An Aspen Forest - in North Carolina!

The trail guide mentions that there is an aspen forest below Luther Rock. I'm sure it's mixed with other trees and you can't tell which are which in this photo, with no leaves. However, they're down there - and it's odd for aspens to grow this far south. That is a testament to the cold microclimate on the northwest side of Mt. Jefferson. These are Bigtooth Aspen, a close cousin to the Quaking Aspen so common out west in the Rockies.