This was the third and last summit of the day, after Winter Star and Gibbs. The herd path is easy to spot off the Black Mountain Crest Trail on the south side of the mountain and the summit is clearly marked with a sign. Eight hours total for the day, with some trail maintenance (mostly branch and tree removal) on the way down. With regards to the Woody Ridge Trail, it is very steep for the southeast, but nothing that will surprise you if you've done anything like Borah Peak, the Devil's Path in the Cats, or the northern Presidentials. I'd rate it Class 2 myself, since although I wasn't crawling, I was monkey gripping the trees on the way down with a purpose!
HIked all the way to Celo from the parking area at Mt. Mitchell. My thighs were cramping on the way back. This hike really is as difficult as advertised.
My first hike. I did a point-to-point, finishing atop Mt. Mitchell. At that time I was not yet afflicted with peak-bagger's disease, so I don't know if I made sure to stand on the high point.
Beautiful trail and awesome views! There was a homeless guy with two dogs living out of his van at the trailhead. I was a little freaked out at first but I ended up talking to him for 6 hours. There is a neat community garden at the last house on the road. Trail passes high mountain bogs, too!
Took Woody Ridge trail up to crest, then manways to top of Celo and Gibbs. Very rugged and steep trail, good views on rock outcrops and crest. Very enjoyable, 5 hours round trip.
It unfortunately rained on and off throughout the hike, and the views near the top were completely socked in. I'm sure it's beautiful on a clear day.
The trail is definitely tough to negotiate. It wasn't as steep as I was expecting, but the trail was overgrown and there were plenty of downed trees. I wondered at times if we were hiking or bushwhacking.
Fairly easy and simple hike up but the weather sucked bad, rain, wind and no clear views.
Up Bowlens Creek - what a climb, especially with a heavy pack. Camped near Horse Rock, freezing cold. Next day (summit day) was some of the most perfect fall weather I've ever seen. Solid trail to the top - benchmark must be covered with leaves / dirt. Actually, one of my favorite 6ers so far.
Came up Horse Rock, went over to Celo Knob (usually only walk by, on my coverage of the Ridge Crest Trail).
Now and again, I will go up a non-supported trail paralleling Horse Rock, coming out by Gibbs Mtn, but it in not marked.
...to some solitude in the south? Yes! Didn't see another soul and loved the alpine feel of the meadows up top!
A very nice hike and steep enough to be interesting. Nice views and a great meadow up high for lunching, but best of all there were blackberries everywhere! There's one good thing about August in the South.
not easy, but done-The descent was the worst part in my opinion.
via the Woody Ridge Trail
Bloody hell!! This had to have been one of the steepest hikes I have ever done. The last mile and a half of the Woody Ridge Trail before its confluence with the Black Mtn. Crest trail is brutal. Whoever designed this trail did not believe in switch-backs. Complicating the vertical ascent was the thick layers of ice on some of the rocky portions of the trail plus the loose mud from the snow melt. It took my wife and I 3 1/2 hrs to get up and about an hour & 5 min. to get back to the trailhead.
But follow your instincts and you'll get there. It takes patience. We found a camera near the summit!
I concur that it's a leg burner, particularly the middle third (4200' to 5200'). But it's doable (4 hrs up and 2 down).
A nice dayhike from Bowlens Creek. This stretch of trail is the last one I've hiked in the Blacks. A dusting of snow below foot of snow up high. Nice view and bushwhacked off back to Bowlens Creek trail. Try Woody's Ridge trail, a leg burner.
One of the toughest hikes of my career. The Crest Trail from Deep Gap to Celo Knob (and return) is the ruggedest route I've had to negotiate. Lots of extreme drops and climbs, with some patches requiring the use of ones hands to make the scrambles.
In addition, I was dogged all day by thick cloud cover, and heavy downpours on my return to Deep Gap to pack up my campsite and make the hike over the highest of the sixers to Mount Mitchell.
Well, I bagged Celo Knob, but I can't say it was a pleasure.