The Southwest Mountains of Virginia are a range parallel to and geologically associated with the Blue Ridge Mountains, which lie about 30 miles (50 km) to the west. Some of the more prominent peaks include Carters Mountains, Fan Mountain, Brush Mountain, Peters Mountain and Hightop Mountain. With a top elevation of 1,573 feet surrounded by the Virginia Piedmont at 700-800 feet above sea level, the Southwest Mountains are not particularly large. They're the easternmost range in Virginia, the viewshed for the Blue Ridge Mountains through Nelson and Albemarle Counties.
The range bisects Nelson, Albemarle, and Orange counties. A portion of the Southwest Mountains in Albemarle County has been designated a Rural Historic District by the National Park Service. Mineral resources of soapstone and vermiculite continue to be mined here.