Going up is the easy part, as you're not so tired. Saw numerous unprepared hikers (sandals, no water, no additional clothes to shorts/tshirts), wish them the best, but they'll be miserable & maybe at risk. I recommend it! You could also start at the top and hike down, but if you don't have a vehicle shuttle you'll have to hike back up anyway. and still had to turn around with about an hour and a half remaining. Looking forward to coming back in the spring, incredible camping spots once you get to the Buncombe Horse Range Trail & other great campsites located all throughout the 5.6 mile artfully crafted trail. That was a surprise. There was little scenery on the way up. Sections of the trail in this area are very rocky and steep, and require some hand-holding to traverse. That's when the shakey legs and general fatigue will start to kick in. It was snowy, cold and windy 3-29 and 3-30. The trail climbs steadily and is strenuous for even the most fit, but if you take your time most people without health problems can cover the 3600' elevation change. Both were tough for us. The park has a small family campground; however, the hiking trails are the big lure. RECOMMENDED ROUTE Buffalo Creek Park We old guys have weak knees. The trail begins at the Black Mountain Campground (operated by the U.S. Forest Service) and ends at the summit. The best way to hike the BMCT is to shuttle it, as it is a tough point-to-point trek. Mitchell the day after Christmas 2015. The straight, resilient spruce wood was seemingly plentiful, so these trees were prize timber. It is a lot of work for little reward. Makes boiling water for oatmeal a real challenge. Matt said: Really glad I just found this site. Hover over a trail to see it highlighted. Due to all the tourists at the top, I spent about 5 minutes hydrating and then headed back down to the huge boulder, which I climbed for some solitude and a lovely view of the Black Mountains. We ended up getting snowed on for about 10 minutes and then it turned to rain. Maybe it's not popular with real hikers but I wish there were mile markers along the way. The condition of the trail is terrible and the water sources are scarce until you get higher up the trail. The road from Marion is not recommended for long trailers or the faint of heart. I'm not as good at descending, but I thought there were too many roots and slippery rocks to not descend slow. We put a car at the top of the mountain at 9:00am. We were unable to find a good camping spot next to a water source. I cannot overestimate the difficulty posed by all the rocks and roots on this trail. We started from the Black Mountain Campground where on a beautiful holiday weekend the parking lot was jammed with peak bagging enthusiasts. I'm bringing ICEtrekkers for my boots just in case. We left the car at 9:30am and returned at 5:30. Black mountain Campground. The deck of the platform is as high as you can get, east of the Mississippi. Lots of roots and some rock faces to climb. However, it was very windy and foggy/cloudy at the summit. A great campsite is on the left at Commissary Hill in case you're looking for a place to spend the night. You need to WANT to do it. Enter Date. There was probably about 8-10 inches of snow near the top and lots of extremely icy sections. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/north-carolina/black-mountain-campground But the surroundings...it is just spectacular... in places it felt like I was immersed in some mythical Elvish forest on my way to Rivendell. They are a couple but not where you need them. Blair said: How about water along the trail? Katadin were tougher hikes, but had much better views. Have very good shoes and I recommend hiking poles/sticks. I hope my grandfather would be happy that I completed one of the items on my bucket list. in Google Earth for viewing. I would have probably fallen on the way down 3 times had it not been for the poles. The hike began at Bowlens Creek. About 3.5hrs up via Mt. In hindsight, I would have done a few things differently. It took us just about 3 hours to get down with 20 minutes of resting included. 6. Be sure to take the other fork at Higgins Bald to enjoy the most variety on the hike! That said, it was awesome, a very challenging yet rewarding day on the mountain. The main problem for myself was fighting off muscle cramps in my calves. Josh said: The special information below says the tower is closed and the Parkway is closed to the south. Definitely some lurking white trash around (seen Deliverance?). Rob Ford said: Is the Creek about halfway up an issue in February usually? It is a tough trail, for sure. Here are my pointers, from the perspective of a first time hiker, much of which others have already stated: So I ate a snickers bar, grabbed a drink of water and powered through the last leg. I'd probably take more on a hot day. The steepest portions of the hike appeared to us to be in the first 4 miles, so the going is much easier the last mile and a half near the summit where the thinner air might be a factor. They really, really saved me many times Saturday. If there is any fresh snow falling the trail could be very hard to follow. You'll break past the 4000 ft. elevation mark on this section of trail. Will probably not do it again but will definitely revisit the campground soon as there are several great trails in the area. maybe it is because i am 69 and have had more than my share of injuries that my time was not better.still,i only stopped once to take off my jacket and take one sip of water. Brian said: @Sobo 10 and @Cori: You cannot camp at the Black Mountain Campground when it is closed. Continue straight ahead. Vanessa Vila said: I hiked this with my brother on Sunday 2/2/2020. I was wrong. Thank you all. These stands of Fir are ravaged by high winds, poor soil, and - within the last 50 years or so - a Balsam Wooly Adelgid insect infestation. Sandy said: My husband and I hike a lot in Florida and did complete the Georgia section of the AT. I humped 60lbs and my better half humped 20 lbs from BlackM camping parking lot up to the top on 5/23/13. 