State Highpoints – North Carolina - 6,684’ Mount Mitchell
North Carolina’s highest peak and the 16th highest US state summit, 6,684-foot Mount Mitchell, is located 30 miles northeast of Asheville in the Mount Mitchell State Park area of Pisgah Natioal Forest in western North Carolina. Mount Mitchell is the highest peak in the US east of the Mississippi River, hence the highest peak in the eastern US. With 6,092 feet of prominenc, Mitchell is an Ultra prominent peak. Mitchell is the second most prominent peak in the eastern US, being just nudged out of first place by Mount Washington in New Hampshire.
Mount Mitchell is essentially a drive up. There is a road to a parking lot just 264 feet from the actual highpoint. To reach this parking lot, follow the Blue Ridge Parkway for 40 miles northeast from Asheville to North Carolina State Route 128. Turn left onto SR 128, and go 4.3 miles to the large parking area. From the parking lot follow the path south, climb several high steps, pass a small museum, then up to the summit. There is an observation tower on the summit, and you should have expansive views in all directions. If you prefer to hike up this peak, you can hike 5.6 miles up the Mount Mitchell Trail from the Black Mountain Campground.