Route: Black Mountain Crest Trail (NC)

North Carolina, US
22.7 mi

Backpacker Magazine sums up the Black Mountain Crest Trail: "Climb over 10 peaks above 6,000 feet on this 11-mile shuttle-hike culminating at Mt. Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi River."

Start your watch at the bridge over Bowlen's Creek, stop it at the observation deck on Mount Mitchell (or back at the creek if doing the out and back). 

Duathlon from Asheville ("Blue on Black", submitted by MillerGroome):  This Bike/Run/Bike route starts at Packs Tavern located next to Asheville’s historic Packs Square park in downtown. It climbs up Town Mountains Rd to the Blue Ridge Parkway and follows the BRP to the highest point in the east (Mt. Mitchell) for a 33mile ride with about 6,000 feet of climbing. At some point during the event, you must reach the actual summit of Mt Mitchell. From here you will take the notoriously steep and technical Black Mountain Crest Trail for the 12 miles or so down to Bowlen Creek Bridge. Then you can refill your water and do it all in reverse. The crest trail will send you over several 6,000 foot peaks and reach well over 7,000ft elevation gain during the out and back. For the final leg, you get to enjoy a “mostly” downhill ride back to Packs Tavern.  There are public taps that sometimes work at Craggy and Mitchell. Streams are available at many points during the event but scarce on most of the BMCT. We stashed our bikes in the woods off the crest trail, locked them to a tree, and threw on the running gear. Both the ride and run are bucket list routes for many cyclists, runners, and hikers in the Southeast. So here is a way to blend them together for an epic day.