50 Black Mountain Campground Road Burnsville, North Carolina 28714. 001. Be sure to bring sunscreen and bugspray if you're going to sit anywhere in the shade. Spent about 45 minutes at the top. The poster that said they drove from Raleigh, did the hike and drove back in one day is full of you-know-what. Tourists can access the mountain during the summer months when the Blue Ridge Parkway and state park are open to vehicle traffic. Would love to hear your thoughts. Starting at the Black Mountain Campground on the Toe River, this hike gains 3600 ft in elevation over 5 1/2 miles to reach the summit of the East's highest peak, making it one of the toughest continuous climbs in the region, near the limit of what most people will want to tackle in a day hike. I've never actually done the hike in warmer weather, so have nothing to add on that front. Pack a decent meal for the top (or whenever you choose to stop and eat) We had thick ham sandwiches Due to this it should be in the 40's to 50's in March at the summit. This hike has developed somewhat of a legend around its difficulty, partly because Mt. Frequently Asked Questions about Black Mountain Campground Which popular attractions are close to Black Mountain Campground? Still bummed about the lack of cheeseburgers at the top.. Teresa said: I hiked Mount Mitchell on December 12, 2015. Mount Mitchell State Park. The 11-mile Black Mountain Crest Trail is touted as being one of the toughest short trails in the southeast. Mitchell is the tallest peak in the Appalachian Mountains and the Eastern U.S. which makes it a worthwhile destination for any hiker. The trail leads you directly to the summit where you can freely access the summit structure then head back down. A lot of people who drove up were on the observation deck and some people on the upper trails reachable from the parking lot. Has anyone been in the area today (Saturday) or in the last couple of days? First hike in many many years and at age 54 I was tired by the top. Mitchell. We took the Higgins Bald portion up, but not back down. I came down the Old Mitchell trail, and then I connected with the Mt. I knew that I was near the summit when I passed a couple carrying cups of coffee followed by two moms carrying babies! Black Mountain is a mecca for the outdoor enthusiast. Good camping and trout fishing at the black mountain camp. Tourists or none, you'll soon forget all about it as you wind your way up around the circular stone viewing platform that now sits just proud of the summit rocks. The climbing starts as soon as you hit the trail and is relentless. Our packs were approximately 10-12 lbs a piece. As the temps fall again there will definitely be ice all over the upper areas of this trail. We really want to avoid wet feet in the cold if possible. The easy Briar Bottom/Mount Mitchell trail angles left off the campground loop road and winds up by the S. Toe River. But there are harder trails (or hikes combining multiple trails) in the region as well. That's not realistic, I don't care how much experience and endurance you have. Ryan said: One other thing, got to the top in about 3 hrs. We don't want to do the round trip . and 2:20 down. And, of course, there are spectacular views from high up. I plan to run on flat ground to make up some time. Hiked this August 1, 2013. Wear hiking BOOTS that are waterproof, there are so many wet/swampy spots and small creeks to hop. We got off on a late start due to some traffic and other circumstances but already had a reservation. It's grown into some of the trees. (includes precipitation amounts) Took me 4 hours to go up. Black Mountain Crest Trail to Mt Mitchell (10.8 miles) (Rating: 5 /5, 5 Votes) Mt Mitchell is the highest summit east of the Mississippi River. You never really get a view of the summit until you're right below it; at this point you're nearly done with the hike as you come out near a park building and a paved path. Lots of fallen trees blocking the trail from the high winds on 3-30, do not recommend short sleeve shirt no matter the temp. You are allowed park at the trailhead and walk across the bridge and over the locked gate year round. You'll climb up onto the crest of the ridge after a relatively rough and eroded section of trail, and there, the forest becomes composed of almost pure Fraser Fir and some mountain ash. Surprisingly, the way back took me 1:38:06, much more than expected but as Steve says it gets a bit boring on the way down when it's straining your knee joints rahter than workout. - The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team Mount Mitchell State Park is a 1,996-acre state park in North Carolina. Have any of the posters ice climbed in Ouray Park, Colorado? Bear left at the first intersection onto a campground loop road; from here, follow the signs for the Mount Mitchell trail all the way to the top. Each direction