Black Mountain Crest Trail Hike Itinerary
July 8-9 2017
Trail Length: 11 – 12.5 miles.
Trail Rating: Most Strenuous
Beginning hike time: 9:00 am
Day One: From Bowlens Creek to Deep Gap (8 miles).
Day Two: From Deep Gap to the summit of Mount Mitchell (4 miles).
Where are we meeting? Mount Mitchell State Park. Park in the visitors center parking lot. I’ll have a sign that says “Carolina Trekker” or “Will Hike for Food”. From there we’ll carpool to the Bowlens Creek trailhead, around an hour away.
Time of departure: I expect to be on the trail no later than 9:00 am. It is an hour drive from Mount Mitchell State Park to Bowlens Creek trailhead. This means we’ll need to depart the state park at 8:00 a.m. (Sorry, we are unable to hold up the hike for you, please arrive on time.)
Parking: There is unlimited space at Mount Mitchell State Park. Bowlens Creek has room for 1-2 vehicles at the trailhead, but there is more parking at a cemetery a short distance up the road. An overnight pass is required for MMSP parking, for which there is no charge.
Driving/Carpooling: I’ll be leaving from the Spartanburg, SC area. Let me know your driving situation. I have room for up to 4 people and our gear. If anyone would like to carpool w/ me, which is environmentally responsible, let me know. (If you do carpool with anyone, consider helping with gas money.)
We’ll finalize who’s driving where by the day of the hike.
The Hike: Regarded by many to be THE most challenging/technical hike on the entire east coast. We’ll cross over five 6,000’ peaks. The first part of the hike is the most difficult, gaining over 3,000 ft. in the first four miles. My sources tell me there may be bushwhacking involved the first mile or so at Bowlens Creek. Not too many hikers tackle the BMCT from this trailhead, apparently!
I have a goal of bagging the true summit of all 5 peaks.
There are three water supplies, with the most reliable being an intermittent spring that is 7 miles from the Bowlens Creek trailhead near Deep Gap, where we’ll camp for the night. In other words, bring plenty of H20, a way to boil, or a filtration device.
Camping: There are two places to camp on the BMCT, and both are backcountry – A single site on Celo Knob, and a larger campground at Deep Gap. There is no charge to camp here, because both sites are technically outside the state park boundary. The campsites are primitive. Bear activity is a possibility. A ranger told me there were no food poles/cables that he knew of. He also said the area was good for tents and hammocks, with fire rings. I’ve hiked down to Deep Gap from Mount Mitchell, but couldn’t tell you much about it from memory.
Safety: You assume responsibility for your own safety and well-being. This is bear country, so store your food properly. (If you need more direction about that, ask me.) The Black Mountains range is the highest on the east coast. The weather can (and probably will) change rapidly. Consider sunscreen. There are technical sections of the trail that involves cliffs, rocks, scrambling, and climbing. Be safe + responsible!
What to pack: Bring extra socks at the very least. If we have to early morning bushwhack, or if there are overgrown sections of the trail, you’ll get soaked. Tent or hammock (consider sharing a tent to decrease our footprint). Food. Plenty of fluid to stay hydrated.
Let’s have a great time on the trail!
“Born to Wander”