North Carolina peaks

2,695 peaks

Highest peak

Mount Mitchell

6,684 ft / 2,037 m

Most summited peak

Mount Mitchell

234 summits

Most prominent peak

Mount Mitchell

6,089 ft / 1,855 m prom

North Carolina summits

3,037 summits

First Ascent Awards

428 of 2,695 peaks 15%

Top climbing months

April 14%

May 13%

March 10%

North Carolina mountains highlights

  • Mount Mitchell (6,684 ft), the highest mountain in North Carolina, is home to a unique subarctic environment that harbors rare and endemic plant species such as the Gray's lily and mountain golden heather. A paved road leads almost to the top (booo!) and the summit has an observation deck.
  • The Black Mountains range in the western part of the state includes Mount Mitchell as well as other prominent peaks such as Mount Craig (6,647 ft) and Balsam Cone (6,611 ft). Mount Craig is known for its rocky outcrops and high winds, while Balsam Cone features rugged terrain with steep inclines and switchbacks.
  • The Great Balsam Mountains, part of the larger Blue Ridge Mountains, are home to Cold Mountain (6,030 ft) and Tennent Mountain (6,056 ft), which offer challenging hikes with rewarding summit vistas. Cold Mountain is named after its frigid temperatures and has been popularized by the book and movie of the same name.
  • The Grandfather Mountain range in the northwest includes the iconic Grandfather Mountain (5,946 ft) and Calloway Peak (5,964 ft). Grandfather Mountain is known for its iconic mile-high swinging bridge and rugged terrain, while Calloway Peak offers a challenging climb with unique rock formations.
  • The Shining Rock Wilderness area in the Pisgah National Forest features the eponymous Shining Rock (6,040 ft) which features a unique quartzite rock formation that gives off a shimmering effect in sunlight.

Popular North Carolina mountains