Mountain City Live Cam

A town in and the county seat of Johnson County

Hosted by:
  • Redden Realty
  • 1007 S. Shady Street - Mountain City
  • Tennessee 37683 - United States
  • (423) 727-3021


Early History: Mountain City was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, long before European settlers arrived in the region. The area's mountainous terrain made it a challenging but resource-rich location for these indigenous communities.

Settlement and Development: European settlers began arriving in the area in the late 18th century, drawn by the fertile land and natural resources. The town's growth was further spurred by the construction of railroads in the late 19th century, which facilitated transportation and economic development. Timber, agriculture, and mining became important industries for the town's economy.

Name Origin: The name "Mountain City" aptly describes the town's geographical setting within the Appalachian Mountains. The region's rugged landscape and picturesque surroundings have contributed to its identity and appeal.

Incorporation and Growth: Mountain City was officially incorporated in 1901. Over the years, the town's population grew as people were drawn to the area's natural beauty and resources. Like many Appalachian communities, the town faced challenges related to isolation, limited infrastructure, and economic fluctuations. However, its residents worked together to build a strong sense of community and resilience.

Cultural and Historical Significance: Mountain City and the surrounding Johnson County are steeped in Appalachian heritage. The town's history reflects the struggles and triumphs of the people who settled in the region. Traditions, folkways, and a deep connection to the land have been passed down through generations.

Modern Day: In recent decades, Mountain City has become a destination for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and tourists seeking to explore the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. The town retains a quaint and charming atmosphere, and efforts have been made to preserve its historical architecture and cultural heritage.

Economic Activities: While the town's economy historically relied on industries like logging and mining, today, it encompasses a variety of sectors, including tourism, small-scale agriculture, and services.

Community and Heritage: Mountain City's residents take pride in their heritage and work to preserve local traditions, hosting events, festivals, and activities that showcase the area's culture and history.

In Summary: Mountain City is a town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains with a history rooted in the challenges and achievements of its residents. From its early days as a settlement to its present status as a haven for those seeking natural beauty and cultural richness, Mountain City reflects the spirit of the Appalachian region and its people.

Top Tourist Attractions

While The City is a smaller town, it offers a variety of attractions that highlight its natural beauty, outdoor activities, and local culture. Here are some of the top tourist attractions in and around Mountain City:

  • Doe Mountain Recreation Area: Doe Mountain offers a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and off-road vehicle trails. The expansive recreational area provides breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
  • Backbone Rock Recreation Area: Known as the "Shortest Tunnel in the World," Backbone Rock features a tunnel carved through solid rock. It's a popular spot for picnicking, hiking, and exploring the unique geological formations.
  • Watauga Lake: Watauga Lake is a scenic reservoir offering opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming, and camping. The lake is surrounded by lush forests and offers a tranquil escape for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • RedTail Mountain Golf Club: Golfers can enjoy the picturesque RedTail Mountain Golf Club, an 18-hole championship course with stunning views of the Appalachian Mountains.
  • Heritage Hall Theatre: This community theater hosts a variety of performances, including live music, plays, and cultural events. It's a great place to experience local arts and entertainment.
  • Doe Mountain Fire Tower: Hiking to the Doe Mountain Fire Tower rewards visitors with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. It's an excellent spot for taking photographs and enjoying the natural scenery.
  • Butler Museum: While not located directly in Mountain City, the nearby Butler Museum in the town of Butler showcases local history, including the area's past as a mining and logging hub.
  • Roan Mountain State Park: Although a short drive from Mountain City, Roan Mountain State Park is worth a visit. It's known for its rhododendron gardens, hiking trails, and scenic beauty.
  • Arts and Crafts: Mountain City is home to various artisans and craft shops where you can find unique handmade goods that reflect the local culture and traditions.
  • Local Festivals and Events: Throughout the year, Mountain City hosts a range of festivals and events that celebrate its heritage, including cultural festivals, craft fairs, and music events.

