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After driving down a gravel road for a while it will turned paved again and follow it until you reach the parking lot. Takes roughly 25 minutes to ascend. Great view

Worth all the trouble to find trail head. Trail nothing particularly of note except steep, rutted, loose rocks, slick roots and thick growth. However, the rocky top makes it well worth the effort with huge 360 views and excellent lunch spot. Tougher going down and recommend a stick for balance.

Awe inspiring...a sleeping beauty!

1 day ago

All the other reviews will tell you about the great views and they are all correct the views are wonderful. Here’s what I think might be helpful, this trail can be hiked by young and old. I saw one lady carrying an infant papoose style and I saw some people so old that I expected to see the Grim Reaper right behind them. You don’t need any special equipment or gear. It’s about 45 minutes to the peak, but it’s a steady uphill climb. taking some water would be smart but I saw lots of people without anything at all. It’s a heavily hiked trail and you'll pass people every few minutes. it’s listed on AllTrails as moderate but that is primarily because of the steady incline and the rough terrain, there are some real ankle twisters if you don’t watch where you step.

Such amazing views from this hike!!! It took us about an hour round trip not including time spent at the summit. It’s definitely challenging the second half of the way up but so worth it. The views are incredible! The only downfall is the lack of trail markers and signs to get to the trail head.

Gorgeous falls. We've hiked all over the mountain states and this beats all those falls. A Virginia treasure.
be prepared for lots of stairs. We were hiking with our dog. He's fast, big and experienced but the steep wood steps were covered with wet leaves and slippery. we worried he might slip. We didn't get very far.
great park and great hike

Great hike but you won't be able to find much isolation during weekend days. Very popular and accessible so you will have a lot of company. Probably one of the most scenic trails on the East Coast. Overnight camping should be included in your plans. Sunset and sunrise experiences are a must. Be prepared for damp weather, frequently encountered.

Perfect for a quick yet not easy hike with awesome views!!

Went there yesterday. Took us about 35 mins to the top. It was our very first hike so I wouldn't say it was easy, especially the part from the middle to the top, but not bad and totally doable for the first-timers. The trail was muddy and slippery so bring some good boots. Visibility wasn't perfect, but still the views were amazing!! Many tiny paths on the top so you can find a multiple cool spots either you go right or left. Our Cane Corso girl really liked it too!

Big bang for the buck. Not too long, and awesome views!

trail running
8 days ago

One of my favorite trails by far. Orange blazed. High Peaks maintains it very well— good signs and trail isn’t overgrown. There are cables and ropes on some of the more slippery rocky sections— helpful when it snows.

There are a few ways to get to the trail— from the far end of the trail at the Bowlen’s Creek parking area (you have to Ford the little creek, the bridge is sketchy). Here you will go up an old fire road for about 4 miles until you reach the ridge line. You can also park at the other end in Mount Mitchell State Park. There are also ways of accessing from side trails— if you don’t want to do the whole thing— for example, use the Woody Ridge Trail (park on White Oak) or Colbert Ridge Trail (park on Colbert Creek Road).

The trail has a lot of rocks and summits many 6000’ peaks— Mt Craig, Tom, Balsam Cone, Potato Hill, Winter Star, Mount Gibbs, Horse Rock, and Celo Knob (via a .20 mile overgrown spur trail.) the crest has amazing 360 views for a lot of it, also spruce- fir forests and stone staircases.

There is very little water on the trail, so bring some with. There is a spring on the Colbert Ridge side trail and a creek toward the Bowlen’s Creek end.

I definitely think it is longer than marked, although it is not as difficult as some hikes I’ve done. All in all a magnificent quest, ending with a very cold summit which adds to the wonder. My heeler, 12 year old, 8 year old, and two year old in my pack did it with only minor difficulty on Monday. My only complaint is that we didn’t get the views once at the top due to the weather, but can’t control that. It was more like 7 Miles according to my Garmin.

Because this hike is very popular, suggesting to hike weekdays. The views are super amazing on a clear day, but so if not clear. It is upward so just go slow and stop often if you need to. There are wooden steps and rails in some places, others are rock steps. Go completely to the top to get the best from this hike because about 3 locations you think you are to the top but you are not. My #1 favorite BRP hike.

Because this hike is very popular and parking is limited, suggested to hike week days.

