Cullowhee is a census-designated place (CDP) in Jackson County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 6,228 as of the 2010 census. The community is the home of Western Carolina University, part of the UNC System. The Jackson County Airport is located just outside the CDP limits.
The name of the town was long thought to mean “Valley of the Lillies”, but is actually derived from part of the Cherokee phrase joolth-cullah-wee, which translates as “Judacullah’s Place”. Judacullah, a giant warrior and hunter who the Cherokee believe lived in the area, is an important figure in their religion and culture.