The view from here is specatacular. Last time I was up there it was snowing. One amazing mountain!!
Hiked the New Mitchell Trail, to the summit area which was closed due to construction and renovations. Bushwacked a little bit and snuck to the summit while evading the construction people and park rangers. All in all it was a nice hike.
This was an easy HP. Enjoyed the site.
My friend bob and I did a much shortened hike from the one that we originally planned to do as it was a rather wet day. What is an unmitagated peak bagger to do? Hike less, drink more hot chocolate.
The summit and lookout is closed for about a year due to reconstruction to remove the old concrete tower and to make the summit handicap accessible. You can still hike to the parking lot which is about 50'- 100' below the actual summit. I was told everything would reopen around July 4, 2007. The hike from Black Mountain Campground is open and is diverted to the parking lot just shy of the top. The sign at the start of the trail in Black Mountain Campground says "closed 5 miles ahead" which is a bit misleading because you are able to take the detour over to the parking lot.
We were the only ones on the trail. It poured all the way up to the summit but stopped as we began our decent.
In 1986 our family did a highpoints driving trip and hit Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Kentucky's high points.
The Blacks are one of my favorite places to hike. I have been lucky to live close and have summitted in all seasons and all weather. The coldest nights I've spent in the woods have been up in the Blacks, -10 degrees. The mountain is most easily climbed from the parking lot but can be climbed via the Buncombe Horse trail or the Mt Mitchell trail. All these climbs involve 3000 feet of gain. Longer ascents via Colbert Ridge, Woody Ridge, and Bowlens Creek/Black Mt Crest trail. The trails are maintained well inside the state park but only cleared every few years in the NF. The crest trail is steep and rocky, prepare for long stretches of ice in winter. (In my opinion the Black Mt crest trail and the Grandfather trail are the two toughest trails in the Southeast US).
Weather can be unpredictable and bad. One spring I took dayhikes around Easter weekend. On Thursday (April 12, 2001) I carried my son (then 4yo) up to Celo Knob. It was warm with temps in the 60's. Five days later (April 17, 2001) I was on the ridge between Potato Knob and Steppes Gap in blizzard conditions. That day the temp was 27, snowing, with a 30 mph wind.
In November of 2003 I was hiking in the Blacks with temp in the 50's and sun. That night a cold front came through the area with morning temps in the 20's and hurricane force wind gusts. If its cloudy with temps in the 40's in Charlotte, be prepared for wind, snow, and below freezing temps in the Blacks (and other high peaks in the SE). Review Alan deHarts NC hiking guide or the FS map for the Toe River valley.
Summited Mt. Mitchell with high winds, snow, and ice. Hiked from the bottom, no cars used.
A friend and I hiked from the Black Mtn. Campground to the Mt. Mithcell summit. Not a bad hike, but a bit harder than expected. He stayed on top while I ran back down the trail to pick up the car and drive around to get him. 6 hours of hiking total (4 up and 2 down).
We drove up and and walked the short path to the tower. The weather was against us - No View whatsoever....we had planned on hiking the Deep Gap Trail over to Mount Craig, but just left instead...after our encounter with lightning on Grandfather Mtn, we weren't feeling very brave...
Probably state highpoint #1...
Drove to Asheville, NC from Sassafras Mtn, SC. Attempted to access Hwy. 128 from the East from Hwy. 80 to Blue Ridge Parkway. Road closed due to damage from Hurricane Frances. Drove 80 miles back around to Asheville and drove up Blue Ridge Parkway to Hwy. 128. Parked at campground below Mt. Mitchell. Hiked 2 miles round trip on the Old Mount Mitchell Trail. Few people. Clear day with nice views at the summit. HP #9.
This was our sixth state highpoint! It was a very windy day. We were happy to visit the highest point east of the Mississippi River.
I love the Blacks. What can I say?? I bagged all 11 Blacks in a three-day trip, as part of conquering the Southern Sixers.
I've been up the highest point east of the Mississippi more times than I can remember. I went to school at Montreat College which is in Mitchell's shadow. I've hiked up from the Black Mountain campground twice, and walked the touristy gravel trail from the parking lot off the BRP most the other times.
Absolutely beautiful scenery. Third in our "highpoint quest".
I've driven, hiked, and biked to summit parking lot. This range and Grandfather rank as my all time favorites. Been to summit in shorts and t-shirts, been to summit in blizzard. Have seen the growth, death, and regrowth of the spruce forest over the last 23 years. The views after a winter cold front has passed are almost without comparison. Everyone should read History of Mt. Mitchell and the Black Mountains: Exploration, Development, and Preservation (Paperback) by S. Kent Schwarzkopf or Mount Mitchell and the Black Mountains : An Environmental History of the Highest Peaks in Eastern America (Hardcover)by Timothy Silver. Facinating place.
Highest point in eastern North America! Earned it from the bottom instead of the road to the top. Black mountain crest is really beautiful and rugged. Good views and very windy.