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Mount Jefferson (North Carolina) facts for kids

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For other mountains named Mount Jefferson, see List of peaks named Mount Jefferson.
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Mount Jefferson
Highest point
Elevation 4,665 ft (1,422 m)
Location Ashe County, North Carolina, U.S.
Topo map USGS Jefferson
Easiest route Drive, 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 captors in the central and eastern sections of North Carolina. As a result, legend has it, the peak was named "Nigger Mountain," According to another source, Nigger Mountain was named from its black granite coloration. It was later called "Larson Mountain" for many years until finally, in an effort to find a name that is not an ethnic slur, the mountain was renamed Mount Jefferson after the town at its base.

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