Backus Mountain, in southeastern Fayette County, forms part of the northern wall of the New River valley. Its flanks rise steeply more than 1,500 feet from the banks of the New River and Laurel Creek to a summit at 2,825 feet above sea level near the community of Backus.
The mountain is levelly topped in many places and has been improved as pasture. Much of the mountain remains wooded and is a popular destination for hunters. It may be most-popularly known as the dominant feature in the scenic panorama afforded from the Main Overlook at Grandview. At Grandview, the western end of the mountain forms a great bend in the New River known as “Horseshoe Bend.”
Backus Mountain takes its name for the Backus family, who settled and farmed its highland in the late 1800s. It was once also known as War Ridge. According to local legend, it was-named so because many arrowheads had been found there, leading settlers to believe a prehistoric battle had been engaged on the mountain. The reason for the increased number of arrowheads, however, was the result of its situation along a Native American Trail.