Explore the most popular trail running trails in Mount Mitchell State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
22 hours ago

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.

Beautiful trail! Well blazed and a great hike!

on Mount Mitchell Trail

1 day ago

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.

hiking
4 days ago

I began this trail as a loop hike. I parked first at the Park Office and was about to start on to Old Mitchell trail when I read a sign that instructed hikers of this trail to continue up the road and park at the restaurant . After relocating my car I started out on Old Mitchell. I continued to Camp Alice (Mountain to Sea?) to Commissary and from Commissary around to pick up Old Mitchell again near the Park Office to take me back to the restaurant. It made for a really great loop. Commissary was a nice rest for my legs before giving the final push back up to my car.

I really enjoyed this trail. I found it so be pretty challenging for me...but very do-able. I will say that I am a 55 year old woman in decent shape (I don't do much cardio these days, but I teach Yoga 5 days a week. I have hip issues and sometimes my knee acts up.)

The most challenging part of this trail was finding the proper the right foot placement with each step. The many large roots and rocks caused a few logistical issues. The trail was pretty wet when I went (thanks Hurricane Michael) I also went alone and never felt unsafe.

I had great footwear (Salomon) and a hiking pole/stick that acted up a lot, but when it (the pole) didn't, I was super grateful to have it with me. So I recommend bring one along. I saw a few groups of 20-somethings that flew by me with relative ease...some in regular Nike tennies. But that seemed rather careless to me as much of the trail had wet slippery rocks. One place on the trail had a rope to aid navigation (I had to sit down and slide down on that one.)

I saw only a few folks my age.

The trail was pretty clearly marked and I had no trouble finding the turn off for Camp Alice.

Definitely a great time and perhaps I will take it up to the summit next time.

I read others reviews and must admit I have not been there since it was remodeled per se! I loved it! The old tower was cool! It was interesting because it was freezing in the altitude below but warm above the clouds the day we were there!

trail running
11 days ago

This trail is well blazed (yellow), very easy to follow, and not overgrown. There are a few amazing overlooks where one can view the Black Mountains. After the last overlook, one enters a spruce- fir forest— one of the only in the SE, it was a remnant of the last ice age.

It’s a good workout, especially on the up. The last mile is prone to getting icy on the winter, and is pretty rocky.

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.

hiking
17 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.

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.

Made the hike from Black Mountain Campground to the summit and back 30 times in the last five years. My favorite time for this hike in in the fall. This was on my bucket list. There are two decent water sources. Expect lots of roots and rocks on much of the trail. Some of the trail uses an old creek bed. Be prepared for aburpt weather changes. The trail is becoming better maintained because of those hard young dedicated workers.

hiking
1 month ago

An easy calming walk up 3,700 feet of elevation climb...jokes aside it is a fun, strenuous walk. The majority is under tree cover, with an occasional stream or brook. But the end is worth it l, with an open summit area.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a challenging but rewarding hike! The Commissary Trail itself is indeed easy, but the loop depicted in the map takes you on several other trails, including the Camp Alice Trail which I would rate as hard. In the end though, a really great hike with lots of diverse scenery. I had been to the Mount Mitchell summit before by driving up, so it was a fun accomplishment to really work for it.

Beautiful trail thru thick forest. A fairly easy walk with not a lot of elevation change

Love this trail. It’s like stepping into an other-worldly movie set when you leave the picnic area at Mount Mitchell. I hiked out to Mount Craig and back. I’ve done it twice.

backpacking
1 month ago

I just came back from this hike. The trail is hard and very well mark. We ended with 12.3 miles instead of 10. So be prepare for few extra miles. It has been in my bucket list for a while and it was way worthy. Also we got to eat blackberries almost at the top. Tons of bushes of blackberries. If you are looking for a challenge and a reward at the top this is the trail for you.

hiking
1 month ago

Mt. Mitchell has been at the top of my list for a while now and I'm glad that I did this trail. It wasn't as difficult as some of the other trails I have done, but you definitely have to watch your footing because of the roots and rocks. It took my friends and I about 3.5 hours to get to the top and then about 2.5 hours to get down and the trail was closer to 12 miles long rather than 10.4. The trail was very well maintained and marked, so you really have to try to get lost. There weren't many scenic looks along the way - I think there was one spot that you could see out of the trees. However, the view at the top was worth all the pain. There were 360 views of all the surrounding mountains and little plaques denoting which mountains were which. It was a little lackluster because a lot of people drive up the mountain and can park about 500 feet away from the summit. By the end, I felt very accomplished, but I also felt it was one of those trails people do just to say that they did it. Just make sure to pack water (there was a fresh water stream along the way as well) and snacks and be ready for an all day hike!

