Mount Mitchell, NCMy brother and I did the mountain on April 6, 2012 via the Mt. Mitchell Trail. This trail in located within the Black Mountain Campground. It is also somewhat difficult to find the campground. Take the road until it turn to dirt. Eventually you will come to an area what is a triple turn (you can either go left, straight, or right), go right. Follow that road down until you see a nice big sign on the left side of the road (about 1/2 to 1 mile). The sign has a good map of area on it with some other information.
Be advised that the Mt. Mitchell Trailhead is over the river from where the big sign is mentioned above. Simply cross the bridge and hang a left, on foot. You will see blue trail markers and white trail markers. That's what you want.
We started the hike at 12:00 p.m. It took about 3 hours to go up and about 2 1/2 to go back down. We are fast hikers too. So if you find yourself a slow hiker, allow ample time to complete this hike.
The hike up is strenuous. Although there is not any scrambling, it is consistently steep. The trail is about 5.6 miles one way.
Great views at the top. Well worth the strenuous hike. No facilities were open in early April, but it looked like there could be some summit facilities open later in the year.
I would also recommend taking the Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville, NC. GREAT drive on this road. The entrance to the Parkway is a short drive from the Mt. Mitchell trailhead.