High Peaks Kicks Off Summer Hikes with Mt. Mitchell Loop Friday, June 4

After a year-long hiatus due to the pandemic, High Peaks is moving into the summer with a full slate of recreational hikes, starting Friday, June 4 with a strenuous loop hike at Mt. Mitchell.

Hikers will proceed north 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 Tail. This hike covers four of the trail sections needed for the High Peaks Black Mountains Hiking Challenge.

The 8-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 on the trail to aid hikers.

Please meet at the Lower Summit parking lot near the picnic area at 9 a.m. No van transportation is available. 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. You’ll need lunch, snacks, plenty of water, sturdy shoes and hiking poles if you use them.

Contact hike leader Dennis Smith at 828-284-4000 or dennissmith4141@gmail.com to reserve a place on the hike or if you have any questions.

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

Photo Info: Hikers will get views like this from the Black Mountain Crest Trail on the Friday, June 4 High Peaks jaunt.