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Southeast USA Peaks Top 50 by Prominence

RankPeak Prom-Ft  Elev-Ft StateRange (Level 4)Isol-MiAscent Date
1.Mount Mitchell60896684North CarolinaCentral Blue Ridge Ranges1189.0 
2.Clingmans Dome45036643Tennessee/North CarolinaGreat Smoky Mountains70.7 
3.Roan High Knob34856285North Carolina/TennesseeWestern Blue Ridge Ranges18.8 
4.Huckleberry Knob34005560North CarolinaSouthern Blue Ridge Front29.4 
5.Richland Balsam30106410North CarolinaCentral Blue Ridge Ranges27.1 
6.Apple Orchard Mountain28254225VirginiaNorthern Blue Ridge33.7 
7.Standing Indian28195499North CarolinaSouthern Blue Ridge Front32.4 
8.Spruce Knob27814861West VirginiaAllegheny Mountains175.4 
9.Crabtree Bald26805320North CarolinaCentral Blue Ridge Ranges11.6 
10.Big Bald25565516North Carolina/TennesseeWestern Blue Ridge Ranges15.9 
11.Big Frog Mountain24804200TennesseeSouthern Blue Ridge Front28.6 
12.Mount Rogers24495729VirginiaWestern Blue Ridge Ranges40.5 
13.Grandfather Mountain24265946North CarolinaSouthern Blue Ridge Front14.8 
14.Elliott Knob24234463VirginiaCentral Appalachian Ridges27.1 
15.Cheoah Bald23575062North CarolinaCentral Blue Ridge Ranges8.2 
16.English Mountain22923629TennesseeGreat Smoky Mountains11.7 
17.Rocky Mountain22724072VirginiaNorthern Blue Ridge26.2 
18.Snake Mountain22405560North CarolinaWestern Blue Ridge Ranges16.2 
19.Hawksbill21484050VirginiaNorthern Blue Ridge40.0 
20.Balsam Beartown Mountain21304710VirginiaSouthern Appalachian Ridges28.2 
21.Brasstown Bald21084784GeorgiaSouthern Blue Ridge Front15.9 
22.Cross Mountain20943534TennesseeCumberland Mountains46.4 
23.High Knob20434223VirginiaCumberland Mountains40.3 
24.Bald Knob20414361VirginiaCentral Appalachian Ridges49.6 
25.Reddish Knob19974397Virginia/West VirginiaCentral Appalachian Ridges15.4 
26.Tobacco Row Mountain-High Peak19602932VirginiaNorthern Blue Ridge10.8 
27.Waterrock Knob19476292North CarolinaCentral Blue Ridge Ranges10.7 
28.Big House Mountain19253645VirginiaCentral Appalachian Ridges17.1 
29.Black Mountain18994139KentuckyCumberland Mountains14.7 
30.Lairds Knob18823282VirginiaCentral Appalachian Ridges12.4 
31.No Business Mountain18202760VirginiaNorthern Blue Ridge5.8 
32.Oswald Dome18003000TennesseeSouthern Blue Ridge Front10.3 
33.Hall Top17703610TennesseeCentral Blue Ridge Ranges6.5 
34.Cove Mountain17574077TennesseeGreat Smoky Mountains4.9 
35.Big Bald Mountain17554075GeorgiaSouthern Blue Ridge Front17.3 
36.Sugarloaf Mountain17463626VirginiaCentral Appalachian Ridges13.7 
37.Buzzard Roost17402980North CarolinaPiedmont17.4 
38.Chimneytop-Southwest Peak17383118TennesseeSouthern Appalachian Ridges20.9 
39.Camp Creek Bald17374844North Carolina/TennesseeWestern Blue Ridge Ranges5.6 
40.Little Pisgah Mountain17324412North CarolinaSouthern Blue Ridge Front11.5 
41.Sugarloaf Mountain17253965North CarolinaSouthern Blue Ridge Front6.2 
42.Tusquitee Bald17205240North CarolinaCentral Blue Ridge Ranges8.0 
43.Thorny Flat16884848West VirginiaAllegheny Mountains32.5 
44.Wine Spring Bald16805440North CarolinaCentral Blue Ridge Ranges9.8 
44.Morris Knob16804440VirginiaSouthern Appalachian Ridges10.1 
46.Sugar Run Mountain16774087VirginiaSouthern Appalachian Ridges15.2 
47.Phoenix Mountain16704710North CarolinaWestern Blue Ridge Ranges5.9 
48.Cowee Bald16644944North CarolinaCentral Blue Ridge Ranges9.4 
49.Scott Mountain-Rich Mountain Knob16453765TennesseeGreat Smoky Mountains3.4 
50.Bluff Mountain16205100North CarolinaWestern Blue Ridge Ranges4.1 
 Signal Pole Hill16193459North CarolinaSouthern Blue Ridge Front14.2 
 Pig Pen Bluff16014401North CarolinaCentral Blue Ridge Ranges5.4 
 Holston High Point16004280TennesseeWestern Blue Ridge Ranges10.9 
 Little Black Mountain-Chunklick Benchmark16003420KentuckyCumberland Mountains6.1 
 Mount Guyot15816621North Carolina/TennesseeGreat Smoky Mountains16.7 
 Heard Mountain15802380VirginiaNorthern Blue Ridge8.8 
 Mount Jefferson15604640North CarolinaWestern Blue Ridge Ranges4.2 
 East River Mountain-Chimney Rock West15604360VirginiaSouthern Appalachian Ridges4.5 
 High Peak15604240North CarolinaWestern Blue Ridge Ranges4.5 
 Bald Knob15604240VirginiaCentral Appalachian Ridges23.7 

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List Description

List Info

Even though the Southern Appalachians are higher than the Northern Appalachians, they can only muster 24 peaks with over 2000 feet of prominence, compared to 54 north of the Potomac. Lack of glaciation has left the southern peaks more rounded and gentle, and thus the ruggedness needed for lots of high prominence peaks is lacking. Still, this is a nice list, an excellent alternative to the list of tightly clustered 6000-foot peaks of the South. North Carolina still (entirely or partially) claims 21 of the ranked 50 peaks, but that means that over half are in the other mountainous Southern states of Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, and Kentucky

Due to a lack of accurate survey elevations for many peaks and saddles in the region, the lower reaches of this list are made up of several summits with overlapping prominence ranges. The value listed here is the clean prominence, so the list cuts off at 1620 feet of clean prom, just below Bluff Mountain. But the unranked peaks below could very well be on the "Fifty Finest" list--for example, Bald Knob could have as much as 1640 feet of prominence, more that Bluff's clean value. To claim a list completion, a climber should probably do the unranked peaks to increase the chance that the actual top 50 were climbed.

Finally, this list shows Rocky Mountain, VA with 2272 feet of prominence, but there are several nearby peaks (Pleasant, Maintop, Bald) with 4040-to-4079 foot contours that could perhaps "steal" the prominence from Rocky. So it is probalby wise to visit those contenders, too.

Sources

  • Book County High Points by Andy Martin; list compiled 2000 by Edward Earl, Andy Martin, and Ron Tagliapietra.
  • List generation helped by Edward Earl's WinProm program.
  • Posts made to the Yahoo Prominence Group online forum.
  • Prominence values in this list may not agree 100% with sources, due to different interpretations of key col spot elevations and out-dated peak elevations in the PBC Database.

 


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