Chilhowee Mountain

Chilhowee Mountain is the name of two non-contiguous low ridges in the U.S. state of Tennessee. The northern section is located at the outer edge of the Great Smoky Mountains that stretches between the Little Tennessee River (specifically Chilhowee Dam) to the west and the Little Pigeon River watershed to the east, and the southern section is located within the outer edge of the Unicoi Mountains in Polk County. While not entirely within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the northernmost mountain's crest is traversed by the westernmost section of Foothills Parkway.

Chilhowee Mountain
Foothills Parkway approaching Look Rock, on the crest of Chilhowee Mountain
Highest point
Elevation2,843 ft (867 m)
Coordinates35°43′50″N 83°49′12″W / 35.73047°N 83.81993°W / 35.73047; -83.81993Coordinates: 35°43′50″N 83°49′12″W / 35.73047°N 83.81993°W / 35.73047; -83.81993
LocationBlount County, Tennessee, U.S.
Parent rangeGreat Smoky Mountains
Topo mapUSGS Kinzel Springs (TN)


While the northernmost section is 35 miles (56 km) long, it rarely reaches a width of more than 3 or 4 miles (6.4 km). Little River cuts a large gap in the middle of the mountain (near Walland), dividing it into eastern and western sections. The highest point on the western section is 2,650 ft (808 m) at a knob known as Look Rock. The highest point on the eastern section, known as "The Three Sisters," rises to 2,843 feet (866m), and is a prominent landmark visible from nearby Maryville, Tennessee.

The southernmost section, located in Polk County, is about 15 miles (24 km) long, and is located entirely within the Cherokee National Forest. The Ocoee River passes along its southern base, and to the north the Hiwassee River separates the mountain from Starr Mountain to the north. This highest point on this section is Oswald Dome, at an elevation of 3,022 feet (921 m), and is located on the northern section of this part of Chilhowee.[1]

Chilhowee Mountain derives its name from Chilhowee, a Cherokee village in the 18th century and before that possibly the Creek village called Chalahume by Juan Pardo. In English spelling it has also been written "Chilhoe". The origin of the name is unclear and there are various theories. It is probably derived from Muskogean or Cherokee.[2]

See alsoEdit

Part of the eastern portion of Chilhowee Mountain where the Little River forms a gap separating the mountain into two halves


  • Coggins, Allen (1999) [1999]. Place Names of the Smokies. Great Smoky Mtns Natural History Assn. ISBN 978-0937207239.

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Chilhowee Mountain Observation Site Topo Map in Polk County TN". Locality, LLC. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  2. ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American Placenames of the United States. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-8061-3598-4. Retrieved July 10, 2012.