While there are thousands of miles of hiking trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains thanks to our national and state parks and forests, here are our ten top mountaintop hikes with the best panoramic views near Asheville, North Carolina. And they are all free to enjoy! Take a picnic and allow time to enjoy the view.
Mt. Mitchell: After enjoying the 360-degree vistas from the observation deck atop the highest peak in eastern USA, hike the Deep Gap Trail to four more summits over 6,000 feet, including Mt. Craig just a mile away.
Craggy Pinnacle: A 1.5-mile roundtrip hike offers spectacular 360-degree panoramic views and a great spot for a picnic along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Max Patch: Hike the 2.4-mile loop around the grassy summit or continue further on the Appalachian Trail in Pisgah National Forest.
Black Balsam Knob: Hike across multiple mountain balds near the Blue Ridge Parkway. These treeless mountaintops in the Pisgah National Forest offer sweeping views all along the trail.
Looking Glass Rock: Hike this iconic rock face summit with a 1,700-foot elevation gain in the 6.5-mile roundtrip trail.
Whiteside Mountain: This two-mile hike in the Nantahala National Forest near Cashiers takes you on top of sheer 750-foot high cliffs with outstanding views.
Table Rock Mountain: Enjoy spectacular views of Linville Gorge from atop this distinctive summit. This 2.2-mile hike can be combined with a 1.5-mile trek to the top of nearby Hawksbill Mountain.
Roan Mountain: Hike through summer Catawba rhododendron and along a lofty, grassy ridge for five miles along the Appalachian Trail.
Mt. LeConte: The restored Alum Cave Trail is the most hiked in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You’ll see why with interesting geological features and stunning views along the 11-mile roundtrip hike that climbs 2,853 feet in elevation.
Cold Mountain: This strenuous 10.6-mile roundtrip hike takes you to the summit of the mountain made famous by the novel and movie, in the Shining Rock Wilderness Area of the Pisgah National Forest.
All of these hikes were selected by the readers of RomanticAsheville.com Travel Guide. For info on these and others, go to their Top 75 Hikes near Asheville.