18 Feb Five over 5,000…Southwest Virginia’s Mountains Rise Above the Rest
Virginia’s spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains were so named because from a distance they appear to
be blueish in color. Part of the Appalachian Mountain range, the Blue Ridge Mountains boast the
highest mountains in the Commonwealth and five of them are in Southwest Virginia.
Mount Rogers, whose summit stretches across the border of Grayson and Smyth Counties, is the
highest natural point in Virginia with an elevation of 5,729 feet. The peak is the 19 th highest state
point in the United States and the fourth highest state point east of the Mississippi River.
The summit of Mount Rogers can be reached via a nine-mile (round trip) hike starting from Grayson
Highlands State Park. The hike follows the Appalachian Trail for most of the way and crosses into
Jefferson National Forest.
At an elevation of 5,525 feet, Whitetop Mountain is the second highest independent mountain in
Virginia. Located at the juncture of Grayson, Smyth and Washington Counties, it lies within the
Mount Rogers National Recreation Area of the Jefferson National Forest.
The highest navigable road in Virginia leads to its summit, which provides panoramic views of three
states. A hiking trail starts at Elk Garden on Virginia 600.
Pine Mountain/Wilburn Ridge, also located in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area of the
Jefferson National Forest, is the third highest mountain in Virginia at an elevation of 5,525 feet. Its
peak is east of Mount Rogers and has excellent views of the surrounding region and Mount Rogers.
Considered a subsidiary peak of Mount Rogers, Pine Mountain’s summit passes within feet of the
renowned Appalachian Trail.
At an elevation of 5,095 feet Buzzard Rock, located in Smyth County in the Whitetop Mountain area,
is the fourth tallest mountain in the state.
Buzzard Rock provides some of the most spectacular views in Southwest Virginia, looking back into
both Virginia and Tennessee. The rock outcropping is made up of the region’s oldest igneous
Located in Grayson County, Haw Orchard Mountain, with an elevation of 5,007 feet, is the fifth
highest peak in Virginia. One of the lesser peaks of the Grayson Highlands that make up the area
near Mount Rogers, the mountain is south of Pine Mountain and southeast of Mount Rogers.