Skip to Content

Where To Camp On Mount Mitchell

Mount Mitchell is one of the Appalachian Mountains, a group of mountains located in North America. These spectacular mountains were formed approximately 480 million years ago and once rivaled the likes of the Rocky Mountains with their elevation, but they have since eroded naturally. 

This does not make Mount Mitchell any less impressive. Sitting at an elevation of 6684 feet above sea level, Mount Mitchell is the highest peak on the east side of the Mississippi. 

Because of its elevation and beauty, people love to camp at one of the many campsites near Mount Mitchell. If you’re planning on joining these adventurous campers this season, this article will tell you everything you need to know. 

Campsites Near Mount Mitchell 

Mount Mitchell Campground

As the only campsite actually located in Mount Mitchell State Park, Mount Mitchell Campground is a great base for exploring the mountain. 

The campground is open from May 1st to October 31st and has nine sites, with each site allowing up to 6 guests. Mount Mitchell Campground is accessible by car, and there is plenty of space for parking. 

It’s worth noting that you will need to fill out a form to register your vehicle if you intend on parking in Mount Mitchell State Park overnight. These forms are available at the park office or near the carpark, and should be left on the dashboard of your car when within the park. 

Both caravans and tents are welcome at the family campground, with grills and picnic tables available at each site. The visitor center is located nearby, and campers can use these toilets during summer. However, in the offseason, only pit toilets are accessible. There are no showers or hot water available, but you can get warmth by building a campfire which is allowed at the site. The campground is also locked at night to ensure the safety of the campers. 

On arrival, stop at the park office to check the closing time and get the emergency contact number in case there is an urgent matter that requires attention from the camp host. Any visitor not staying at the campground must leave by closing time as nobody is permitted to come or go after this time.

To get to Mount Mitchell campground, navigate your way to the park. Once you are past the park office, you will find a parking area where you can leave your vehicle. Make your way through the parking area, and you will reach the campsite, where you can find your allocated site. 

Black Mountain Campground

Open from April 12th to October 20th, the Black Mountain Campground sits below Mount Mitchell and provides great views of the Appalachian peak. 

The Black Mountain Campground has a total of 40 sites, 27 primitive and 3 with electrical access. The campground has excellent facilities with flushing toilets and hot showers available for use. Additionally, the park has picnic tables and campfire rings to make your stay easier. 

If you’re looking to pack light, Black Mountain Campground may be a suitable option, as it is possible to buy firewood and ice there. Sites for the campground are released on a 6-month basis, so it’s worth checking the website early if you are interested in staying here. To get to this campground, take the Blue Ridge Parkway then turn left onto South Toe River Road.

Pisgah National Forest

If you’re looking for something more adventurous, you can leave your car at Mount Mitchell Campground carpark and hike to Pisgah National Forest, which has a range of campsites available. 

To get there, you will need to hike the Mount Mitchell trail. The hiking distance for the trail is 12 miles and takes approximately 6 hours and 30 minutes. Given the strenuous nature of the trail and the fact that parts of the trail are heavily eroded, it is recommended for intermediate to experienced hikers. 

The campsites in this area range from remote campsites with no facilities to complete RV parks. There are numerous campgrounds in the Pisgah National Forest within relatively close proximity to Mount Mitchell for eager hikers.

Rocky Bluff Campground

Situated on Spring Creek, the Rocky Bluff Campground has sites that can accommodate tents and vans. With 15 sites in total and no restriction on guests per site, this campground will satisfy your fishing and hiking desires. There are picnic tables and toilets available for use, and campfires are allowed on the ground. 

The camp can be found by taking the Interstate 240 out of Asheville, then merging onto the I 240/US 70. Take exit 4A toward Weaverville and continue onto I 26 W, before exiting at Exit 19A toward Marshall.

Linville George Wilderness Area

With 11 sites accessible to tents, vans, trailers, and RVs, this campground is a good option for anybody looking to camp near Mount Mitchell. There are no toilets or shower facilities, so make sure you come prepared, although there are picnic tables where you can enjoy your meals. 

To get here, head out of Asheville on the I 240 E, and then exit onto I 40. From here, take Exit 72 and continue onto the US 70 E. Follow the signs to get to Linville George Wilderness, where it will be easy to navigate to the campground.  

