Mount Jefferson (North Carolina)

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Mount Jefferson
Highest point
Elevation4,665 ft (1,422 m)
Coordinates36°24′11″N 81°27′48″W / 36.40306°N 81.46333°W / 36.40306; -81.46333Coordinates: 36°24′11″N 81°27′48″W / 36.40306°N 81.46333°W / 36.40306; -81.46333
LocationAshe County, North Carolina, U.S.
Topo mapUSGS Jefferson
Easiest routeDrive, hike

Mount Jefferson is a mountain located in Ashe County, North Carolina. The mountain is part of the Mount Jefferson State Natural Area. The mountain has an elevation of 4,665 feet (1,422 m) above sea level, and it sharply rises more than 1,600 feet above the towns of Jefferson, North Carolina and West Jefferson.

A paved road leads to the mountain's summit; on a clear day the summit affords sweeping views of the surrounding countryside, the towns of Jefferson and West Jefferson, and the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

The mountain has a secondary peak at the eastern end of its ridge which is marked as Luther Rock on trails and as Luther Overlook on USGS maps.


Before the American Civil War the mountain was a popular hiding place for slaves who had escaped from their owners in the central and eastern sections of North Carolina. As a result, legend has it, the peak was named "Nigger Mountain,"[1] According to another source, Nigger Mountain was named from its black granite coloration.[2][self-published source?] It was later called the less offensive "Negro Mountain"[3] for many years until finally, in an effort to find a less-racially offensive name, the mountain was renamed Mount Jefferson after the town at its base.

Panorama from Luther Rock Peak of Mount Jefferson, North Carolina.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Inscoe, John C. (1 December 2001). Appalachians and Race: The Mountain South from Slavery to Segregation. University Press of Kentucky. p. 31. ISBN 0-8131-7122-9.
  2. ^ Byrd, Fay (19 October 2010). Wilkes County Bits and Pieces. p. 338. ISBN 978-0-557-49244-2.
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Mount Jefferson (North Carolina)

External links[edit]