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hiking
10 hours ago

Nice trail to the top also can go to the left of the parking lot to take the trail towards Shortoff mtn. Go as far as you want and turn around

I've hiked this trail twice now and it's probably my favorite on the east coast. It's definitely not for the inexperienced or out of shape, but the grueling path is more than worth it. The MacRae Peak path features stunning view after stunning view. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to take them all in and enjoy the fantastic vistas in all directions. The ladder climbs and rock scrambles can be nerve-racking but are a lot of fun at the same time. I took the Underwood Trail on the way back down which is a bit less strenuous and having gravity on your side makes the going a bit easier. It's easy to see pictures and hear from others about the sights along the way, but one thing you have to experience firsthand is the smells on the trail. You're hiking in a mostly alpine environment and the conifers give a refreshing piney scent for almost the whole way; it's like walking through a christmas tree farm.

Summited 2009-08-01, with my lovely wife. We camped at half moon and then left right at dawn. It snowed the night before on the upper reaches. This is an easy Class I hike but still can be an ass-kicker. Poles are helpful. Exposure above tree line at 11k means you gotta be aware of the incoming afternoon storms in the spring and summer - you still have 3k vertical to go when you leave the forest. This hike will also throw you a few false summits, hahaha. Keep on trucking because the views up top are amazingly worth it.

Summited 2009-08-01, with my lovely wife. We camped at half moon and then left right at dawn. It snowed the night before on the upper reaches. This is an easy Class I hike but still can be an ass-kicker. Poles are helpful. Exposure above tree line at 11k means you gotta be aware of the incoming afternoon storms in the spring and summer - you still have 3k very to go when you leave the forest. This hike will also throw you a few false summits, hahaha. Keep on trucking because the views up top are amazingly worth it.

An exciting hike! We went in November and the path was so icy we almost turned around a few times. The views were worth it! We took grandfather trail up and Underwood back down, made for a great loop!

Did this in early November and the contrast between the autumn colors at the bottom and icy trees at the top was so cool. Slow burn on the way up, but not too bad. Make sure to stop at the lodge and warm up by the fire!

Not much solitude, but good for a workout and a good scenic view at the end.

Hiked 10/18 Gorgeous hike and the views are incredible! More difficult than we anticipated. Mileage is off, guessing closer to 12 miles. Sign for Black Cloud is tiny and faces the road, look right about 3/4 mile past Twin Peaks campground for a dirt road. Took us just over 5 1/2 hours to summit and coming down wasn’t quick as it’s really steep. Total RT was 9 hrs. Experienced cold, snow and high winds near summit - prepare for anything. Poles are helpful, spikes not needed. Lost the trail a few times but was easy to find again. Highly recommend if you take your time and start early.

Well worth the drive. But the gravel road is very bumpy and barely wide enough for two cars. Without an SUV, that road takes a lot longer to drive. It took us an hour to drive it. But it was a beautiful hike with great views.

This hike is much longer than stated. we clocked almost 14 miles. This is difficult and very strenuous! The view is worth it, but make sure you begin early enough and bring snacks!

If you don’t want to spend all day hiking this trail...you can drive to the summit and enjoy the same views. The hike wasn’t worth it after finding this little tid bit out. Also...almost got mauled by a bear.

absolutely beautiful trail. overnight tent camping at the top. make sure you wear good hiking shoes or boots the trail can get slippery. HIKE THIS TRAIL you won't regret it.

Yes, better views than Clingman's Dome!

hiking
14 days ago

Short hike with great views.

Hands down the most fun trail I have ever hiked! Extremely strenuous, so be careful. My only problem is I hate that you have to pay so much to get to the main trailhead. You can access it from the parkway, but it becomes a pretty long day hike.

hiking
15 days ago

Hiked this trail November 1st just before cold front came through. 3 things about this trail-rocky , rooty and windy, well marked and maintained.. Need good hiking shoes at a minimum, poles optional, and bring layered clothing with wind breaker , gloves and hat a must as it gets nippy at top . Can be a challenge if not in at least average shape. Plan on 5-8 hours round trip. Well worth doing and you get the pleasure of knocking off the highest peak east of the mighty Mississippi.

hiking
15 days ago

Question: the 10 miles it says it is, is this total? or each way?

