5A - Lookout Mountain

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infrared closeup of lookout mountain
lookout mountain digital coutour
Lookout Mountain NHAP (Infrared Aerial Photo)
Lookout Mountain DEM (Digital Elevation Model)

Little River Canyon (NHAP)
Lookout Mountain (DEM - Map View)
Lookout Mountain (DEM - Oblique View)
little river canyon photo thumb
lookout mountain dem-map thumb
lookout mountain oblique view thumb
Lookout Mountain (TM)
Little River Canyon (Topo Map)
Lookout Mountain (Topo Map)
lookout mountain tm thumb
little river canyon topo thumb
lookout mountain topo thumb


The Lookout Mountain area displays both typical Valley and Ridge topography and also some rather unique landscapes that are not typically associated with that region. The Little River has cut its way down through the middle of Lookout Mountain to form a canyon that is considered the deepest gorge east of the Mississippi River. There was much heated debate in the local community over land use and public access when this area received protected status as a National Preserve in 1992. The long linear valleys of this region provided ideal north-south transportation routes, but convenient east-west travel depended on finding the infrequent gaps in the long mountain ridges where a few rivers had been powerful enough to erode through the slowly rising landscape over long periods of time. The route through Chattanooga has provided the major transportation link between Alabama and Virginia from the times of the early Spanish explorer, Hernando De Soto to modern times. Two major Civil War battles, the Battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga, were fought over control of this crucial corridor.


  • Valley and Ridge Topography
  • Incised Canyon and land-use planning
  • Historical Events and Cultural Landmarks

Content Outline

  • Rationale
  • Performance Objectives
  • Assessment Rubrics
  • Newspaper Article
  • Study Area Description

Activity Titles

All activities include

  • Power Thinking Exercise
  • Materials
  • Performance Tasks
  • Enrichment
  1. Topographic Patterns
  2. Little River Canyon
  3. Historical Connections with Topography

5A Photo