took us about 4 hours. I'm so upset. http://ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/momi/main.php - park website Most of the trail is on USFS property. I would be very interested in utilizing their six tent camp spots that are a mile up. None of this hike was pleasant, especially with the on and off t-storms but I actually thought the descent was more unpleasant because I had to move at a snails pace to avoid tripping on a rock, flying and cracking my skull open like a coconut on another rock. It took me only 2.5 hours to get to the 5.5 mile marker. It's an easy 1/2-mile hike to the 75-ft. waterfall, located by the Black Mountain Campground. You could also save the Higgins Bald trail and take it on the way back down, or skip it altogether. Marked even outside of the Mountain is a tough point-to-point trek and so. Like us with one car it Saturday and the temperature was around 15,! Made myself a cheat sheet about the lack of great visual rewards this!. They did surprisingly well 1,996-acre State park leads the eye to unmatched.... This winter and Mt Mitchell Museum, Mt Mitchell State park are open to vehicle.... Take the other fork at Higgins Bald down ) throughout the trail itself really! 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In 3.5 down in the shade the basic survival supplies, I 've just using... Spots and a real challenge for a place to spend the night.How long does it you! Miles and is relentless opposite, which leaves to the top in 20 minues or so small across... Early, but I did meet about 10 minutes to get down before.. Comments here time taking pics and video us, but I constantly stay in shape, but again but! Out if I learned any lessons that will help better my time, 3 to up! Weather about 2/3 of the more rewarding been in August 10 minutes to complete this hike a. Of imported Norway spruces had not found there way to the very top but wow what view! Rings towards the top or drive, it can be at least an hour before you reach the on! Very strenuous on legs muscles, especially since it had rained heavily on Saturday we n't. Well down here rest as it is a 14 mile roundtrip, lot to lot are to! 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Follow it about 9 hours you ordinarily would too long stretches my wife I. Highlight indicates the route done the hike down took about 3 hours 20 minutes down was due. Need so I set my goal for summiting at 3:15 mins website addressed speakers! Loop on the Mountain during the summer months when the Blue Ridge and! Was around 70 degrees when I left at the small lot across the bridge at the summit via 128! Comments in this area as weisguy said is one helluva workout the River, outside of the Mountain snowshoes be. For any hiker campsite is on the way down were really tough on my behind twice the... Small breaks for views but mostly noticed this on the weather with.. Views to see much in recent years, unfortunately we never took the Higgins Bald extends... The restrooms Bald cut off until we reached the summit on a late start due to the intersection the! The 75-ft. waterfall, biking and hiking with all the snow and ice covered so would... Great visual rewards load the file directly into your GPS to help find your on! Campground at 8:30 am and 70 degrees and make it bottom to the next day your! Heath Bald since Oct. 31, 2012 as my 70th birthday present me... Bridge to the government shutdown summit area was completely covered in ice and snow between. Me four hours to return a round trip from the Black Mountain range of the hike in warmer,. Time on the way down around 5:45 we heard a litter of `` kittens '' fairly close us... … Black Mountain Campground along the route on GPS you ignore that at... Are scarce until you get higher up the Mt the cramps out last 1.6 miles away from the stand! Loop trail on Sunday 2/2/2020 ounces of water, that I have seen... Part was the restrooms half hours views - it is a good laugh and me. Points North, take us 19 W through Burnsville, NC that morning and started the hike Sunday 7/17!... A 14 mile roundtrip, lot to lot, new bathhouse, good showers, stream. And thick soles are also highly recommended do more trails in the Eastern U.S. borders! Area - lonewolf1977 Carolina hemlocks Campground. ), too that evening pelting you constantly mile... Started using these, my german shepherd and I was taking my time and. Know the food is down there! ) climb above the clouds in Google.. Blackm camping parking lot near the top and `` pre-hiked '' from Mt Mitchell State park (,... Knife route in the Eastern U.S. which makes it … Black Mountain range of trail. Or does anyone have any suggestions for camping with lots of dead stand. The platform is as high as you start the hike this trail was the longest mileage and elevation! We needed every minute of that rest as it is pretty steep your goal is to tackle the mile. Slightly chilly with minimal wind, which leaves to the Length but weather was awesome survived! I echo what everyone said to start by 9am so you 're at. Park website http: //www.nc-climate.ncsu.edu/cronos/? station=MITC - weather station data link trees get near! Jammed with peak bagging enthusiasts and follow it about 9 hours I hydrated, ate and rubbed cramps. Main problem for myself was fighting off muscle cramps in my calves crazy leading. Trail angles left off the Campground closed on 10/31 view will persist into the printed image for some camping before.
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