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A highly-acclaimed trail run starting at the top of Mount Pisgah, and ending at Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Rockies.

Trail Running Difficult

98 km
3.9 km
3.6 km
1 day +
Low Point
613 m
High Point
2 km
Pitchell Map

There are few trail runs in the United States that stack up against the sheer epicness of running from the top of Mount Pisgah to the highest point east of the Rockies: Mount Mitchell. Affectionately referred to as "Pitchell" by locals, this 60+ mile route showcases some of North Carolina's finest singletrack along the Mountains to Sea Trail, tours some of the best views around Asheville, and draws in countless runners each year hoping to claim the current Fastest Known Time (FKT).


To officially complete Pitchell, one must first summit Mount Pisgah from the Blue Ridge Parkway. While the mileage isn't officially factored into the route, the only way to reach the summit is via hike or run. In a similar fashion, the route ends atop the observation platform on Mount Mitchell, which requires a short walk on pavement down to the parking lot.

For most, running Pitchell entails an early morning (or late night) start. Top times hover around the 12-hour mark, while mere mortals often allocate upwards of 20 to 24 hours to complete the trek. As such, headlamps are required no matter how fast you are, and a water filter is necessary if you do not have a support vehicle. Importantly, dogs are also allowed on all sections of this run, but must be leashed or otherwise restrained at all times.

When it comes to epic trail runs in Southern Appalachia, Pitchell is popular thanks to the numerous support and aid options made possible by the Blue Ridge Parkway. Though these road crossings exists, access to the scenic road can be limited due to rain, fog, snow, or other hazardous road condition. As conditions change frequently, the current status of the roadway is available here courtesy of the National Park Service.

For runners seeking aid and support for Pitchell, consider contacting White Dot Adventures, a permitted and insured local outfitter specializing in trail running tours and support packages.



High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between March and November

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area