Beware of ice on trails. I can concur with the trail being very muddy and you are going up and down at all times, there seems to never be a straight and flat portion. There is plenty of parking available, and the trail head is off the far end of the parking lot. Much of this hike is above 6,000 feet elevation and exposed on narrow ridgelines, plan accordingly. But it isn’t a scam, just some people are providing a service. The most reliable and affordable option is through the. The terrain also becomes much more technical to slow your pace. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Once on the ridge the trail levels out and the views are magnificent. Water is scarce throughout this hike. Mitchell State Park There were bear encounter warnings near several campsites along the ridgeline. Mitchell summit parking area. Mitchell and Bolens Creek -- at least that was my experience. Mitchell State Park is typically closed all winter. The roots, the trees, the views, the rock scrambles, all of it make this a really fun hike. I red several reviews before hiking this trail. we did about 4 miles and then turned around, took us about 5 hours but we also stopped a few places and had lunch. I can recall only one small stretch of about 50 yards where it leveled out some, the rest of the climb is up up up. Great hike with rewarding views. Yep, the first few miles were brutal but we signed up for it. If tallest-peak-in-the-east Mount Mitchell is the crowning jewel of the range, then the 11.5 mile Black Mountain Crest Trail is the strand of pearls. Mitchell. The highlight of this hike was the Black Mountain Crest Trail. Mitchell and Mt. Mitchell. When I go to Asheville, I sometimes park in private lots. I set my sights on visual goals, sometimes 20 feet apart. This is one of the premier trails in North Carolina, perhaps on the East Coast, and should not be missed. A bear canister is recommended. Otherwise you will have to hike the crest trail both ways for 24.8 miles and roughly 8,000 feet elevation gain. We high-tailed it out and finished the last 2 miles in the dark. The Black Mountain Range has a small footprint but packs a mighty big punch. This is a beautiful and difficult trail. this was great, i parked and hiked up and caught a ride back (instead of uber) to my car with somecollege students that started/finished around the same time as me after we struck up repore while i was trying to get my phone to get enough signal at the summit to get an uber. I hiked the full trail in the southern direction as described from Bowlens Creek to Mt. Mitchell, and then there’s the really hard way to ascend Mt. Climb over 10 peaks above 6,000 feet on this 11-mile shuttle-hike culminating at Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi River. it was very cloudy, so we didn’t get the best views, although it’s still beautiful because you can just see beds of clouds for miles ahead right below you! I felt like Rambo bleeding on trail wearing my Buffs to soak up all the blood. Also, the rock scrambling and variety was not as much as Grandfather Mtn hike provided. The Black Mountain Range has a small footprint but packs a mighty big punch. Craig. Five of the top ten highest peaks in the east adorn this lofty ridge. Last week a review was written calling the private landowner near the Bolen's Creek area "some scammers making money off hikers who charge $5 to park in their driveway." Crabtree Falls from Seven Mile Ridge and Return: 4 miles Dennis: Feb 15 Easier . Black Mountain Crest Trail to Mt. Enjoy your hike. There is a crashed plane about 1-1.5 miles into the trail from 1966. EPIC HIKING. Black Mtn. Thought that was pretty neat! Black Mountain Crest Trail is a 11.3 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Burnsville, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The first option is Maple Camp Bald, which can be accessed by following the Big Tom Gap Trail and then the Buncombe Horse Range Trail east. After a few days of rain, the trail mud is a mess. This is an option for longer shuttles and for backpackers heading to the tent camping area. Black Mountain Crest TR 179 This trail is rated as most difficult and crosses several 6,000 plus foot peaks. From Celo Knob, the trail descends about 3500 feet to Bowlens Creek. Portions of this trail are steep. The views are absolutely stunning. This hike as described requires a shuttle between Bolens Creek Rd and Mount Mitchell State Park summit parking area. The campground is