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NC State Parks + Nature CentersAsheville Outdoor Activities

The highest peak east of the Mississippi River, Mount Mitchell (6,684 feet), is located an hour away or 8 miles as the crow flies from Black Mountain. Spectacular scenery and views! It is a great place to drive and see the sights or hike the many trails. Weather atop Mt. Mitchell can change frequently. We always recommend checking the current status here.

Fun Facts

  • On clear days, you can see as far away as 85 miles from Mount Mitchell's summit
  • Weather atop Mount Mitchell tends to average up to 20 degrees cooler than downtown Asheville, and sometimes even cooler. It's not uncommon for Mount Mitchell to see snow when other areas do not
  • Mt Mitchell is named after Dr. Elisha Mitchell, a science professor who first measured the mountains' elevation

Things to do at Mt Mitchell and Hiking

  • Mount Mitchell's restaurant and a concession stand are open from May to October. 
  • Enjoy a mile-high picnic from Mt Mitchell's incredibly scenic picnic area
  • Hiking trails are obviously a highlight of the Mt Mitchell experience. For shorter hikes, we recommend the Balsam Nature Trail (.75) or the slightly longer 2-mile Commissary trail which follows an old logging railroad bed. For a much more challenging hike, the Mount Mitchell or Deep Gap trails are worth exploring. Deep Gap trail will take you to the very scenic Mt. Craig, which will also allow you to check off the 2nd highest peak east of the Mississippi River at 6647 feet of elevation.
  • There is a 280-yard paved road from the parking lot that you can walk to the summit of Mt Mitchell and take in the views from the summit observation platform

Where to Stay

Mt Mitchell State Park is located in the town of Burnsville. Check out Greybeard's inventory of Mt. Mitchell cabin rentals and Burnsville cabin rentals here. Burnsville is one of the closest towns to Mount Mitchell, and while you can expect a 45-50 minute drive to the top of Mt Mitchell, it's definitely a scenic one with views along the Blue Ridge Parkway along the way.

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