Drive to Trailhead & Trail Guide

Drive Guide - Mt Mitchell from Craggy Dome

  • Duration: 12.7 miles, 0:30
  • Google Maps URL: http://goo.gl/maps/pX9I2
  • Seasonal/Limited Access: Blue Ridge Parkway closed in bad weather. Check the BRP Closure Map.
  • Directions:
    • N on the Parkway (turn R out of lot) and go 8
    • Mile marker 355.3
    • L at stone “Mount Mitchell State Park” sign and go 4.6

Trail Guide

  • Duration: 0.3 miles, 0:10
  • Navigation
    • Trail begins at SW corner of lot, near buildings.
    • Follow paved trail to summit.
    • Once you reach the classroom building, you are just inside the activation zone.
    • I was asked by a guy in a state park uniform whether I had a permit. I responded that I had a federal license for the radio and that I did not need a permit. He accepted that, admonishing me not to get in anyone’s way. You might consider setting up on one of the side trails, out of site from people who drive the park golf cart. Don’t set up on the observation platform unless you are a smooth talker.
  • Trailhead altitude: 6566’ @ 35.766376, -82.265359
  • Summit altitude: 6684’ @ 35.7648, -82.2652
    • W4C activation zone is 80 feet, so anything above 6604 is good.
    • There is a sign post with the elevation at the far end of the parking lot, so you can calibrate your altimeter.

Summit Guide

  • Apply bug dope. On July 11, 2015, the summit and parking area were swarmed with wevils. Wevils look a lot like ticks. They were landing on me and my pack faster than I could find them and flick them off.
  • Hang antenna from tree: Yes, if you are away from the apex of the summit.
  • Space to guy mast: Yes, if you are away from the apex of the summit.
  • Cell coverage: Pat says: ATT=N, APRS=Y. In 2014 and 2015, I succeeded w/VZN, but slow to go out.
  • Unique features:
    • Observation deck; crowds; mildly grumpy park service.
    • Snack bar and restrooms at the parking lot.
    • The state park operates a restaurant which you will pass on the 4.6 mile drive up from the parkway.