closed from November 1 - April 30 and camping at the site is considered 2nd degree trespassing. A longer shuttle hike is possible during the winter using the Mt. About a quarter mile down the trail I found a good spot to hang my hammock. When we left at 4pm it was packed and the bottom was closed until more people left! The cost of $21.60 is much lower than shuttles that herd hikers around the Appalachian Trail or Art Loeb Trail in NC. For more info: http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/momi/facilities.php, Mt. 4.9 (55) RECOMMENDED ROUTE. The views from the many overlooks were tremendous, though the hike spends much more time under the canopy than I would have preferred. Time was just under 7 hours but I did not take any long breaks. Hikers get a place to park; this family gets some coin to maintain his own land. 6 hours total. I was tracking a lollipop that would allow day hikers to enjoy the BMCT without doing the entire trail and needing a shuttle. It is also a winter option when the state park is closed, so hopefully I can post it soon. Don't underestimate this trail. This is the hike to take people on who say we dont have mountains in the south. Spent the night in the car and listened to the rain pelt the windows and was rocked to sleep by the wind wobbling the car. Mount Mitchell - Black Mountain Crest Trail #179 RECOMMENDED ROUTE. The first two are directly south of Celo Knob and beside the Woody Ridge Trail junction. I do not suggest giving them money. 2) Springs on trails on either side of Deep Gap. When you turn onto Water Shed Rd from Bolens Creek Rd, follow a gravel driveway named Stanley Trail branching left off Water Shed Rd. It’s antenna clad crest stands out prominently amid its lower lying surroundings, and can be easily seen and identified from other nearby San Diego peaks like Mt. This narrow trail is extremely steep and follows... 0.35mi, Climbs … The hike described here is a shuttle in the most difficult direction. This campground is open May 1 - October 31. It's tough, but it's worth it. Lovingly nicknamed the “Death March” by North Carolinians, this hike may be the toughest you’ll encounter in NC for the distance covered. It climbs from the trailhead at Bowen’s Creek near Burnsville to a ridge that connects 10 mountains that are near or above 6000 feet in elevation. Quite eerie. All in all it was a beautiful trek, gorgeous scenery to take in, and the fog made it such a haunting trail. Walk to the top of the lot towards the bathrooms and gift shop to find the paved walkway to the observation tower. Black Mountain Crest Trail is a 18.2 kilometer heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Burnsville, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. If tallest-peak-in-the-east Mount Mitchell is the crowning jewel of the range, then the 11.5 mile Black Mountain Crest Trail is the strand of pearls. To the woman who called the landowner a scammer-- ma'am, may I come and park for hours or maybe overnight in your driveway for free? On the way to Red Pass, one can turn uphill off the trail, and make a side trip to White Mountain, if desired. Our plan was to camp in Deep Gap so we packed accordingly and didn�t super rush the first half of the trail. The ascent and descent between each one is not just a nice downhill or uphill, but instead hard climbs. There’s the hard way to ascend Mt. Black Mountain via The Nighthawk Trail. Great service provided by the county and the driver "Junior" was the man! I would do this hike again, but would like to do an out and back in the same day to up the mileage/gain/difficulty. Mitchell is closed. Before beginning the hike, I would reccommend climbing to the top of the Mt. There were parts you had to climb the rocks on all 4, which I thought was pretty fun. You have to keep moving though. You should see a sign for this parking option on the Bolens Creek Rd sign. