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Backpacker Magazine – October 2004

High Points: Mt. Mitchell, North Carolina

A high point that provides an alluring combination of scenery, storms, and access.

by: Shannon Davis and Joe Glickman

Elevation: 6,684 feet


Save for the notoriously inclement Mt. Washington, no other mountain under 7,000 feet offers such an alluring combination of scenery, storms, and access. It can snow any day of the year on Mt. Mitchell's summit, the highest east of the Mississippi. The record low is -34 degrees F, and winds up top commonly exceed 100 mph. From the parking lot high above the Blue Ridge Parkway, it's all of 285 yards to the bulky stone structure at the summit. Pay your respects at the grave of Dr. Elisha Mitchell, the clergyman and science professor who fell to his death in 1857 while trying to establish that the peak was, in fact, the state high point.

Contact: Mt. Mitchell State Park, (828) 675-4611;

USGS Topo: Mount Mitchell

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Reader Rating: -


Jun 16, 2011

One of my favorite places! I love the way the evergreens smell up there. Hike it from the bottom at Black Mountain Campground to say you conquered it! Backpacking camps at Commissary Ridge and Deep Gap; The Deep Gap trail is a little rough if you carry heavy packs so be ready.

Jun 16, 2011

Highly agree with both Caleb and Chelle! Mitchell is one of the best. Just prepare for ANY kind of weather, ANY time of the year (except winter, when it's just plain cold). We were lucky enough to get several bright, sunny days in April of 2009 on the trail from the Mitchell summit to Deep Gap, and it was breathtaking.

May 19, 2011

Went from Mt.Mitchell to Deep Gap and back.. across 5 mountain tops and back over.. it was awesome.. Spectacular views! definitly would do that trip again.

caleb B
Feb 06, 2010

MOunt Mitchell is awesome . everyone one should hike and camp there at least one time in there life.


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