Mount Mitchell Trail is a 11.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Burnsville, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 11.3 miles Elevation Gain: 3,733 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

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rocky

Mount Mitchell is challenging hike to the highest peak east of the Mississippi River in the Black Mountain range. The trail starts from the Black Mountain Campground off of South Toe River Road, which is north of Asheville along the Blue Ridge Parkway. From the Mount Mitchell parking area or the park office to the trailhead is about 0.3 miles, and there is a fork in the trail, one way being 0.4 miles longer than the other. Take the Mount Mitchell Trail all the way to the summit parking area. From the summit parking area it is a quick 0.1 mile hike on a paved trail to the circular observation deck. Once at the Mount Mitchell summit and observation point, there are spectacular views. On a clear day you can see Grandfather and Table Rock in the distance. There is also there is a little museum, gift shop, snack stand, and restrooms. From the summit you have the option to do the extra 3-mile hike (round-trip) to Mount Craig via the Deep Gap Trail (Black Crest Trail) or return down the mountain from the way you came . Mount Craig is the second highest point in the eastern United States and you could knock off both of the highest peaks east of the Mississippi.

1 day ago

This trail is definitley strenuous for the average hiker. I hiked it last weekend at 20 weeks pregnant and my leg mucles took a severe beating from the steep inclines on the way up and drop-offs on the way down. The views at the top are underwhelming, in my opinion. The hike itself was difficult to enjoy because I could not take in the scenery for fear of falling over constant rocks or roots. It was exhausting to constantly have to watch my footing. The trail is also longer than advertised as my GPS watch clocked two extra miles from the start of the trail head. Overall, it is a killer workout if that is what you are going for. Otherwise, there are much prettier and enjoyable trails elsewhere.

1 day ago

Solid trail filled with rocks and roots, pretty steep but fun. Views are just okay, but the challenge is worth it.

hiking
rocky
5 days ago

Hiked this trail on May 24th, it is a long and tiring hike with a lot of rocks and roots. Not too many people on the trail considering it was memorial day weekend. I did appreciate my hiking poles coming down. Beautiful sunny day to start But had thunderstorms all afternoon and the trail became a creek most of the way down. Luckily I was prepared with my waterproof gear but I came across other hikers who hadn’t even got a poncho and were very cold and wet.

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flooded
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6 days ago

There are great views at the top. Otherwise, the trail is flooded and even fully washed out at some points. Also, as said in previous reviews, the trail is rocky and full of roots sticking out from start to finish.

hiking
14 days ago

Hiked the trail on Saturday May 16 2020. As in other descriptions, the trail climbs at a steady rate utilizing multiple switchbacks to keep the incline fairly consistent. However, hikers should be aware that the hike is very rocky. The parts of the trail that have limited rocks have roots instead. This can cause havoc with ankles, knees and hips! The signs at the trail head indicate the trail is 12 miles rather than the 11.3 mentioned here; not sure which one is right. Other than those observations the trail was a lot of fun.

hiking
17 days ago

Fun long trail. Not too hard, steady gradual incline, marked great, lots of different landscapes along the way. Nice view at the top and a couple along the way. Hiked in May and still some snow and ice at the top.

hiking
18 days ago

Pretty steady incline, no part that is incredibly steep. This is a tiring hike, but definitely not as challenging as I thought. Top views are nice. Although, we hiked early May and it was incredibly cold at the peak!

hiking
28 days ago

Great trail. There was work being done on the parking lot closest to the trailhead (June 2019), so we added 2 miles round trip to the hike. Finding the trail head was a bit confusing walking through the campground, but they were also very kind to give us maps and point us on our way. We started at 8am, reached the summit at 11:30. Took a look around and had lunch and headed back down. Great day hike from Asheville with time to drive back and grab a bite to eat.

hiking
icy
rocky
1 month ago

Great hike. The trial had a point where it wasn’t clear where to go as it blended with the rest of the woods. I went exactly one year ago, the last day of March. It had snowed about two weeks prior to that and there was still some ice and snow near the top.

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

3700 feet over 6 miles, so it may be one of the better trails you can find to train for ascent/descent here in NC. The trail is a clearly marked, state-park-quality trail, more maintained than a typical Pisgah trail. On this date I experienced no rain, there was no ice on the trail, no substantial downed trees impacted progress, and the worst impediment I faced was enough mud to get my trail runners wet. There are some smooth rock passages that would be slippery if wet or icy. Views at the top are often fogged in and visibility on this day was intermittent.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on March 6th. This hike is not for the faint of heart. It was very difficult, but the sense of accomplishment was great. The weather changed drastically from the beginning of the hike to the end. It started out as a mild and sunny day and within an hour it was snowing and very windy. It got very icy about 3 miles in, ice cleats came in handy. It was extremely cold and windy at the summit and sadly the view was completely obscured by fog and snow. If you want a challenging hike, this is certainly for you.

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icy
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2 months ago

2 months ago

Is there snow or ice on the trail this time of the year(early or mid or late March)? Reviewers-if you could comment on this, it would be very helpful! Thanks :)

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icy
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rocky
3 months ago

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flooded
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scramble
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

So far really great, slow and gradual recommend boots and poles for sure. . It started to pour and I clearly wasn’t ready so will come back to finish another day.

fun hike with a long graduale incline to the top. took mount Mitchell trail to the summit, then took deep gap to mount Craig and big tom. returned the same way I came in. it was clear blue sky's with light winds at the tops. snow near the top about 2 to 3 inches high. mount Mitchell's summit parking lot had some snow drifts about a foot high. icy in most areas near the top and was also nicely hidden under some snow. I managed without micro spikes until I got back to Mitchell going back down. I would have should have put them on right when I hit the snow. otherwise no major issues. the caves were also neat. solo today and those are my lone prints on that fresh snow. size 13 those were mine lol!

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