Mount Mitchell Trail is a 10.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Burnsville, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Mount Mitchell Trail is a 11.4 mile out and back trail located near Burnsville, North Carolina that features a great forest setting and is only recommended for very experienced outdoorsmen. The trail is primarily used for birding, hiking & walking and is accessible year-round.
This was a wonderful hike geared towards summiting the eastern US's highest peak the hard way instead of driving up. We completed it with two 13 year old girls. One of whom had never hiked before. The total up and down is 4200 ft with a net elevation gain of 3700 ft from the black mountain campground parking area. The total length is 12 miles from the parking lot to the summit and back. As others have said, it is a tough hike because of the rocks and roots. For this time of year, it is often wet and covered with leaves which can make it slow on the way down. It took us eleven hours round trip including time at the top. There was no ice but a very wet a muddy trail.
Great hike. Unfortunate heavy fog when I hiked yesterday 1/14. It's a challenge and about the most I like to do in a day. Bring plenty of food and water. Made it up in 4 hours and back down in 3.5. Waterproof boots a good idea. Trekking poles optional.
Very nice trail, definitely not for older people, as there are quite high rocks to step over. it's a bit boring down, but absolutely amazing towards the top. took us 4 hours up and 3.5 hours down after sunset.
Great hike. Nice open trail. Lots of rocks and roots. Still kept good pace. Busy at summit with tourists
Beautiful trail. Unless you have ice spikes for your shoes around this time of year, I would recommend waiting for a warmer time. Slept in my car with my dog and it got down to 14 degrees at night. Started our hike in the morning and it was about 18 degrees. The highest temperature on the trail was 25 degrees. Lots of ice covering the trail so be very careful. Took us about 7 hours round trip, 4 up and 3 down. The pup loved it, it was her first major hike. She's well behaved so I had her off leash the entire time until we got a few hundred feet from the top and I threw her leash on since we were officially inside the park. Cold but worth it. Beautiful views. The trail splits at one point, we went on the Higgins Bald trail, where there's some amazing campsites. Eventually it met the old mt Mitchell trail which we took in the way down to switch it up. There were tons of leaves covering that part of the trail as opposed to Higgins Bald. I'm surprised I didn't twist an ankle heading down. Mostly rocks and roots the entire trail with a few streams and some flat areas for camping. Great hike, not for beginners or those who are known to turn back easily.
Definitely will test your strength so wouldn't suggest this as your first hiking experience but the whole hike is filled with great views. Coming down you have to be careful with all the roots and rock it can be very easy to injure a foot or leg and to trip and fall
Nice workout but the trail is predominately roots and rocks. That wouldn't be too bad but, in October, leaves are covering the trail so it's tough to tell what you're stepping on in many areas. Going up is not bad because a lot of your weight is still on the downhill foot but coming down is tricky as your weight is on the landing foot which tried to roll numerous times. 2 hr 50 min to go up and 2:20 coming down. Snow flurries at the top were cool. Would like to try it at a different time of year.
Awesome hike! Will definitely go again as soon as we get a chance. Good hiking boots/shoes and at least 2 liters of water are highly recommended. It took my 13 yr old son and myself (33) a little over 4 hours to reach the top. We didn't hike down because met my wife and 2 younger kids at the top. We are all fairly avid hikers going at least twice a month normally 6+ miles each hike. This was definitely the most strenuous hike we have done yet, and we can't wait to do it again.
I really enjoyed this hike, but it does not give too many views till the very top. The overlooks you get are diluted with electrical wires. In the woods is beautiful, it made me feel like I was in the jungle a couple times. Took my group about 3.5 hours to get to the top. We only hiked up.
The incline was steady and almost continuous, but never overwhelming.
Woo! What a hike Mt. Mitchell is. Quite strenuous. Took 4 hours to get to the summit, 3 hours to get down. Went early September, ~65-70 degrees, partly cloudy. Went with my boyfriend, we are both 26 and in decent shape (4-5 mile runs a couple times a week) What to expect: the hike up is almost entirely incline (moderate/hard) small-medium rocks, roots, not much of a view going up. Definitely wear good hiking boots (to say my feet were killing me at the end is fairly large understatement) and a hydropack (2+ L). There is a snack/bev stand at the top, open on Sundays. The views at the top were incredible! Had a great time. Well worth it, but not too sure if I will do it again anytime soon.f
Great trail - hiked on Sept. 3 in beautiful weather. Was quite strenuous, took 5 hours up and 4 hours down.
Beautiful trail, camped out at Comissary Ridge with a couple of friends and hiked to the summit. Had an awesome time!
Proud to say my wife, my 10 year old son and I completed the up and back in about 8 hours which included about an hour at the summit. One of my toughest likes ever. The length and steepness combined with tough footing made for kind of a miserable day. The constant rocks and tree roots showed me an uncomfortable hike. I have $300 Salewa hiking boots and both my feet were bruises on the bottom.
The peak provided beautiful views but that's really the only place that did. If you want to accomplish the highest peak in the east, then by all means do this hike. If you are looking for rewarding views, then drive to he summit and choose another hike. Glad I did it, but probably won't do it again.
The views are awesome. I'll start with that. The hike itself isn't the most scenic. There are few outcroppings that you'll get a chance to sneak a picture in here or there. You'll traverse through a few different conditions/terrain. I went at 8am from the bottom (campground) to the summit via Old mitchell trail. It took 3 hours and 42 minutes to climb up and about 3 hours to get down. I tweaked my ankle coming down which slowed me slightly. This hike is strenuous. Some hikes are labeled strenuous or difficult but aren't too bad- this is not the case. I had gone after a rain storm the night before so it was slick and muddy. The footing is tricky regardless of the weather. You will be hiking over roots and rocks 75% of the time. You'll catch a break for a couple half miles at a time but expect uneven and rugged terrain mostly. For this reason I recommend hiking boots for sure. On other hikes I wear tennis shoes often- I'm glad I didn't attempt this one. I didn't use walking poles but again, If you have them I would recommend using them. It is steep and you'll be going up at a decent clip. I'm in decent shape. I hike weekly and do cardio almost daily. So I'm fairly active . I'd suggest you be in ok shape to attempt this. The elevation, rough terrain and altitude will affect anyone and if you're not used to a decent amount of activity this might be tough. The weather is cooler up there. I took a jacket but within 1 mile took it off because the exertion was enough to keep me warm. Once at the top you'll be rewarded with a beautiful view of the surrounding areas. Rest up because now comes the descent. It's downhill and easier in that sense but again the footing is tedious and you'll have to slow your pace to ensure you don't get tripped up. There are those few straight away areas where you can really move though. It's closer to a 12 mile hike than 10.9 as is stated here. By the end you'll be happy to see the camp. It's a wonderful hike and one that will make you feel proud so Go do it!
Overall a pretty good trail. Very few views until you reach the summit, and even then you're not guaranteed a clear day. I was in the clouds and saw nothing at the summit on 7.18.2016.
Took my dog and I 4 hours from Black Mountain to the summit and 3 back down.
**Anyone with knee problems, Beware of the descent!!! It is killer on the knees
Fun hike - took us 2.5 hours up, and just about 2 hours down. Hung out at the summit and ate lunch next to all the folks who drove up. Gave us a sense of accomplishment. It's never super steep, and looks like there's some killer campsites along the way. Take Higgins bald at least one way to change it up.
Tough climb up. About 3 1/2 hrs up. Pretty easy down; about 2 1/2 hrs.
It was challenging, but the scenery isn't very good until you summit.
It was good. Not Colorado