Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mount Mitchell and the Deep Gap Trail
Mount Mitchell State Park
Yancey County, NC

Friday, June 3rd, 2011


At 6,684 feet above sea level, the summit of Mount Mitchell is the highest point in Eastern United States. I've been there about 5 times and every visit has always been in the fogged. I hoped that today I would get some clear views.

From the Blue Ridge Parkway at Mile Marker 355, Highway 128 takes you into the state park. The road ends at the Mount Mitchell Summit parking area. A short but fairly steep paved trail takes you the final 100-feet to the Observation Tower on the Summit.
Me at the Mount Mitchell Summit

It was far from a crystal clear day, but it was also by far the most open views I have ever experienced on Mount Mitchell. The temperature at the summit was a cool 58 degrees. Dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, the stiff breeze actually made me feel cold for the first time in weeks.

view from the Mount Mitchell Summit
Looking North towards Mount Craig

The best way to warm up is a little hike, so decided to do a short section of The Deep Gap Trail (also know as the Black Mountain Crest Trail). The trailhead is at the lower end of the same parking area. The trail follows the ridgeline North over several 6,000+ ft peaks.

I decided to go as far as Big Tom (6,581-feet) which is about a mile away making for a 2-mile out and back hike. This also took me up and over the Summit of Mount Craig (6,648-feet).

The Deep Gap Trail

There was a nice variety of wildflowers along the way and lots of open areas to take in the awesome views!

Mystery Wildflower - Some sort of Lily?


Bluets


Me on the Deep Gap Trail


Along the Deep Gap Trail

Some additional Photos are posted here:
http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/580344442KWoBfF

2 comments:

Mark said...

Great trip report Jack! Have not been up there since I was a kid, your trip inspires me to visit Mt Mitchell Again.

Brenda W. said...

There's never been a time that I've been to Mitchell and NOT been cold!! Between the temps up there AND those seemingly never ending winds, it's always cool/cold!!

Nice pictures from the overlook ... I love those deep, dark clouds.