Challenging trail, lots of rocks and roots. We got to Mount Mitchell and the observation deck but it was too cloudy to see anything! Then it started raining. Check the weather carefully before you start this hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Challenging but rewarding hike!

hiking
2 months ago

This should not be rated hard. Sure there are rocks and some roots on the trail but it’s not a sidewalk. I consider a hard trail one that requires all fours to go up and over, or at least some scrambles and that’s what I was expecting from these reviews. Didn’t happen. This was a moderate trail with a lot of switch backs that make it long but at no point was it a hard trail. I made it up and back in exactly 4.5 hours and that included all stops and my big 15 minutes at the summit to take in the views. I’ve never done a 10+ mile trail rated hard in that time. Anyway, fun hike with a lot of terrain changes (clay, dirt, sand) the switchbacks were annoying but you could see why they were needed. There was just no other way up the mountain. Tower at the top is kind of cool.

hiking
2 months ago

I agree with other reviewers, that the classification of easy for this trail is off a bit. If you are out of shape like me, I would classify it as moderate to hard. Experienced hikers who are in good shape would probably find it easy to moderate. The Commissary trail segment is fairly easy, but the uphill and downhill sections are considerably harder, especially in the very wet conditions I experienced. It is a great hike to escape hot temperatures in August. I was up on 8/12 and the temp was mid-60s. The view from the summit is worth the hike, though you may find it a little crowded from April to October.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a nice hike! Overall, it wasn't as hard as we thought it would be, but it was definitely challenging. It had rained a lot the night before we hiked and the trail was extremely muddy and wet, with water running down the trail in a stream at some points. I think we could have done it a bit faster if not for that. The trail surface is definitely rocky and rooty, and I would highly highly advise hiking boots. We started at 6:45am, summited at 10:30am, left the top at 11am, and finished around 2pm. It was cloudy at the top with pretty much no views, oh well. More about the journey for this one. We were the first hikers of the day to summit and encountered about 30 people on the way back down, about half of which were backpacking and half of which were day hiking. Other notes: it's definitely longer than 10.4 miles if you start at the parking lot and end at the top of the observation tower. By our estimates/GPSes, over 11 miles. Also, there are a few switchbacks on the trail that you could miss if you weren't paying attention. We encountered a group of people who were lost on a false trail and we almost went down the wrong one once.

hiking
2 months ago

Paved trail to the summit. Slightly steep but well worth the trek up for the 360 degree views.

hiking
2 months ago

Made an over night loop of this trail and a few others. The Mount Mitchell trail is fine, plenty of water sources, really gradual pace to the top and well traveled. The summit was crowed but pretty much what you would expect if you've seen mountains before. The rest of the trails are where this place shines. Every thousand feet the surrounding radically changed from mossy woods, to pine forests and dense brush. The Pisgah is always rewarding.

Challenging hike with lots of rocks and roots. Dense forest most of the way and good views at the top if you get a clear day (hit or miss). Was heavily trafficked at the top by people who drove up. For us, it was a do it just to check the box hike but not the most beautiful or rewarding we have done. 3.5 hours up and 2.5 down. Early morning start (7am) meant cool temps throughout but still very humid in July. Cool that it's the highest peak East of the Mississippi.

Was more of a walk up to the summit then a hike, nicely paved and great views from every direction. They have built this for all ages so that all can reach the highest summit on the Appalachian Trail!! There are trails to hike when you get there. Beautiful!!

Be ready for plenty of roots and rock on this trail. There are a few outlooks but the power lines spoil some of the best views.There is a nice creek near the half way point and a few more near the four mile mark. The forestry young men and women are doing a wonderful job on trail maintenance. Having make this hike 30 times I can tell you it can be a challenge but well worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

It’s goes up and then up some more! Then up more!

Well. We had Mount Mitchell on our bucket list for a while and decided to tackle it around New Years 2018. It was a challenge for sure as much of the trail was iced over and we made good use of the spikes on our trekking poles. Several times we had to cut a new path around the ice and we fell and slid couple of times in dramatic fashion, which was nice to add to our story when we shared the tale of our adventure with amazed friends and family. This hike started as a fun adventure because of the road down to the trail head, the beautiful stream, and nicely packed trail at the beginning. The fun soon faded though as the views never changed and those we did enjoy included power lines. Perhaps we are just spoiled hiking snobs! We read reviews that described this hike as technical but didn't appreciate the validity of that until we were on it and realized that this is a hike you do to DO, not to SEE. Your hiking skills will be tested as you navigate roots, ice (in winter), and sometimes vertical climbs. As you approach the summit, there are signs that teach you about the area and you go through some beautiful forested areas. Emerging from the trail onto the tourist sidewalk was humbling. As we struggled to eat our lunch with frozen hands and melt the water in our bottles, we forlornly watched warm travelers return to their cars, knowing what lay ahead of us on the descent. About three miles from the end, we began singing, "this is the trail that does not end...." Seeing the bridge over the stream at the end felt great, and as we climbed into our car and blasted the heater, we agreed it felt good to have a check mark next to Mount Mitchell, we felt awesome for having done it in freezing temps over ice, and that we did not feel the need to do it again. Hot soup, homemade bread, and a thick beer back at the cabin were much appreciated and we enjoy knowing that we did it.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful dense forest scenery is the majority of this hike, a few views along the power lines at different points of the ascent, still pretty in my opinion but no denying the best views aren’t until the summit. Challenging hike.

Incredible hike. One of the most serene but strenuous hikes I’ve done thus far. If you want something that’s challenging but doable in a FULL day this is it. Took me about 5.5 hours to do the whole thing out and back on the blue diamond trail. I’m young and an avid hiker but still not in the best shape so go for it if you think you can. 4 stars because I absolutely loved the hike up and some of the views on the way up (besides the power lines) but if you are going for the summit view, I recommend passing on this trek. Absolutely not worth going into this over crowded tourist spot where you walk into a parking lot. The decent was more tough in my opinion just because you were so focused on dodging roots and rocks. Overall, do it for the hike, not the view.

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