A prominent landmark of legend on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Devil’s Courthouse presides over some of the most spectacular views in the Blue Ridge Mountains. From the top of Devil’s Courthouse at 5,720 feet, visitors can see into South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee in a 360-degree panorama.
Devil’s Courthouse may have received its name because of the sinister aspect of the rock formation, or because, as legend holds, the devil held court in the cave that lies beneath the rock. In Cherokee lore, this cave is the private dancing chamber and dwelling place of the slant-eyed giant, Judaculla.
Habitat for Rare Species
Devil’s Courthouse provides habitat for a variety of rare, high-altitude plants. Some of these alpine species may be remnants from the last glacial period. Hawks, ravens, vultures, eagles, and peregrine falcons ride the hot air currents that rise from the valley.
The summit can be viewed from a parking overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway and can be reached by a strenuous half-mile trail. Rock climbing is also popular on Devil’s Courthouse.
The rock formation itself lies within the Nantahala National Forest.
While Devil’s Courthouse is open year-round, that section of the Blue Ridge Parkway may be closed at times during the winter months.
From exit 85 off US 23/74 in Sylva, drive east on US 23/74 for 8.9 miles then turn left, entering the Blue Ridge Parkway. Proceed in the direction of Asheville, go 0.4 miles past milepost 422, then turn right into Devil’s Courthouse parking overlook.
From Asheville, drive 40 miles south on the Blue Ridge Parkway to milepost 422.2.
For more information, contact:
U.S. Forest Service Regional Office