Black Mountain, Kentucky

Black Mountain (elevation 4145 ft) is the highest point in Kentucky. The peak sits very close to the state's eastern boundary with Virginia on private land owned by a coal mining company. Access to the peak requires you to fill out and carry a waiver available here.

The summit of Black Mountain, Kentucky

The summit is accessible from a road that starts along state route 160 right on the Virginia/Kentucky border. This road may not be passable or may be gated at certain times of the year, requiring about a mile walk to the summit. However, if the gate is open, the road is usually in good enough condition to drive a car almost to the summit.

Near the summit the road passes a radar station before reaching a split. The main road continues to the right and is usually gated and off limits to the public, but a side road continues up to the summit. This last section of road was in pretty rough condition and may also be gated, so it is usually best to park and walk the last few hundred feet.

The last section of the road to the summit

The summit is not much more than an area of former forest cleared and now occupied by a bunch of communications towers. There is a register, and even in summer, there hadn't been visitors in several days. There are no trails or views from the summit, and exploring is not allowed given it is private property.

However, back on state route 160 there is a view to the southeast into Virginia, with a mountaintop removal mining operation visible.

The start of the road to the summit from state route 160

View into Virginia from state route 160


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