Next up was Mt. Mitchell, North Carolina. A late snow had closed Black Mountain campground, our intended camp. The road wasn’t blocked by any barriers or snow though, and no one was around to forbid us from camping there, so we had the whole campground to ourselves, without running water (river right there anyway) or unlocked bathrooms. Not bad. In the parking area we talked to a photographer who was there taking pictures of bears, but we didn’t see any ourselves. The next day, our loop route up Mt. Mitchell started from the Mt. Mitchell trail, splitting off from it with the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, then heading northeast on a wide old dirt road that is used as a horse trail in summer, cutting straight uphill on the Tom Connector Trail, and approaching the summit on the Black Mountain Crest Trail, heading over Mt. Tom and Mt. Craig along the way. On the way down, we just took the Mt. Mitchell Trail the whole way. This was a pretty nice hike too, with less interesting land and flora, but with a real feeling of being up high. The horse trail and Black Mountain Crest Trail were the best parts, and the Tom Connector was nearly a bushwhack, though maybe that was just because it was early in the season.