Briar Bottom Group Campground

For views of the South Toe River while still being in close vicinity to Mount Mitchell, consider Briar Bottom Group Campground. This campground has six tent sites and allows a massive 50 guests per site. 

There are toilets, hot showers and picnic tables available, as well as plenty of space for campfires. 

It’s easy to navigate to the campground from Asheville; make your way to the Blue Ridge Parkway and turn left onto South Toe River Road. The park is open between April and October every year.

White Pines Group Campgrounds

A primitive campground with proximity to both Mount Mitchell and Pisgah National Forest, White Pines Campground can accommodate 25 tents. It is open to walk-ins and has toilets available, but no shower facilities. 

Only 40 minutes from Asheville, you can find this campground by taking the I 26 E and the NC 280 W. From the NC 280 W, take a right onto US 276 N and then a right onto National Forrest Road.

Lake Powhatan Campground

The Lake Powhatan Campground, situated right on the shore, is perfect for water-lovers and hikers alike. The campground accommodates tents, vans, RVs and trailers across 85 sites, making it the ideal base to explore Mount Mitchell and the surrounding region. There are toilets and showers available, and you can even bring your dog along for the adventure!

A short 19 minute drive from Asheville, you can find this campground by taking the I 240 W. Make your way onto the Interstate 240 W then take exit 33 for NC 191 toward Blue Ridge Parkway.

Other Campgrounds in the Area

If you’re looking to for a site that isn’t on the mountain but still close enough to have easy access to the hiking trails and all that Mount Mitchell has to offer, there are numerous options in the surrounding area.

Blue Ridge Camping

A campsite located in the center of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this 3-acre ground has three sites that can accommodate four guests per site. There are toilets and picnic tables available, although the park isn’t suitable for caravans or RVs. 

The campground is located 15 minutes from Asheville and can be found by taking Exit 15 off the I26 onto Hwy NC 197.

Green Willow Farm Camping

This 4-acre farm offers easy access to Mount Mitchell with three campsites available for hire. Each site has room and accessibility for van, trailer or tent and can accommodate up to 6 guests. There are toilets and hot showers available in the farmhouse, as well as an outdoor fire ring and charcoal grill. 

This option is suited to those looking for a little bit of luxury during their Mount Mitchell camping trip, with the farm even offering a continental breakfast for campers at an additional cost. 

To get here from Asheville, take the Alt 74 and then US-64.

Green Toe Ground

If your aim is to immerse yourself in nature during your trip to Mount Mitchell, the riverside campsites at Green Toe Ground might be exactly what you are looking for. 

There are three tent-only sites available on the riverbank of South Toe River, each able to sleep six guests. Each site has a fire pit for cozy campfires under the stars, and there are toilets available. The ground also has a communal pavilion which can be used by all guests to eat or charge electronics. 

To get to this campsite, follow the directions to Mount Mitchell Park until you reach the Blue Ridge Parkway. Travel along here until you see the State Highway 80, which will take you to Green Toe Ground.

The Baying Hound Campground

Located only 10 minutes from Asheville, The Baying Hound Campground is located in a quiet area and provides easy access to Mount Mitchell. 

There are three tent-only sites available on the campground which has a range of facilities, including kitchen, showers, toilets, and even wifi. Dogs and campfires are allowed on the property. To get here from Asheville, follow Emma Road then turn onto Bingham Road. Follow this until you get to Adams Hill Road, then turn left. 

Dealing with Mount Mitchell Weather 

Camping conditions at Mount Mitchell vary depending on the time of year that you visit. The area is considered to have a humid continental climate, indicating that Mount Mitchell has both pleasant summers and relatively lengthy winters that can get quite cold. The average temperature in summer is 65.9 degrees Fahrenheit, while winter has an average temperature of 8.3 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning you will have to bring the right clothing to endure the elements. 

What to Bring When Camping on Mount Mitchell

Packing the right camping equipment is crucial to having an enjoyable trip, especially for somewhere like Mount Mitchell where the weather can vary greatly depending on the time of year that you visit.

General camping supplies

Once you have chosen a park, you will need to decide on your accommodation for your camping trip. Will you be bringing a caravan or staying in a tent? The answer to this question will determine what sleeping materials you need to bring. Typically, this would include sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and a pillow, although it is dependent on your style of camping and how much you like to rough it. 

