not be getting out of here without one. On an average summer day (72F, 29.92Hg), the density altitude is 13,000'. That's Rocky Mountain high.

8-leadville Wikipedia

Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at

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