A paved road to Mount Mitchell with breathtaking views in NC
Mount Mitchell is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 2.007m (6,584ft) above the sea level, located in Yancey County, in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It’s said to be the highest point east of the Mississippi.
Can you drive to Mount Mitchell in NC?
Set high in the Black Mountain range of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina, the road to the summit (originally called Black Dome) is totally paved. It’s called North Carolina Highway 128 (NC 128). Starting at Blue Ridge Parkway, the road is 7.24km (4.5 miles) long. The traffic can be slow, especially on the weekends. The two-lane road has mild curves as it enters Mount Mitchell State Park. If the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed due to inclement weather, access to NC 128 is cut-off.
Is the road to Mount Mitchell in NC steep?
The road to the summit is very steep, hitting a 9.4% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Starting at Blue Ridge Parkway, the ascent is 7.24km (4.5 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 432 meters. The average gradient is 5.96%. Bring a jacket or an extra layer of clothes. Temperatures are usually 10-30 degrees cooler than Asheville. Weather conditions can change rapidly. Take rain gear along if you are hiking. Eight out of ten days, the summit is covered in clouds and fog. Watch the weather, and try to visit when skies are very clear in Asheville.
Is the road to Mount Mitchell in NC worth it?
Located 35 miles northeast of downtown Asheville, the drive is very scenic and features unmatched views. 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. At the summit, there's an observation deck. On a clear day, you can enjoy spectacular views and see as far as 85 miles! Also at the summit, you'll find a museum, shop and restrooms. The State Park also features a restaurant (open spring to fall).
Pic: Carolyn Kaneko