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LENGTH: 1.6 miles R.T.  SKILL: Novice
PROS: Views and Blooms  CONS: The blooms occur only in June.
WATER: At the visitor center.      
NOTES: Don't miss the red blooms of the Catawba Rhododendron in late June.

Milepost 364-367
Craggy Gardens Photos | Blue Ridge Pkwy Hikes

If you are in the Mt. Mitchell-Asheville area, a visit to Craggy Gardens is a must. The three areas to explore in this area are:

The picnic area
The visitor center
The trail to the overlook

Visitor Center

Advice from a National Park Service employee about this great recreation area can be found here. A great selection of books about the North Carolina mountains and nature are also on sale here. Before exploring this area stop in here first.


The most visited trail in this area is just north of the visitor center. This short trail begins at the parking lot and takes you through a tunnel of rhododendron to the top. There is an upper and lower observation area at the end of the trail affording great views of the Craggy Mountain area. At the lower overlook the Park Service has cordoned off overused sections of the trail. Damage to delicate plant life is a problem here. The views from both overlooks are outstanding and well worth the short walk.

Picnic Area

One of the better picnic areas on the B.R.P. is located just south of the visitor center. Grassy lawns await blankets and picnic baskets. There are restrooms and plenty of parking also. During the month of June there are also many Flame Azalea blooms to delight the senses of visitors.

Craggy Gardens Photos | Blue Ridge Pkwy Hikes

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