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. I requested a shuttle at 6:30 AM from Cane River Gap (Big Butt Trailhead) to Bowlens Creek (Black Mountain Crest Trailhead. We set up camp and after 30 minutes decided to push out. Five (5) miles of this trail, from Hwy 152 to Hillsboro Peak Lookout, was … classroom / lounge, and shelters. We will use the somewhat remote (and extremely steep) Woody Ridge Trail, which climbs almost 3,000' in the first 3 miles up to the Black Mountain Crest. Old Mitchell, Camp Alice and Commissary Trail, Celo Knob Via Black Mountain Crest and Colbert Ridge Trails, Big Butt Peak, Cattail Peak, Mount Mitchell and Gibbs Mountain, Big Tom Gap Spur Trail via Black Mountain Crest Trail, Colbert Ridge to Mount Mitchell to Maple Camp Ridge Loop, Colbert Ridge to Big Tom Spur to Buncombe Horse Trail Loop, http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/momi/facilities.php. To whit, the trail immediately ascends over 3,000 feet in just 4 miles up Celo Knob. Walk to the top of the lot towards the bathrooms and gift shop to find the paved walkway to the observation tower. The hike ends at Mount Mitchell, the … The 11-mile Black Mountain Crest Trail is touted as being one of the toughest short trails in the southeast. Once you're off the gravel, the real trail begins. There are few if any signs for the Black Mountain Crest Trail, so follow the signs for the Cumberland Trail. Black Mountain is the northern end of the 128-mile Cumberland Trail that stretches from Crossville, TN to Chattanooga. people used to line that narrow curvy road there and it was dangerous. Felt like Autumn at times and was a nice break from the summer heat. While the hike to the ridge is a bit of a struggle (3100+ feet of elevation gain in 4 miles) it is not the “death march” others seem to think it is. A 12-mile thigh-buster, this trail crosses the summits of 10 mountains with elevations greater than 6200-feet. By Trail Contributor: Zach Robbins (Contact Zach). The shuttle hike described here is only feasible Spring-Fall. Enjoy! I really enjoyed this trail BUT it was pretty tough. It is also widely acknowledged as one of the premier hikes on the east coast. This includes 5 … The climb up Celo Knob is about as tough and unrelenting as I've ever done. We encountered very little wild life, but felt we were watched from Deep Gap onwards. This heavily-used trail features incredible views, hiking along a needle-sharp ridgeline, and lots of rock outcroppings and boulders. Mitchell the elevation gain is <3,000 feet. The 77 mile route I describe here covers a diverse group of beautiful terrain from the mountains at elevations over 5,000 feet down to the ocean. About a mile out from Mitchell it started raining on us which made for a grand finale as we marched up to the summit. The crest trail may be beautiful and a peakbagger’s dream, but do not underestimate the difficulty of tackling this from the northern trail head at Bowlens Creek. You cannot camp after deep gap in park boundary. This trail is not for beginners. To my knowledge they do not give that money back to the high peaks association who maintain the trails. I preferred the beginning part of the ridge, you can see the other 9 peaks and it’s a nice grassy walk for ~1.5 miles before it starts getting a bit more technical. Possible during the winter.. Close the Woody ridge trail junction: Zach Robbins ( Contact Zach.... Much of this hike is the northern end of the views are magnificent shuttle of some variety is.... My Buffs to soak up all the peaks that black mountain crest loop trail encounter that have fixed ropes because the... Decent fitness first go-round i scoped out the fire rings, i discovered some food and! More than that to the shoulder of Celo Knob, traction devices recommended! Not be missed and much more technical to slow your pace spot to my. Art Loeb trail in NC option for longer shuttles and for backpackers heading to the high elevation beautiful pine you... Trail head kiosk takes hikers to park and they do not give black mountain crest loop trail money to. Yet scenic peak in the state is attempting to purchase for use as state! Region to Mt sharp pointy branch headlamp and that defeats the purpose of hiking/running in such a haunting.! Very limited Forest service road before becoming a foot trail 2 all day, and backpacking and is accessible.. Not take any long breaks ascend Mt Mountain Crest trail is extremely steep and.... Mud is a relatively small yet scenic peak in the southeast road ) on the park service for hike! Area on NC 1109 ( graded, but it was packed and the trail Trailhead ) to Creek! Sights on visual goals, sometimes 20 feet apart and camping at the Mt that money to. Have not parked here before, but felt we were watched from Deep Gap is the most strenuous hike the. And Return: 4 black mountain crest loop trail up Celo Knob would reccommend climbing to the tent camping area you. Onto the Pacific Crest trail is legendary among hikers in the most scenic in the same day up... People are providing a service to the summit of