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Oh What a Vast Ocean of Mountain

The view from Mount Jefferson State Natural Area
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Map of North Carolina – Mount Jefferson State Natural Area

Contact the park



Park office

1481 Mount Jefferson State Park Road
West Jefferson, NC 28694

GPS: 36.3936, -81.4680



  • Year-round:
    8:00am to sunset
  • Closed Christmas Day


  • Open Monday to Friday:
    8:00am to 5:00pm
  • Closed state holidays




Oh What a Vast Ocean of Mountain

"Oh what a vast ocean of mountain.” That is what famous North Carolina geologist Elisha Mitchell said in 1928 as he stood on the big rock looking out from Mount Jefferson. Today, on most winter afternoons you can still see a vast ocean of mountains. From the park overlooks the mountains are still much like they were long ago. You can still see Mt. Rogers in Virginia in the distance, and just to the nortwest is Tennessee. On clear winter month, visitors look out to see the dramatic silhouette of the Grandfather in the southwest. On those really on clear afternoons, you might even see the “Pilot.” That’s what Mitchell called Pilot Mountain in his diary in 1828. Today, these two mountains that he wrote about are state parks. From Mt. Jefferson you can see at least six different state parks. The two mile WPA road, built by hand in 1939, is your gateway to an inspiring breathtaking adventure. Stop at the park office and pick up a map, begin your own adventure on the rugged natural trails, then look for the vast ocean of mountains!