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Mount Mitchell Trail

HARD 555 reviews
#3 of 217 trails in

Mount Mitchell Trail is a 13.7 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, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 13.7 miles Elevation Gain: 3,772 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

hiking
icy
13 hours ago

Outstanding hike with gradual incline throughout. After mile three, it gets extremely icy. Recommend microspikes, but not required. Beautiful views from the top even with cloud cover.!

hiking
icy
scramble
6 days ago

Loved it! But doing all these hikes around Asheville for the first time this time of year, oh how I would have done it differently. So I camped in/out here too. About 3 miles in, there’s a great flat spot for a single camper where I stayed (right to your right before you hit the telephone wire). If you go up past that, through the creek, you’ll see a good setup for group camping. It had a tree halfway down and well (part of the learning lesson from doing this for the first time in winter) - it was blowing 25 mph at 31 degrees. Other than that, kinda muddy and super windy - covered the path with leaves make it hard to see the fun rocks. Incline with 25 pound pack was very challenging, but fun and rewarding for those sunrises.

hiking
icy
muddy
7 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

I absolutely love this trail. It’s just work, but just the right amount. I got about 3.5 miles in and it started to pour. 38 degrees, wind and rain. I bagged it. I’ll be back and do this when I know there’s better weather. I tried to beat a rain forecast and Mitchell won. I also found something valuable on the trail that looked like it had been dropped in the hours or day before I was there. If you lost something on the trail dm me at cory_lesmiz and let me know what you lost.

hiking
12 days ago

Going to be doing this to mount Craig this Saturday. Anyone start this one in the dark to get a head start? Also, tying in mount Craig, how’s that 3 miles? Is it straight ridge line or tough? Trying to get in and out from 6-2 pm. Thoughts on getting both done in less than 8 hours? Ig cory_lesmiz

hiking
23 days ago

Incredible view at the summit in 360 deg. Able to be accessed by drive and park tourists so it can be crowded- however the plateau is spacious and good pictures and sights can be seen.

hiking
26 days ago

Don’t let the reviews that claim this is a difficult trail discourage you. It’s a good cardio workout, yes. But not technically difficult. I hiked it solo and was the first at the parking lot the day after Christmas around 8am. I didn’t see another person on my ascent until the summit when I saw all the tourists who drove to the top. On the way down I saw maybe 8 people, chatted with one cute guy from Texas, so that was an added benefit :). I felt the descent was more difficult...the trail has a lot of roots and loose rock so you really have to watch every step or you might roll your ankle, it’s also hard on the knees because it’s all downhill, no flat parts. Also wanted to add a side note because there is a review on here from a woman who was freaked out alone in the woods...this is not deep in the backcountry. This is a trafficked trail. I am a woman and always solo hike and see no reason to be scared and have been on many less trafficked trails and really prefer it. I carry mace and a pocket knife but have never had to use either. If anyone or anything attacks me on a trail, well, I’ll be attacking them back. I think statistically you are more likely to be attacked walking to your car in a parking lot or jogging around suburban areas. I hope no woman out there reading this, lets fear hold her back. If I had to wait to find a hiking partner to hike all the mountains I want to climb, I’d still be sitting in my house waiting. Just my two cents! :)

hiking
flooded
muddy
rocky
26 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked this on Christmas Day in a short sleeved shirt. Trail was very well marked - almost overkill in some sections. There was one small view on the way up around mile 4, but otherwise no views until the summit. The hike was very pretty though. I truly felt like I was in a magical forest in some areas. Plenty of water sources available.

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Great trail to hike. Climbing is not to bad, coming down seems worse. Trail is icy from about power lines up. Some mud on trail but bearable.

hiking
rocky
washed out
1 month ago

enjoyed a foggy autumn day near peak color. can't go wrong any time of year. be prepared for adverse weather. crowded. trail pretty blown out and rooty in places. good water sources up near the horse trail.

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

Competed this trail with two friends. Took us 6 hours and 45 minutes. There was a wind advisory with gust 50mph so we decided to start a little later in the day. First half had lots of leaves on the ground making footing difficult and the top had ice/water. The long walk to the top isn’t to scenic but offers varied terrain and is very challenging. Walking to the summit makes you appreciate the views that much more and it was a very very clear thanksgiving day. It was exactly as advertised and more with the winter challenges.

hiking
2 months ago

I had a great hike on this trail today with good views at the top. There were small patches of snow on the way up but otherwise the trail was dry. It’s such fun scrunching through the deep leaf litter. It was freezing at the bottom when I set out so I filled up my backpack with clothes as I expected it to be even colder on top but I just ended up carrying a lot of stuff I didn’t need. I came down on the Higgins Bald detour which is clearly not hiked very much as the trail was quite indistinct in places and there were several obstacles, and it has a little waterfall plus reasonable views.

hiking
2 months ago

This has been on my bucket list since we moved to NC in 2017. Not technically difficult, but every step is vertical - no rest for weary hammies. Great crisp 34-degree start. Peak fall leaf season. Trail gets diverse 3 miles in, with evergreens, stream crossings and Commissary Ridge area.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike. Fairly strenuous with decent elevation gain over a short distance. Went to the summit then went across Black Mountain Crest trail to hit up Mt. Craig and Big Tom then took big tom spur trail down to buncombe horse trail back to mitchell trail then to Campground for a 13.66 hike. Took 6 hours. Definitely reccomend

hiking
blowdown
muddy
2 months ago

Very difficult trail because of elevation and distance. I was the first one on it and I got to the trailhead at 8am. The views from the summit are amazing. The only views going up are from a power line. Make sure you take plenty of water and something to eat as it is a very long hike (took me 7.5 hours total) and the facility at the top is closed for the season. I would also recommend bringing a change of shoes for when you're done because you will get wet feet.

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

Showed up early to hike Mt. Mitchell with the hopes of beating the weather, and had a great time. Very challenging in parts with a lot of roots, slippery rocks, and meanders through two streams (consider waterproof shoes!). No vistas on the hike, but the fall colors were incredible. Unfortunately by the time I'd made it to the peak clouds and fog covered everything so there were no views from the top, but the accomplishment of doing the hike was enough for me. A good, rigorous hike that doesn't let up!

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trail. I did it in October and it was really cloudy and almost raining. I couldn’t get the view :(

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