The Mount Jefferson Challenge

Posted on Jun 8, 2015 | 0 comments

What’s new for this year’s Mount Jefferson Challenge?

The date and time.

Rather than the traditional October race date, which conflicts with another High Country race, the Mount Jefferson Challenge, aka MOJE, has been reset to Friday evening, June 12, 6:30 p.m.

What’s not new?

The same challenging running race — a 3.3-mile ascent and 3.3-mile descent on Mount Jefferson, mostly within the Mount Jefferson State Natural Area.

The MOJE is a unique hill-climb event, because the race involves not only the ascent but also the descent. The MOJE starts and finishes at the Ashe County Civic Center in West Jefferson, which sits at the base of Mount Jefferson.

After the flat 1/10 mile start, the course makes one turn onto Mount Jefferson State Park Road, and the race is on to the summit — and back — with grades ranging from 5 to 16 percent on the natural area’s paved roads. The elevation increases 1,342 feet to the turn-around at almost 4,500 feet, which is an elevation change of 407 feet per mile.

According to race organizers, “The MOJE showcases a jewel of the North Carolina mountains. The paved road to the near summit, two paved parking overlooks and summit hiking trails, all of which are accompanied by no park entrance fee, makes Mount Jefferson State Natural Area a must-see destination. Your drive/hike on Mount Jefferson, when combined with a visit to the revitalized, thriving and pedestrian-friendly West Jefferson, which hosts numerous eateries and shops, makes for a great evening, day or weekend trip.”

For more information and to register for the race, visit, or call (336) 877-8888.

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