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Cowee Mountain Overlook: Sunset Heaven

See for yourself how the Blue Ridge Mountains got their name.

I’ve always loved being in the mountains despite being born and raised on the coast. After graduating from high school in eastern NC, I attended Western Carolina University in a little valley called Cullowhee. Aside from the band and the opportunities that I had at my school, those mountains were a big draw for me. Every time that I was driving to school after a break, I knew I was almost exactly 20 minutes from home when I passed the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway. For me, nothing ever felt like more of an escape from life than a drive up and down that scenic highway. Today, I live less than 10 minutes from one of the entrances in south Asheville. Today I’ll tell you about Cowee Mountain Overlook, one of my favorite spots to park on the southernmost end of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

PC: Kaitlyn Kropelnicki

Cowee Mountain Overlook, located on mile marker 430, is one of the best photography spots in the Western NC parkway. Positioned westward in the bend of the road, Cowee Mountain Overlook presents a panoramic view of what seems like a dozen mountain ranges. It’s not uncommon to be surrounded by photographers during the Summer to catch the stunning sunset at Cowee. 

The Parkway is usually pretty cold this time of the year, especially if you are going to watch the sunset. The weather, as it tends to do, seemed to decide late last week that it was time to get cold for real, so come prepared with jackets and blankets. This is a good spot to sit in the back of your car and revel in the quiet nature of this mountain overlook. I’ve sat here and not dared talk over a whisper until after the sun had mostly set, when it was time to leave. 

PC: Kaitlyn Kropelnicki

Whether you come here for a last minute sunset, an afternoon picnic, or the conclusion of a day hiking the mountains, Cowee Mountain Overlook rarely disappoints. 

2 replies on “Cowee Mountain Overlook: Sunset Heaven”

“This is a good spot to sit in the back of your car and revel in the quiet nature of this mountain overlook. I’ve sat here and not dared talk over a whisper until after the sun had mostly set, when it was time to leave.” That sounds magical.

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