This is my favorite short hike on BRP. the views are amazing. It has steps and rails in different places. a few spots with rock steps. Upward all the way, just take your time and go completely to the top because about 3 times you think it is top but it is not. A clear day is best for the most fabulous view.

We hiked to the top of this trail and the view was breathtaking. It is quite hard to get up for beginners/ people who do not hike uphill often but the payoff was 100% worth it.

on Crabtree Falls Trail

13 days ago

Loved it. My GSD also enjoyed. Did this trail in October when the weather was cool. Falls were refreshing. Bring snacks.

We went on a Saturday in early Oct. and got to the park right as it opened at 8am. Parked in the lot just below the very top lot and hiked the short hike up to the swinging bridge. Then walked across the top lot to the start of the grandfather mt trail. We started the hike at 9am, made it to Calloway peak by 11:30, spent 20min at the top for lunch and then got back to our parking lot via black rock trail by 1:45pm. Round trip was about 5hrs and that is with us stopping for views and really taking our sweet time. We hiked about 5.5miles. My advice. Keep right on the underwood trail? On the way up to do the cables and ladders (which weren’t as scary as I was expecting) and then keep right at the same split on the way back for the easier descent. Calloway peak actually wasn’t as impressive as macrae peak was, so if you wanted a shorter trip just go to macrae. But all in all the $20 was worth it and this is one of the best and most fun hikes I have done. 5stars! If I can do it anyone can, just take your time on ascents and descents, but honestly they weren’t too bad. Oh, and start early!

14 days ago

Great views on a moderately difficult hike. Kids and dog enjoyed it. Certain portions were extremely muddy and had quite a foul odor but those portions were few and far between. Very crowded.

Truly the best trail I’ve hiked in the entire Blue Ridge area. The hike did take a lot longer, because of all the heavy traffic, but it thinned out the higher we hiked. The trails had more views than I would have thought possible(due to all of the edges of the cliffs that the path etched through).

15 days ago

The highest peak in the East has been on my list all year. I'm 58 and started hiking alone from the Black Mountain Campground and caught up with two under 30 hikers who I hiked with for the rest of the day. We all enjoyed the hike with stimulating conversation and clear blue skies. Arrived at the summit in 3 hours 25 minutes. Hung out at the top for an hour with some bikers as we ate our lunch. The view on the observation deck was spectacular. Descended the mountain in 3 hours 15 minutes. Switchbacks made the hiking relatively easy. A local warned me the day before to watch out for bears and rattle snakes. Didn't encounter either. Not as difficult as Marcy or Whiteface. Although there are lots of roots, there's no large boulders to climb over, no rock hopping, rock climbing or scrambling. Thoroughly enjoyed the hike. Would do it again next time I'm in the area.

16 days ago

We enjoyed our hike today but unfortunately Raven Rock Trail was close but we at least reach to the overlook and it’s a pretty cool view over the Cape Fear River. This State Park is well maintain with helpful & friend staff who make sure we are on the right trail.

17 days ago

Beautiful views, and a fairly easy hike. Great f you only have a little bit of time to spend or want to take a quick break from driving in the car. Some of the best views around, though it can get pretty busy.

Best hike east of the Mississippi so far!

I’m afraid I’ve ruined all other North Carolina hikes! This was my first overnight backpacking hike and a perfect trip! The sunset views were incredible. It rained on us overnight and we woke up in a cloud so we missed sunrise and will have to go back. By far the most beautiful place I have been on the East Coast!

Hiked with three young children from Mt Mitchell to Mt Craig and back. There are challenging parts, but our clan took it in stride. Beautiful walk and outstanding views.

Drove up at 7:00AM to see the summit without all the peoples and so glad we did. Gorgeous views at sunrise. We drove back down to the campground and began our march to the summit. The trail was fairly busy for a Saturday but not too crowded. It was a long, steep walk up the mountain with several flat areas to catch your breath that drops off into a busy parking lot for the viewing tower. I was not able to make the descent as we ran out of time with an inexperienced hiker taking much longer to get up the hill. So this trail is definitely not for the out of shape or casual hiker.

Absolutely worth the hike. Pretty easy trail overall.

Incredible day today on this trail! A little crowded at first, but just like everyone said, the further you go, the more the crowd thins out. Rewarding views with each step!

Going Nowherefast's review is pretty spot on! As of 9/29/18, the trees have been cleared and you can drive all the way to trail head. Don't be fooled, this is a tough hike, it's relentless all the way to the top. But well worth it! Wear good boots.

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