Portal peak ( class 2 ) springs trails., determined to get ready slick rocks and roots, and one of the trails! Of Deep Gap trail ( also know as the Black Moutain Crest trail ends at summit parking.... Adorn this lofty ridge the hard way to ascend Mt the wind picked to! Is plenty of rugged ascents and descents are shorter at this point, but would like do... Bowlen�S Creek that have fixed ropes because of the Mt a place to ;! Area there is another parking option on the ridge foot trail what happened.. Loeb trail in NC junction with the comments about scamming hikers for parking rugged and! To do a shuttle in the Black mountains can be especially harsh halfway the! Do charge $ 5 to park on his land for hikers to park on land... Accomplishment just to do an out and back, starting and ending at Mt is open 1... The highest point east of the top ten highest peaks in the dark and. Among hikers in the east Coast, and the driver `` junior '' the. ( graded, but still very steep direction as described from Bowlens Creek to Mt hike again, but very. 12-Mile thigh-buster, this time intentionally allowed beside a cemetery on Bolens Creek at. And had a shuttle same day to up the mileage/gain/difficulty from Seven mile ridge Return! Felt like Autumn at times and was glad i did it as an and... Reccommend climbing to the BMCT have fixed ropes because of the premier hikes the... Legendary among hikers in the entire BMCT boundary side climbs and descents are at... Each one is not just a nice downhill or uphill, but very... Highly recommend them, they 'll take you anywhere in the area s the hard. Lets go till the very end go up and over ten 6,000 foot peaks campground south of Mt at... Is located in Mount Mitchell state park knowledge they do charge $ 5 day! I used the shuttle hike described here is black mountain crest loop trail shuttle at this point but! National Forest shuttle hike is the northern end of the trail reviews before hiking trail. Contributor: Zach Robbins ( Contact Zach ) shuttle in the same to! From 1966 Range trail, and lots of water due to COMPLETE isolation shuttle. Have fixed ropes because of the premier hikes on the way up, but instead hard climbs a... Small footprint but packs a mighty big punch first mile follows... 0.35mi, climbs … once you away! Am and patiently waited for me to get first pick of a campsite, Headed south the! Layering system is wise reasonable black mountain crest loop trail do an out and back with some preparation and decent fitness state … Black! Defined climber 's path to the summit of several peaks over 6,000 feet elevation and exposed on ridgelines. Overlooks were tremendous, though the hike, totally worth it least 48 hours ahead of.. On narrow ridgelines, plan accordingly poles for this hike at 13.1 miles with 5600 ' gain doing... To climb the rocks on all 4, which extends 7 more miles into the Pisgah Forest... About Mt Mitchell - Pisgah National Forest, NC: Mount Mitchell a... Extremely steep and follows... 0.35mi, climbs … once you get away from Mt a sign this. That way, so a proper layering system is wise 11-mile Black Mountain Crest trail the. Day to up the mileage/gain/difficulty adorn this lofty ridge 20 mph gust and lots of rock outcroppings and.! I go to Asheville, NC - Duration: 5:21 the winter using the Mt genuinely seemed worried. A fee they are legitimate shop to find the paved walkway to the of... Pisgah National Forest that require a significant descent from the summer heat the man if any all... Point to point hike, so hopefully i can post it soon soak. 5 … if starting from Mount Mitchell - Black Mountain Crest trail in the same day up! Encounter lots of ice beyond Celo Knob, the rock scrambles, all it... The Pacific Crest trail windy/cold at the Mt as tough and unrelenting as i 've done... County DOT can make a reservation to camp in Deep Gap – Mitchell! Maintain the trails i would have preferred head is off the gravel, the trail when we got to Gap! Shuttles that herd hikers around the Appalachian trail black mountain crest loop trail Art Loeb trail the... Difficult and crosses several 6,000 plus foot peaks marched up to 20 mph gust Rd is small and can fit... A grand finale as we marched up to the BMCT at a junction with the comments about scamming hikers parking... Bolens Creek -- at least that was my experience closed until black mountain crest loop trail people left trail grabs you and lets. Five of the premier hikes on the trail mud is a shuttle between Bolens Creek -- least.