Black Mountain Crest Trail - Mt Mitchell to Bowlens Creek

based on 104 tracks & routes #3 hike out of 23 in
11.0 mi
5 hrs 34 min
3,501 ft
Elev Gain


This is a difficult one way trail that begins in Mount Mitchell State Park. It starts at Mt Mitchell (a short climb from the parking area) and runs the length of the Black Mountain Crest with spectacular views along much of the way. There is a lot of elevation gain and loss, as the trail goes over many peaks along the way. Many areas are rocky and slick, and are best suited for experienced hikers. At the end of the crest near Celo Knob, the trail has a long descent down to Bowlens Creek Trailhead.

Note that no camping is allowed on this trail, except at Deep Gap, around 4 miles from Mt Mitchell.
If doing this hike the other direction, starting at Bowlens Creek, there will be an elevation gain of over 6,000 ft.

This trail goes by Potato Hill, Deep Gap, Winter Star Mountain, Gibbs Mountain, and Percys Peak.

Getting Started

The hike begins from the Mt Mitchell Parking area in Mt Mitchell State Park. The road into the park is around milepost 355 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Be sure to check on the park hours of operation, and potential closures of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The gate closes after hours, so be careful not to get your vehicle locked in.

If doing this hike one way, there is a lengthy shuttle.

Taking Children

There is some pleasant family hiking on nature trails in the immediate vicinity of Mt Mitchell.
This hike is strenuous and technical, so it likely is not suited for young children.

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