Lots of fun. Very well marked and the ladders are a blast. The view from the top of McRae is fabulous. We went up the Grandfather trail and back down Underwood. Underwood is much more in the woods and bit more rocky/rooty. You get much better vistas from Grandfather trail, though it was fun doing both of them. The trail past McRae peak is a less travelled, as many seem to turn around at McCrae.

Beautiful. Moderate walk with superb views, especially at the top. Bring a lunch and a camera.

This is my favorite trail. It is a bit treacherous, especially for an old guy like me. I don’t go on it after heavy rain as it is slippery and mistakes could be costly. But it is beautiful and dramatic and fun.

hiking
22 days ago

The hike itself is beautiful. Steep and definitely kinda difficult, but short enough that it's not a problem. HOWEVER, only go if you have a car that can handle a bumpy gravel road! You'll be on a dirt road for about 15-20 minutes before you hit paved road near the very top, and the dirt road was difficult to navigate for our VW Beetle. If we had a sturdier car it would've been totally fine, but instead it was quite nerve-racking!

Amazing hike! Best yet in north Carolina. Lots of ladders and hard uphills. I’m not sure going all the way to callaway peak was worth it if your in it for the views, the first peak was beautiful and stayed beautiful to the callaway peak but didn’t change. About 4-4.5 hours out and back. 40$ to get into the park for 2 people.

Really great hike. Started at 5:00 AM and parking lots was getting full. I definitely felt the elevation. I recommend a few days to acclimate before attempting the hike.

For our 7th Anniversary we stayed at the Mount Pisgah Campground and hiked the Pisgah trail with our dogs. The dogs did great and it wasn’t too bad on them although they were exhausted afterwards. I’m not an avid hiker and I will tell you I felt very tired after the hike but it was totally worth it. I wouldn’t recommend this trail if you are starting out especially with those that have chronic back problems or knee/ankle injuries due to the steep inclines going up and declines going down. I have had two ACL reconstructions and they are about 8 years old, needless to say arthritis kicked in good afterwards lol. Altogether it was a beautiful hike and very fulfilling to reach the top. There are (2) creeks, birds, multiple types of trees and shrubs, and wonderful rock formations along the trail. I think you will truly enjoy this trail should you decide to hike it.

Great hike. Relentless climbing over roots and rocks. The summit is freezing cold with winds, fog, drizzle. Reminded me of Clingmans Dome Make sure you bring a jacket to enjoy the summit without freezing to death. The most incredible thing: The hot apple cider available for purchase next to the gift shop, it was like a cup of unicorn tears mixed with liquid gold.

Amazing but add about 2 hours more to your time due to snow. Definitely need crampons and poles. Snow is knee and higher at some points and very slippery. Took us about 7 hours return with crampons.

Excellent trail. Took 3 hours and 10 minutes to summit. About 3 even coming down. Some things you should know: there’s no internet access from about 30 min before getting to Black Mountain Campground and no signal. No signal all the way up the mountain. I did find very weak and spotty signal in the museum at the summit. Good enough for a few text messages.
The trail is very, very well marked. Or at least the blue diamond trail is.
Climbed on 10/21. It was at most 50 degrees at the base. Had to be below freezing at the summit. Much colder than expected so be prepared. There was crazy wind at all exposed points so bring a wind proof jacket.
All else: great hike. About as nice as a 7 hour hike could go. (Spent some time warming up at the top). Highly recommend this trail.

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

Truly amazing hike with breathtaking views from the summit. Trail had dusting of snow up to treeline. This lower section was icy on descent...YakTrax were helpful. Above treeline snow was a bit deeper, but trail is clear and doable with boots... snowshoes won't be really necessary until another snow or two. Wife and I summited with boots and YakTrax...poles are a must as traction can be difficult on the steeper sections.

Took the longer trail that connects with Mountain to see trail. It is an awesome hike.

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