Mount Mitchell Loop

HARD 4 reviews
#12 of 22 trails in

Mount Mitchell Loop is a 5.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Burnsville, North Carolina that offers the chance to see wildlife and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until September.

DISTANCE
5.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1410 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wildlife

muddy

over grown

rocky

Leave Mount Mitchell parking lot and take the Balsam Nature Trail. Turn onto the Mountain To Sea Trail to Commissary Ridge. Turn left unto the Buncombe Horse Trail and follow it along the ridge to the Big Tom Spur sign. At this junction is a perfect camp site and water 150 feet down the hill to your right. Turn left and go up the Big Tom Spur. It's almost straight up 600-800 feet up a rocky creek bed. It's a highly over-grown and lightly used trail. At the top, turn left unto the Crest Trail to summit Big Tom, Mount Craig, and Mount Mitchell. This is a tough trail!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

I will not be able to move tomorrow. This one kicked our butts. The descent from the tower trail to balsam and onto the Mitchell trail is beautiful. The Buncombe is blocked by a small tree with many branches that makes for an interesting climb over but the dozen boggy spots are the real challenge. The Gortex boots did their job. Don't attempt without great footwear, you'll need it to do the 587 foot climb in .5 miles from Buncombe up to the Deep Gap Trail, also called Black Mountain Crest Trail on our National Geo trail map. High grass on the trail covers many holes on the Buncombe and the connector trail to Deep Gap Trail. Overall tho there's so much character on this trail I'd do it again, tons of wild flowers, deep shade forest and a beautiful grassy bald with a stunning overlook and no one anywhere near. hiking in July on My Mitchell was a great experience.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great loop and VERY challenging! The first parts, The Balsam Nature Trail and Mountain To Sea Trail and not very difficult and just a bit rocky and has some roots. The Buncombe Horse Trail turns left at Commissary. It was very overgrown and muddy. Your feet will get wet and there is a lot of water and seepage on this section. You end at the junction of the Buncombe Horse Trail and Big Tom Spur. The Spur is very overgrown and steep. You'll climb through a rocky creek bed cursing your very existence. At the top, if you don't pass out, enjoy the lush green forest before you turn left to the 3 summits.