Following sleeping arrangements, consider the other necessary equipment you will need to have an enjoyable camping trip: flashlights or head torches, cooking equipment, and insect repellent. The stuff that you bring will depend on the campsite you have chosen to stay at during your trip to Mount Mitchell. Does your campground have grilling facilities or are you staying at one much more primitive? Work out whether you can use the campground’s facilities or whether you need to be completely self-sufficient. This will determine how much cooking equipment and food supplies you will need to bring with you.

This article is owned by Recapture Nature and was first published on September 25, 2019

It’s also worth adding in a few maintenance items as you never know what you might need when camping at Mount Mitchell. Consider bringing along some tools, a saw or ax for collecting firewood, repair kit for your mattress or sleeping pad, extra rope, and duct tape.

Finally, consider the level of comfort you want to have for your trip to Mount Mitchell. Some people enjoy packing the bare minimum and embracing a primitive experience, while others are more at home when they have a camping chair, a bottle of wine and a good book. 

Additional winter supplies

Visiting Mount Mitchell in winter can offer a completely different experience, although it’s best to bring a few extra supplies to ensure you are comfortable in the cold temperatures. This should include a tent, sleeping bag and insulated sleeping pad that are designed for cold weather camping. You will also need to bring a stove and fuel as rain, and the Mount Mitchell winds may make it difficult to use a campground grill or light a fire. The right clothing is also essential, so make sure you come prepared with warm, waterproof gear to survive the cold winter of Mount Mitchell.

History

Mount Mitchell was initially called ‘Black Dome’ due to its shape. However, it was later renamed in honor of a University of North Carolina professor, Elisha Mitchell. 

Throughout 1985, Mitchell spent time exploring the Black Mountain region, claiming that the elevation of the mountain range was higher than that of Mount Washington in New Hampshire. This was an important revelation at the time as Mount Washington was believed to be the highest peak to the east of the Rocky Mountains. Unfortunately, Mitchell met his death in 1857 when attempting to confirm his measurements, falling from Mitchell Falls. The tomb of Elisha Mitchell can now be found on the summit of Mount Mitchell.

This article is owned by Recapture Nature and was first published on September 25, 2019

General Information

The opening hours for Mount Mitchell State Park vary depending on the time of the year:

  • November – February: 7.00am-6.00pm
  • March-April: 7.00am – 8.00pm
  • May – August: 7.00am – 10.00pm
  • September – October: 7.00am -9.00pm

There is an observation deck, providing excellent views of Mount Mitchell’s spruce-fir forest, a museum that informs visitors about the mountain’s history, and a restaurant that is open to guests between May and October. The drawcards to the area are the scenery and outdoor activities, including a range of hikes beginning from short walks to strenuous treks.

How to get to Mount Mitchell

Mount Mitchell is situated in Yancey County, North Carolina, approximately 33 miles from Asheville. There are two ways to access the park, located at mile marker #355 off the Blue Ridge Parkway: from the east or from the west.

Getting to Mount Mitchell from the West

You will need to take the Blue Ridge Parkway out of Asheville. When you reach mile marker #355, turn left onto NC 128. This will take you directly to Mount Mitchell Park. In winter, this route may be closed.

If the route is closed due to the Parkway being blocked, you can opt to take the I-40 East instead. Get off the freeway at the Old Fort Highway 70 exit, exit 72. Drive east for approximately 10 miles, passing through Old Fort, and then turn left onto NC 80. You will stay on this road for about 16 miles, when you will then be able to turn left onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. From here, there will be signs to guide you to Mount Mitchell Park.

This article is owned by Recapture Nature and was first published on September 25, 2019

Getting to Mount Mitchell from the East

To access Mount Mitchell from this direction, first, get on the I-40 West. You will need to exit at 86, NC 226 to Marion/Shelby. In Marion, you will need to veer onto US 70. Take note that NC 226 merges with US 70 and US 221 in Marion so you will need to keep an eye out for the route. Follow this for about 2 miles, then turn onto NC 80. You will follow this for another 16 kilometers before turning left onto Blue Ridge Parkway. At mile marker #355, make your way onto NC 128 which you will follow until you get to the park.