Mount Mitchell Trail

HARD 153 reviews
#1 of 22 trails in

Mount Mitchell Trail is a 10.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Burnsville, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
10.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3713 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Mount Mitchell Trail is a 11.4 mile out and back trail located near Burnsville, North Carolina that features a great forest setting and is only recommended for very experienced outdoorsmen. The trail is primarily used for birding, hiking & walking and is accessible year-round.

2 days ago

If you like a trail that provides an excellent workout this is the trail for you. If you have never hiked before then you should probably skip. Trail is majority straight up hill. 3.5 hours up. 2.5 hours down. Drank 2 liters of water going up. 1 liter coming down. Water fountains and bathroom at the summit. The summit reminded me of Disney World. So many tourists huffing and puffing on their little hike. Hahahaha

hiking
8 days ago

This was the longest hike I've done to date and it was brutal! The way out is all super steep. Didn't expect it to be this hard, but it was fun and it gives you a strange sense of accomplishment

hiking
9 days ago

I just hiked this today!! It was amazing!! Not for the faint of heart but totally worth it! BEAutiful scenery. Peaceful and also exciting landscape! Bring really sturdy hiking boots and plenty of snacks and water!! Hike up took us around 4.5 hours! I'm ready to hike this trail again!

13 days ago

Good hike straight up the mountain. only a handful of people on the trail. Lost a bit of the excitement once I reached the summit and there were hordes of tourists crowding the summit. :)

hiking
19 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

25 days ago

Great hike! Will be crowded at the top on weekends with drive-ups but quality hike with intense elevation gain

1 month ago

Not a very scenic hike but the view from the overlook is spectacular ( although a bit crowded ). I made it to the top in two hours and forty five minutes. I didn't experience the water some of the previous reviews mentioned but parts of the trail were overgrown with weeds. Definitely recommend bug spray. I enjoyed the hike but it was no comparison to the Profile trail to Grandfather Mountain.

1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, truly rewarding. Not for the faint of heart! Most of the hike is either a running stream bed, wet rocks, tree roots, or all three! So you'll need water resistant footwear with the most excellent traction to be most comfortable ;-). I wore Altra Lone Peak boots with polartec which were super water resistant; but my husband's Under Armour boots had better traction on the wet rocks. Neither of us fell, for the record. Starting from the beginning: this trailhead is close to 90 minutes from Asheville. Plan accordingly. Come with plenty of fuel as you'll see no gas stations anywhere near. Also bring as much water, Gatorade ( I prefer Nuun or Tailwind), and snacks as you'll need for what could be a 7-9 hour hike. I suggest starting out in the morning too- it's cooler; plus for us this was over a 6 hour ordeal. Also; when you're moving up the steep inclines you'll warm up quickly so either wear less clothing than you think you'll need or dress in light weight layers you can easily remove and carry. We wore shorts and Tshirts. Carry comfy packs- it's a long strenuous haul. Also- drymax socks. So- the trailhead is located in Black Mountain Campground. Which is about 4ish miles down a GRAVEL UNMARKED ROAD called South Toe River Rd. You'll see NO signs from the main road to tell you where to go. Use the gps directions from this page (it got us there) or use a map to identify your turn. Also turn on your gps early as there is no cell reception anywhere near there. You'll see a big info sign and some parking spots to the right of the campground bathrooms. Park there and then you can either ask someone in the campground office where the trail head is or look for the blue trail signs across from the office. You can either follow the blue trail along the river or stay to the right and follow the gravel rd. You'll save maybe 1/4 mile this way. The blue trail is well marked. Use this app to record your progress in live time; you can see that you're on track etc. Also the Hike app on my Garmin 630 watch was great for recording progress and seeing stats at a glance.You can get it in the Connect App Store. There was one marked fork in the trail I remember a couple miles up; we stayed right and it was more direct. Next thing to note- there is NO RESTAURANT AT THE PEAK. PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY. We were sad. There IS a restaurant at the Mount Mitchell park area; but unless you hike out if your way (I DO NOT recommend adding more miles to THAT hike) you won't get there. The good news; at the peak you'll find a bathroom, concession stand (only pre packaged junk food and beverages. I ate a snickers, oatmeal cream pie, and sun chips. And I didn't feel the least bit bad about it. I would call the Mount Mitchell park office to make sure they are open, though they were open on the 4th of July for us so...), water fountains (you have to hold the button for like 10 seconds), and a concrete walkway to a high peak with photo ops. Also it was super crowded with folks in clean clothes and nice shoes. We however were covered in mud and sweat by this point. We left the campground around 10 am and so it was around 1:30 by then; took us around 3.5 hours to climb. Yes, climb. That includes a handful of seated breaks. Only took us less than 2.5 hours back down. Spent around 25 minutes at the top. Down was more enjoyable. Checked out the amazing mountain vistas and took more pics on the down trip. Oh; there are some cool small waterfalls you'll see. We didn't see any bears :-( I was sad. The rhododendrons were in full bloom which was beautiful. And- we didn't use a walking stick or trekking poles; but I imagine they'd have made the trip easier. And; we got a little chilly resting at the top because it's colder up there and we were sweaty. Check the weather for mount mitchell before you go; it's often cooler than Asheville. Also; bring towels. You'll want them before getting back in your car. The camp ground has showers- non campers have to pay $5 to use them. And bring cash I believe the concession stand at the top was cash only.....Think that sums it up! Be prepared and have fun!

