Mount Mitchell State Park

Now more than a century old, Mount Mitchell State Park is the first state park ever created in North Carolina. The summit of Mount Mitchell is 6,684 feet, making it the highest mountain in Eastern America.

The summit of Mount Mitchell has an observation platform next to the gravesite of Dr. Elisha Mitchell. The Black Mountain Range in Yancey County is home to 5 of the 10 highest mountains in the East. In 2016, the state park celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Concession Stand, Balsam Gift Shop & Park Museum

At the summit parking area, there’s a concession stand with sodas, coffee, snacks, jams, jellies, hot chocolate and more. The Balsam Gift Shop is next door with books, t-shirts and hats, CDs, postcards, souvenirs and collectibles. The Park Museum features interpretive exhibits on the history and geology of Mount Mitchell and the Black Mountain Range.

Park Office

Mount Mitchell State Park headquarters is located just inside the entrance gate on Highway 128, three miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway (milepost 355).

Mount Mitchell State Park Restaurant

The restaurant at Mount Mitchell State Park is open daily May thru October and offers hamburgers, chicken, trout and other entrees, sandwiches, salads, desserts and coffee. The dining room has large windows with great views of the mountains.

Mount Mitchell State Park Restaurant is open 7 days a week May thru October.

Picnic Area

The picnic facilities at Mount Mitchell State park are located at the lower summit parking area. There are two shelters with fireplaces and several other tables with grills located throughout the wooded picnic area.

Mount Mitchell has several hiking trails for all skill levels. The path to the summit is a 285-yard concrete inclined walkway with no steps. There’s also a quarter-mile walk with interpretive signs called the Balsam Nature Trail. The Old Mitchell Trail that runs through the park is part of the Mountains to the Sea Trail that spans North Carolina.


The campground at Mount Mitchell State Park has nine tent sites that are accessed by walking up the hill from the parking area. Each site has a tentpad, table, grill and firepit. Campground bathroom has toilets and sinks, but no showers. To register for campsites on Mount Mitchell, call 1-877-722-6762 or you can register online here.

Mount Mitchell has 9 tent sites.

Views of Grandfather, Tablerock, Hawksbill & The Roan

Summit Area

The observation platform on the summit offers a 360-degree view of the Black Mountains and Yancey County, and also Grandfather Mountain, Linville Gorge and the Roan. Burnsville is an ideal location for exploring Mount Mitchell and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Elisha Mitchell’s Grave

The mountain is named after Dr. Elisha Mitchell, who is buried on the summit. Mitchell was a professor at UNC in Chapel Hill, and an explorer of the Black Mountains until he lost his life on June 27, 1857 at the base of a waterfall on the western slope of the mountain.

Mount Mitchell is 6,684 feet, the highest mountain in the Eastern U.S.


Burnsville & Yancey County