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Mt. Mitchell Park [MP 335.4]

At 6,684 feet, Mt. Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi. Mt. Mitchell State Park is part of Pisgah National Forest. This 1,946-acre Park offers picnic areas (one nice picnic shelter resembles an old log cabin), tent camping areas, trails, nature study, Natural History Museum, Restaurant (May-October) and an observation tower.

The park is open:
November – February, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
March, April, – 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
September and October, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
May – August, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day

8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Sunday, April through October
8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, November through March

Restaurant Hours (phone number: 828-675-0477)

May 1 – August 31, 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., daily
September 1 – October 31, 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., daily

Concession Stand / Gift Shop Hours

May – October, 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., daily

There are a few places in the world that still stand apart from the ordinary. Rising more than a mile high, surrounded by the gentle mist of low-hanging clouds, Mount Mitchell State Park is one of these extraordinary places.

In the crest of the timeworn Black Mountains lies the summit of Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi. For those who ascend this mighty peak, what looms in the horizon is a feast for the eyes–breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, rolling ridges and fertile valleys. Forested and forever misty, 1,946-acre Mount Mitchell State Park will provide you with some of the most tranquil moments you’ll ever experience. [1]
Excerpted from TripAdvisor hiker reviews:

Highest peak east of the Mississippi – My fiancé and I chose Mt. Mitchell as one of two stops on the Blue Ridge parkway for a day trip. Once arriving to the park we entered the interpretive center which was full of information and very well kept. Then, we walked up to the summits observation tower where you are in the clouds and the view is spectacular! We didn’t have time to complete many trails but trails of varying difficulty and other activities are available. After spending some time on the observation tower, we enjoyed a picnic lunch at the parks picnic area which was very serene and offered amazing views and tranquility. ” — user cbortimes Gainesville, FL

Highest Point this side of the Rockies – You drive till almost the top, there is a beautiful little trail to a nice looking tower overlook…benches and all…There is a snack shop, bathroom facility, and gift shop at the top parking lot…a restaurant a little further down…It is a stop worth making and its off the gorgeous Blue Ridge Parkway which in itself is a ride worth taking ” — user tdngjj

Beautiful Camping – I camped here with my son and a friend in July 2013. The views are breathtaking and the sites are nicely spaced apart. You have to park in a parking lot but it’s a short walk. The nearest store is a 45 minute drive so be sure to come prepared. You can buy ice and the Mt. Mitchell restaurant. The campground is located off some great trails. I wish that they provided showers and didn’t enforce the alcohol rule but it’s still one of my favorite places to camp. Be sure to put your food away or the bears will visit you at night. ” — user kfamoore Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Interpretive and Educational
  • During the summer months – the state offers special events and interpretive programs. Check here.
Choose between a short stroll or a more extensive hike into the woods. Either choice will be rewarding as the beauty of the park is best seen from one of its many trails. Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and carry proper gear as the high altitude makes the climate of Mount Mitchell chilly, even in summer. Severe storms above 6,000 feet are unpredictable and can be life-threatening. Fog and winds can impede search-and-rescue crew and helicopter access. Hike and camp in the back country at your own risk.
[1] North Carolina State Parks, “Mt. Mitchell State Park”

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