1 month ago

1 month ago

You could have called this switch back trail with roots and slick rocks. It's a challenging hike. Wear Bugspray because you'll have to walk through high grass and the sand fleas/bugs at the top are in full effect. You will start itching within a few minutes of getting to the top platform.

The views are impressive. I needed three hours up, 30 mins at the top, and two hours back to the campground lot. I was moving pretty aggressively. Bring lots of Gatorade, water, and chocolate.

hiking
1 month ago

The trial was in good condition. Not crazy about walking under power lines though. Fairly steep for a large potion of the hike, but it's not a scramble. The view of the top is good but it's built up. You can almost drive to the top so there is a bit of a crowd. I will likely not do it again but it's cool that it's the highest point east of the Mississippi.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail! Trail is located on S Toe River Road at the Black Mountain Campground. My GPS took me about .5 miles down this road and then told me I arrived. I had to drive maybe another 3 miles (unpaved) to the actual trailhead. Once at the Black Mtn Campground sign I parked in the first lot and walked maybe a tenth of a mile to the trail

The trail was great! Lot of the usual rhododendron type areas the first few miles, and let me say that you start going uphill from the beginning and it doesn't let up. Some fairly steep switchbacks along the way. I did not see anyone on the trail until about mile 4. No wildlife either, though i would not be surprised to have seen a few bear. Around mile 4ish the trail begins to take on more of what to me seemed like a Pacific NW kind of environment. The surroundings changed to a lot of rock and evergreen trees. Gorgeous! There was also a really good view (despite powerlines) from about this point. There is a sign telling you that you're about 1.6 miles from the summit, which was nice. But from then the trail gets a little steeper. A few areas along the trail were a touch overgrown.

Summit was breathtaking. Try to go on a clear day where you can see Grandfather and Table Rock in the distance (among many others). There were a lot of people right when i came off the trail, as most drive up to the summit. For now (i think this may change here very soon), the concession stand and gift shops are closed on Wed and Thurs of every week due to short staffing.

All in all this was a very pleasant experience. I really liked the change-over to the evergreen environment towards the top. This trail was hard, but not impossible. I'm in very good shape (weight lifter and marathoner) and it took me about 2 hrs and 20 min to get to the top (after chatting with several folks along the way and accidentally going off trail for a few minutes).

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Great trail overall. I will however say that once you got closer to the top parts of the trail were completely filled with old branches and roots..