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The tallest of six summits exceeding 6,000 feet in the state park, Mount Mitchell is the giant at 6,684 feet. Located in the Black Mountain Range about 35 miles northeast of Asheville, off Milepost 355.4 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the mountain is the stuff of lore and legend. French botanist Andre Michaux searched for rare plants in the area in 1794. Dr. Elisha Mitchell, who calculated the elevation of the peak in 1835, later died on the mountain and is buried near the summit. Today visitors from all over the world come to hike over the rugged trails of the highest mountain in the East, pitch a tent or picnic in the rain, dine in the ...

The tallest of six summits exceeding 6,000 feet in the state park, Mount Mitchell is the giant at 6,684 feet. Located in the Black Mountain Range about 35 miles northeast of Asheville, off Milepost 355.4 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the mountain is the stuff of lore and legend. French botanist Andre Michaux searched for rare plants in the area in 1794. Dr. Elisha Mitchell, who calculated the elevation of the peak in 1835, later died on the mountain and is buried near the summit. Today visitors from all over the world come to hike over the rugged trails of the highest mountain in the East, pitch a tent or picnic in the rain, dine in the clouds in the comfort of the restaurant, and take in the 85-mile panoramic view.

The exhibit hall tells the story of the park’s history, forests, geology, wildlife, and its heroes, including “Big” Tom Wilson, the famous mountain guide who found Dr. Mitchell’s body. It also has an interactive weather station. Though the 1,855-acre park is open year-round, it is often inaccessible during the winter. The best time to visit is between May and October when everything is open, including the gift shop and restrooms. That’s also when the rangers lead interpretative programs.

Carol Timblin
About the Expert

Carol Timblin has contributed to numerous guidebooks and authored four editions of Houghton Mifflin's Best Places to Stay in the South.

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Carol Timblin for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: State park approximately 29 miles from Charlotte, in western North Carolina.
  • Research: Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring, summer, and fall. Icy and snowy conditions may make travel to the park hazardous in winter.