hike: Mount Mitchell – Roaring River Wilderness

Mount Mitchell has great views from its rocky summit, stretching from the Mount Jefferson to Mount Hood.

I’ve been wanting to check out the Roaring River Wilderness for a potential backpacking trip. However, I’m not likely to go back to this hike due to the long grueling drive up a pothole-filled gravel road with a lot of downed trees that scratched up my car. A guy who was dispersed camping next to the road as you get closer to the trailhead had cleared the road of many downed trees just the day before. He gave us directions on how to find the trailhead since almost none of the roads are signed in this area.

As soon as we stepped out of our cars, mosquitoes were swarming all around us. The trailhead was relocated at some point, and the trail doesn’t show up on Caltopo or Gaia maps, so we wondered at times if we were heading in the right direction. It wasn’t hard to follow the trail though, and it was a short and relatively easy hike to Mount Mitchell. After crossing a wide boggy section, the trail goes through the forest for about two miles before reaching a viewpoint at a rocky knoll just before the summit. A short scramble across the rocks leads to views to the north, south and east. While we sat there and had lunch, two bald eagles quietly glided by us.

When we hiked out, we followed red flagging to a pretty creek and avoided the boggy area crossing.

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