When I started researching things to do near Asheville, I discovered that nearby Mt. Mitchell is the tallest peak east of the Mississippi at 6,684 feet, so I knew we wanted to visit. After starting our day at Craggy Gardens, we continued further up the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mt. Mitchell State Park. Mt. Mitchell is in the Black Mountains and part of the larger Pisgah National Forest. This was the middle of June and it was 58 degrees up here while it was 82 down below in Asheville. It’s an interesting little ecosystem with a climate more like northern alpine environments with a spruce-fir forest.
It was foggy and misty when we got there, which I love.
We loved all of the tunnels.
We decided to do the Balsam Nature Trail hike and it was like walking into another world. It looked like a movie set for an enchanted forest — everything was misty and covered with moss and lichen.
After the Balsam hike, we were back to the parking lot area. We decided to grab some snacks from the car and refill our water first. We had brought a bag of chips from home and it had puffed up like it was about to explode. A great lesson in altitude and density. From the parking area, it’s only a short, but steep, hike to the summit. Once we got to the top, we had a view of neighboring mountains on one side and complete cloud cover on the other side.
The summit marker.