Fit, experienced hikers are invited to join NC High Peaks for a challenging loop hike around the summit of Mt. Mitchell on Friday, Sept. 2.

Hikers will proceed north on the Crest Trail from the Mt. Mitchell summit over Mt. Craig and Big Tom, then go down a connector trail to the Buncombe Horse Range Trail, returning to the summit on the Mt. Mitchell Trail. The hike covers four of the trail sections needed for the High Peaks Black Mountains Hiking Challenge.

The 7-mile jaunt is very challenging and not for novices. The trail is extremely rugged with poor footing, slick rocks and a couple of sections so steep that ropes have been fixed to aid hikers.

Please meet at the Lower Summit parking lot near the picnic area at 9 a.m. Leashed dogs are welcome but pets need to be as fit as their humans – they may need to be carried down the fixed-rope sections mentioned above.

Bring warm clothes and rain gear as the weather is unpredictable but always much cooler at high elevations. Bring lunch, snacks, plenty of water, sturdy shoes and hiking poles if you use them.

Contact hike leader Dennis Smith at 828-284-4000 or to reserve a place on the hike or if you have any questions.

Please check the High Peaks Facebook page or website,, for last-minute changes due to weather.

Mount Craig view