Black Mountain Crest Trail is a 11.3 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point 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, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 11.3 miles Elevation Gain: 5,147 feet Route Type: Point to Point

backpacking

camping

hiking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

no dogs

The Black Mountain Crest Trail is a point to point trail starting at Bowlens Creek Road and Ending at the Mt Mitchell Summit parking area or vice versa. Some find it easiest to start from the top. The trail follows the Mt Mitchell Ridge for the first 7 miles, traversing the largest collection of 6,000 ft peaks in the Eastern US. From Celo Knob, the trail descends about 3500 feet to Bowlens Creek. A car shuttle or drop off is recommended and parking is available at both the Mt Mitchell and Bowlens Creek trailheads. Very limited parking at Bowlens creek if any at all.

hiking
flooded
muddy
rocky
scramble
washed out
11 days ago

It took 11 hours. My Alltrails tracker said it took 4 hours BS!!. GPS was spotty but the total miles was 17.6 miles. Ran into T'storms half way up. slipped and fell several times. dont do it if there is any chance of rain.

13 days ago

Can do a shuttle for bowlers creek rebel hiker shuttle 8282848781 also can do parking

running
scramble
19 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Decided I needed a change of scenery. In the past I had hiked Deep Gap to Mt Craig on multiple occasions from Mt Mitchell. Now that Mt Mitchell is closed I investigated it and found that Deep Gap becomes BMCT. It says this trail is closed, but it is not. I hiked this yesterday and the only warning posted is that Mt Mitchell is closed. As I guessed, based on the reviews, the climb is intense. I am pretty out of shape. I hiked to the 5.9 mile mark where the rock bench is looking out west, then turned around. Total of almost 12 miles took me 5 and a half hours. Views are worth the climb. I was itching to keep going but was alone and running out of day light. Thick dark forests of balsam had me looking over my shoulder a lot. But I never ran into any wildlife. This is a MUST hike for anyone and everyone!

hiking
fee
2 months ago

Just wow. What an incredible hike! The terrain and the flora and fauna are so varied as you climb in elevation. I only made it to Winter Star before turning around. If you’re trying for the SB6K peaks, just know Gibbs is a PITA to get to. I’m sure there is an easier way, but I was a hurry. I’ll keep coming back to this one for sure.

grueling first 4 miles up. Although ridges are at altitude, still very technical and difficult trails. Gorgeous trail and views throughout.

hiking
bugs
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Did this trail last summer at the end of May. I have hiked in colorado, montana, wyoming, california and this trail rank ranks in my top 5 trails that I have ever done!! This trail is incredible and is worth the strain and shockingly steep climb up. If you are anywhere in the state of North Carolina or even close by then make the drive to seen one of the most beautiful unique forests on one of the best trails that our country has to offer!!

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
4 months ago

Just did this yesterday, only made it 7.5miles in, camped on the trail around 6kft up, make sure you have micro spikes and are planning to deal with very cold weather, the wind on the ridge is rough and dipping into the teens. Beautiful views and a challenging/rewarding climb!

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing views if you luck into good weather. We just did out and back from Mitchell to Mt. Craig summit. Hiking with a 5 and 7 year old took a while as we had to work out how they could make it up some of the more difficult rock scrambles.

hiking
7 months ago

We really enjoyed this trail. There are beautiful views at the summits, and the changes in terrain/vegetation are fascinating. Highly recommend! We parked at Mt. Mitchell parking lot, and used the Yancey County public transit to take us to Bowlen's Creek. Wr are in fairly good shape and the hike took us 7 hours. Lots of elevation gain and some scrambling.

8 months ago

Great shuttle service picked me up at Mt Mitchell and dropped me off at Bolen’s Creek. I did the trail as a day hike. I was worried about the initial elevation gain of the first 4 miles. but it was no big deal at all. The forest road path is smooth and easy all the way up. The trail didn’t make my heart pound until Potato Hill and Cattail Peak, I think. There’s a 30% grade section and ropes to assist climbing it. It was cloudy, overcast, quiet and mellow. Lots of Golden crowned Kinglets and a few hawks and a raven. Views are great around Mt Craig and Tom Wilson. I love the green moss on the trees and rain forest look. I would hike this again.

hiking
8 months ago

You gain almost 4,000 ft elevation in just the first four miles. The next two miles after that are relatively flat on the ridge with views for days! Another couple miles through the forest with cool moss and rock formations. I was so wore out for the rest of it that I didn’t notice much except for the constant ups and downs and trying not to fall because my legs were so tired. It was a beautiful hike and an excellent workout!

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail if you're in excellent shape. otherwise, there are better ways to Mt. Mitchell. We spent 3 days and had a great time.

hiking
scramble
9 months ago

Ce commentaire ne concerne que la première partie du trail jusqu a l'intersection avec big Tom trail. Belle randonnée avec de très beaux points de vue.

hiking
9 months ago

NOTE: If you start at the Mt Mitchell end, it is labeled as DEEP GAP TRAIL on their map and signs. There is no mention of Black Mountains Crest Trail on their materials. Orange triangle blazes.

hiking
10 months ago

Completed this trail about 3yrs ago... Excellent, hard hike for NC. Really pretty once you get up on the ridge. Steep, the whole way up through Bowlen's Creek, before leveling out on the ridge for more up and down. Great training hike for bigger objectives. I did BMC twice in preparation before a successful Mt. Rainier summit. Worked well.

hiking
10 months ago

First couple of miles from Bolen's Creek trailhead is pretty tough, lot of gained elevation in short distance. worth the climb, beautiful scenery throughout hike. Bring sufficient water it can be soarse6on the trail. Hike down Big Tom's Gap Trail to water source is a buttkicker, will make a mountain goat cuss. Overall a tough hike, but lots of fun and worth it. Loved it.

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

I did this trail twice several years ago and it was a blast. Unless you are an avid hiker, I would do this trail in 2 days. I did it in 1 day the first time and 2 the second. much better experience the second time. Can't wait to do it again.

hiking
11 months ago

I just discovered there is private parking available right beside the trail head on Bolens Creek. There’s a small road right next to the trailhead called Stanley’s Trail. A local owner cleared an old homestead and will let you park for $5 on the grassy lot. The trailhead parking is very limited and almost always full and the hike is getting more popular every year. I always hated leaving my car on that narrow paved road - you just can’t get your car all the way off the road. I was always afraid someone will drive by and knock my car into the ditch or I’d park much further away. Anyway, it makes it a lot less worry when tackling this great hike. Enjoy!

hiking
11 months ago

Really good fun. Started from Bolens Creek side. First five miles is a monster. I started with about two gallons and got near empty by Colbert Ridge. 1/2 mile back down Colbert Ridge trail is water (in June). Could have also filled up near the zig-zag section of the initial climb. There's emergency cell coverage off and on along trail (I have AT&T). Dog may have got a tick bite, but never saw one. Suggest taking 3 days to enjoy it all. Spend a half day or so recovering/enjoying view after initial climb.

hiking
11 months ago

Unbelievable, I’ve hiked all around WNC and have never been on a trail this epic. Go. It’s amazing .

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