Shop Reservations Newsroom

GO TO PARK

Trails

A dark view of Mount Mitchell State Park
Fall Foliage   

Mount Mitchell's fall foliage is past peak, with little color left. For information on better leaf-peeping opportunites click here 

 Last updated on: Thursday, October 22, 2020

Current status of park facilities   

Restrooms are open.

The summit observation tower is now open every day. 

The gift shop and concessions are now open. It will be operating under reduced hours and will be debit/credit sales only. Face masks and social distancing required.
-  Friday - Tuesday
-  10:00 am to 1:00pm, 2:00pm to 5:30 pm

The park office lobby area is open for self-service information from 8:00am to 5:00pm daily.

The campground inside the park is open as of 10/20/20. Reservations required; no walk-ins permitted. Reserve online or by calling 1-877-722-6762. There is no check-in at the office. Please go straight to your campsite. No firewood is available for sale. Please bring your own kiln-dried firewood, available at most supermarkets and gas stations. *The website calls them walk-in, but they are same day reservations*

The following facilities remain closed:
-  Restaurant 
-  Museum 

Overnight parking is permitted for people backcountry camping in the surrounding National Forest. Please fill out a parking pass and leave it on the dashboard of your car. Passes are located in the boxes where the overnight parking signs are at the summit, and the restaurant parking lots. There is no charge for this. The US Forest Service is not permitting camping at Commissary Hill at the moment. There is no overnight parking permitted at the park office. 

Please check the weather forecast and prepare accordingly. 

To check Blue Ridge Parkway road closures, please visit their website.

Please note that this alert is updated only when something changes. 

 Last updated on: Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Campground OPEN   

The 9 site campground at Mount Mitchell State Park will be open as of as of 10/20/20 for reservations.
You must have a reservation to camp. In-person transactions are not performed at the park.

Reservations Phone Number: 877-722-6762
Website: https://northcarolinastateparks.reserveamerica.com/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NC&parkId=552858

 

 Last updated on: Tuesday, October 20, 2020


Map of North Carolina – Mount Mitchell State Park


Contact the park
 

828-675-4611

mount.mitchell@ncparks.gov

 

Restaurant

828-675-1888
 


Address
 

Park office

2388 N.C. 128
Burnsville, NC 28714

GPS: 35.7528, -82.2737
 

Hours
 

► 

  • November to February:
    7:00am to 6:00pm
     
  • March to April:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • May to August:
    7:00am to 10:00pm
     
  • September to October:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 
 

  • November to March:
    8:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays; closed on weekends
     
  • April to October:
    8:00am to 5:00pm daily
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

  • The museum is currently closed until further notice.
     
  • May to October:
    10:00am to 6:00pm
     

► 

  • The restaurant is currently closed all year for renovations.
     
  • May 3 to August 31:
    11:00am to 7:00pm
     
  • September 1 to October 31:
    11:00am to 7:00pm
     

► 
 

  • May 24 to November 22:

Friday to Tuesday:
10:00am to 1:00pm, 2:00pm to 5:30pm 
 

► 

  • This service is temporarily unavailable until further notice.
     
  • July 1 to October 31:

Friday to Sunday:
10:00am to 6:00pm
 

  • At any other time:
    Please call the park office several days ahead of your visit to schedule this assistance.
     

 

 

 

List of trails

Choose between a short stroll or a more extensive hike into the woods. Either choice will be rewarding as the beauty of the park is best seen from one of its many trails.

Please read the information about hiking safety at the park.

 


Balsam Nature Trail
Location: Upper summit parking lot

Description:

This short 0.75-mile self-guided nature trail starts at its junction with the Mount Mitchell Trail and ends at the tower summit parking lot. A tiny stream located along this trail is the highest spring in eastern America. Its average temperature is 36 degrees. This spring was a major water source for park personnel during the developmental stages of Mount Mitchell State Park.

ALERT: Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and carry proper gear, as the high altitude makes the climate of Mount Mitchell chilly, even in summer. Beware of ice on trails.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
0.75 miles
loop
Difficulty:
moderate hike
Blaze:
white triangle

Camp Alice Trail
Location: Spur trail from Old Mitchell Trail to Commissary Trail

Description:

This strenuous trail intersects the Old Mitchell Trail 0.25 mile from the summit and descends the south side of Mount Mitchell to an area called Camp Alice, an old logging camp from the early 1900s. The railroad serving Camp Alice was torn up in the early 1920s and a road opened for vehicles. Between the 1920s and 1940s, tourists drove to Camp Alice and then hiked the remaining mile to Mount Mitchell’s summit. Today, nothing remains of Camp Alice and in spite of its name, camping is not permitted here.

ALERT: Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and carry proper gear, as the high altitude makes the climate of Mount Mitchell chilly, even in summer. Beware of ice on trails.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
0.50 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous hike
Blaze:
Blue Squares

Commissary Trail
Location: Park office

Description:

This easy 2-mile hike starts at the park office and follows an old logging railroad bed used in the early 1900s. Logging played a very important part in shaping the look of the Black Mountain Range. After logging was prohibited in this area, the logging railroads were used for bringing tourists into the mountains.

ALERT : Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and carry proper gear, as the high altitude makes the climate of Mount Mitchell chilly, even in summer. Beware of ice on trails.

 


Surface: gravel

Length:
2.00 miles
one way
Difficulty:
easy hike
Blaze:
orange diamond

Deep Gap Trail
Location: Picnic area

Description:

This 4.3-mile trail beginning at the picnic area near the summit of Mount Mitchell has spectacular vistas that are seen on clear days as one hikes this moderately to strenuously difficult trail. As it follows the crests of the Black Mountains, it crosses Mount Craig and Big Tom Mountain. Mount Craig, named for North Carolina Governor Locke Craig, is the second highest peak (6,647 feet) in eastern America. Big Tom Mountain is named for Thomas Wilson, a famous bear hunter who found Dr. Elisha Mitchell’s body after Mitchell had fallen to his death in 1857. This trail follows the Black Mountain Crest Trail, which extends 7 more miles into the Pisgah National Forest.

ALERT: Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and carry proper gear, as the high altitude makes the climate of Mount Mitchell chilly, even in summer. Beware of ice on trails.

 


Surface: natural surface

Length:
4.30 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous hike
Blaze:
orangle triangle

Mount Mitchell Trail
Location: Black Mountain Campground (Pisgah National Forest)

Description:

Today, this is the trail mainly used to climb Mount Mitchell. The trail begins at the Black Mountain Campground (operated by the U.S. Forest Service) and ends at the summit. This 6-mile trail requires about 4.5 hours of strenuous hiking to reach the top and 3.5 hours to return. Numerous dead trees (killed mainly by sub-zero temperatures and high winter winds) are seen as hikers near the top of Mount Mitchell.

ALERT: Mount Mitchell State Park does NOT provide a shuttle service back to trail head at Black Mountain Campground. Arrangements can be made with (Hiker Transport) Yancey County Transit Authority at 828-682-6144 (requires 48-hour advanced notice and fee).

ALERT: Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and carry proper gear, as the high altitude makes the climate of Mount Mitchell chilly, even in summer. Beware of ice on trails.

 


Surface: natural surface

Length:
6.00 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous hike
Blaze:
Blue Diamonds