Keep in mind that the attractions mentioned above provide a mix of outdoor activities, cultural experiences, and opportunities to appreciate the natural beauty of the region. While Mountain City might not be a bustling urban center, its charm lies in its connection to nature and its welcoming community.


The City has a climate that is classified as humid subtropical, but due to its elevation in the Appalachian Mountains, it experiences cooler temperatures and more distinct seasons compared to lower elevations in the region. Here's an overview of the climate you can expect in Mountain City:

  • Winter (December - February): Winters in Mountain City are cold, with average high temperatures ranging from the mid-30s to mid-40s °F (1-7°C). Snowfall is common, and the town can experience significant snow accumulation due to its higher elevation. Average lows can drop into the teens or even single digits °F (-8 to -15°C) at times.
  • Spring (March - May): Spring brings milder temperatures and the gradual warming of the environment. High temperatures range from the upper 40s to mid-60s °F (9-18°C) in March and reach the upper 60s to low 70s °F (20-24°C) by May. Spring is also a rainy season, with moderate precipitation.
  • Summer (June - August): Summers in Mountain City are pleasantly warm with average highs ranging from the mid-70s to low 80s °F (24-29°C). Evenings tend to be cooler due to the elevation, with lows in the upper 50s to mid-60s °F (15-19°C). While humidity levels are moderate, it's still much more comfortable compared to the hot and humid conditions experienced in lower elevations in the region.
  • Fall (September - November): Fall is a popular time to visit Mountain City due to the beautiful foliage as the leaves change colors. High temperatures gradually decrease from the mid-70s °F (24°C) in September to the mid-50s to low 60s °F (13-17°C) in November. Nights become cooler, and by November, lows can dip into the mid-30s to low 40s °F (1-7°C).

The town's elevation of over 2,400 feet (730 meters) above sea level contributes to its cooler temperatures and distinct seasons. It's important to be prepared for the temperature fluctuations that come with the changing elevation. If you're visiting Mountain City, it's a good idea to bring layered clothing, especially during the cooler months, and to check the local weather forecast before you go.


It is situated in the northeastern part of the state, close to the border with North Carolina. The town is nestled within the Appalachian Mountains, and its geography is characterized by the rugged terrain and natural beauty of the region. Here are some key geographical features of Mountain City:

  • Appalachian Mountains: Mountain City is situated within the Appalachian Mountains, which run along the eastern part of North America. The town's elevation varies, with the surrounding mountains rising to significant heights. The presence of these mountains contributes to the town's cooler temperatures and distinct seasons.
  • Watauga River: The Watauga River flows near Mountain City and plays a role in the region's geography. The river and its tributaries not only contribute to the natural beauty of the area but also provide recreational opportunities such as fishing and boating.
  • Forested Landscape: The area around Mountain City is characterized by lush forests, including a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees. This contributes to the region's stunning fall foliage and provides habitats for various wildlife species.
  • Natural Beauty: The town's geography is known for its scenic beauty, with picturesque views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and forests. This natural beauty makes Mountain City a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
  • Doe Mountain: Doe Mountain is a prominent geographical feature near Mountain City. It offers recreational opportunities such as hiking, biking, and off-road vehicle trails, as well as panoramic views from its summit.
  • Roan Mountain State Park: While not located within Mountain City itself, Roan Mountain State Park is nearby and features the iconic Roan Mountain, known for its vast rhododendron gardens and hiking trails.
  • Cooler Climate: Due to its higher elevation in the Appalachian Mountains, Mountain City experiences cooler temperatures compared to lower elevations in the region. This cooler climate is a distinguishing geographical characteristic of the town.

Overall, Mountain City's geography is defined by its mountainous landscape, natural beauty, and cooler climate. The town's location within the Appalachian Mountains provides a unique setting for outdoor activities, sightseeing, and appreciating the beauty of the natural world.