Deep Gap Trail

At A Glance

Most Difficult

4.5 mi one-way

Difficulty Rating: 4.5
Steepness: Hilly
Tread Condition: Very Rough
Trail Number: 179


Starting from the picnic area, crosses Mt. Craig (2nd highest mountain in the East), Big Tom, Cattail Peak, and Potato Hill (all above 6000') before descending to Deep Gap. Deep gap is a popular National Forest campsite. There are spectacular views in places, with balds on Mt. Craig and dense spruce-fir forests with some mixed high-elevation hardwoods elsewhere. High elevation rugged trail with lots of exposure, with very steep and rough sections. No water along the way. Also called the Black Mountains Crest Trail.

This trail is located in the Mount Mitchell State Park area. For a list of all the trails in that area, see the Mount Mitchell State Park trails list page.



Average Rating: 3.7 (rated 6 times)

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Christopher Baldwin said: I think the distance from the summit of Mount Craig to Deep Gap Campground is only 3.5 miles. At least one comment said 4.5 miles but I think this is wrong. I have ordered a great book on the top 500 hikes in NC and I will be able to verify things for sure. A friend and I are planning to hike March 17 from the base of Mount Mitchell at Black Mountain Campground to the summit of Mount Mitchell to the summits of Mount Craig, Mount Tom, Cattail Peak and Potato Hill and then descend to Deep Gap Campground all as a day hike. If anyone wants to join us, contact me: Christopher Baldwin 704-650-8833

Friday, January 17 2020 3:24am

Joe said: My son and I just did this trail 8/10-11, out and back to Deep Gap. My GPS watch (which doesn't like to give me full credit for distances) said only 3.4 mi, while the guy in the gift shop said 3.8, which I thought was supposed to be right. Anyway, perfect weather days, we took 2.5 hrs each day with full packs. He has been working out at a gym, and though I'm a competitive runner, he had me panting the whole trip trying to keep up. Many 1-2 ft steps up/down wears out the legs fast! Definitely need to be sure footed and careful if hauling a pack. I wore hiking boots, though not the $200 variety. We found a camp site in the woods just past Deep Gap - there are many if you look, including some behind rocky areas. Very cool locations, though finding room for a 3-man tent was a bit challenging in the treed sites. We also were able to find water about .4 mi down the "fire road"-to the left once you get to Deep Gap. Look for water dripping down rock faces to the right, from under the tundra. We combined a few small roots to get a good stream of water that filled a 32 oz bag in a minute or so. Be sure to filter. Overall, an excellent, though arduous and exhausting hike. Camp sites are great and the weather was just perfect. Note: there had been bear sightings recently, so be sure to hang your food away from your tent and wrap the rope around the tree trunk as high as possible. Better yet, have a bear canister or odor-proof bags which I had (got mine at REI), though we still hung it.

Monday, August 12 2019 8:53pm

Donnie said: I am going overnight camping at Deep Gap the first weekend in April, does anyone know if snow is a real possibility at that time of year at that elevation? Thanks

Friday, February 10 2017 7:35pm

steve said: Gary I just back today from an overnight at Deep Gap. It is 4.3 very tough miles. It rained whole time so made it very slick. I can normally hike 2-3plus miles an hour but this trip took me 4 hours one way. I am in no way an expert hiker but hike a lot and have pretty good lightweight gear. I hate to admit it but this trail smoked me pretty bad. It is though a really nice hike. Hope this helps you. Oh yea might have been just rain related but was extremely windy all night and most all of today...I mean like howling batten down the hatches.

Monday, August 22 2016 2:53am

MEade O Bradshaw said: This site needs to let people know if its one way, Round trip or loop. I beleive many people have gotton in a mess because f the lack on info

Tuesday, August 2 2016 3:51pm

Gary Pelletier said: We are planning a overnight back pack trip from Mt. Mitchell to a cabin on North fork of Cattail Creek. Camping one night at or near Deep Gap. About Aug, 29 can anyone tell me about his hike? Gary in Denver

Saturday, July 9 2016 3:49pm

Evan said: The 4.5 Mile distance is from The parking lot at Mt. Mitchell Summit one way to Deep Gap Campground. Potato Hill is along this route. It is not the final destination.

Tuesday, July 1 2014 1:09am

Clayton said: Expect rain if camping at Deep Gap. The hike is fun. Very grueling at parts because of strenuous, steep steps and slippery rock faces. Some rocks have ropes tied to allow an easier descent. This route has beautiful views!

Friday, June 13 2014 11:28pm

Jordan said: I believe the 4.5 mile distance is a one way figure.

Monday, April 1 2013 4:35pm

Felix said: Is this 4.5 mile hike roundtrip from Mt. Mitchell to Potato hill or just one way?

Thursday, March 14 2013 2:45am
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