The Deep Gap Trail begins at Mt. Mitchell State Park with the Deep Gap Campground as the northern terminus. The challenges begin from the trailhead marker as the trail winds through a series of wooded picnic areas and gravel paths. It is not clearly marked which path is the actual trail and which leads to a picnic table. Have fun with this and you will make it through the maze eventually. Once you're off the gravel, the real trail begins. It treks closely to the Black Mountain ridge line but there are plenty of rugged ascents and descents. The GPS came up with a little more distance than the park service for this trail but nor more than a half mile. We stayed on the trail strictly for the most part. This adventure was an out and back day trek in mid-September. The weather was very cooperative as we enjoyed bright sunny skies with some mid-day and afternoon clouds. While the clouds threatened of rain later in the day, we did not encountered any other than a few drops here and there. Temperatures where in the mid-70s with refreshing low-70s as we assaulted each peak.The trip file only covers the trip out. Data was recorded with iPhone 4s and the EveryTrail Pro app. Cell service of some sort was available at many spots during the trip but 3G was only in a couple of places for darting seconds. So it might be reasonable to expect text service but voice or data was not highly successful. This trail is a major undertaking especially an out and back day trek. The pictures demonstrate the ruggedness of the trail. In contrast the climate, ecology, and prize-winning views are quite the reward. It is far more strenuous, in my opinion, than bothMitchell Trail or Old Mitchell Trail. If doing this in a day, plan to spend most of the daylight hours and make as much time early where the trail is easier. The journey offers plenty of rocky, rugged terrain which ventures through tall, old-growth forests with moss covered ground and fallen trees. Expect smells of evergreen in the cool air which is greatly appreciated as you catch your breath. A couple of natural rock cutins where folks have setup firepits make for great lunch or rest stops along the way. It appeared to be a popular trail. A couple of guys and their dogs were making and out and back from Carolina Hemlocks up Colbert Ridge to Mt. Mitchell and back and several others where camping at Deep Gap. One father and son were hiking to Bowlens Creek where they had a pick up arranged.