Kitsuma Peak Trail

Located in Black Mountain, NC - just 20 minutes from Asheville - you'll find the Kitsuma Peak Trail.
This intermediate-level trail takes you 5 miles one-way, including an immediate steep-climb up switchbacks for 850 ft elevation gain over 3/4 of a mile, followed by two ridge-rides (up and down 250 ft changes), culminating in an almost 1,500 ft plummet over 2.8 miles down the back of the mountain!
From the bottom of the mountain, you can either shuttle back to the trail head, or ride an additional 5 mile, ~1,100 ft climb back to the beginning on surface roads. This is a well-known ride in Western North Carolina, and is not for the faint of heart!
Watch a full-length video of the Kitsuma Peak Trail, explaining turn-by-turn directions below!
  1. If you plan to shuttle from the bottom of the mountain, you'll want to locate the "Old Fort Picnic Area" on your GPS, and leave the shuttle vehicle there. If the park is closed for the season, there is space to park outside of the gate.
  2. To get to the beginning of the trail, locate "Kitsuma Peak Trail Head" on Google Maps to find the parking area.
  3. From the parking lot, you'll follow the trail along the I-40 for a short distance before turning left and up the mountain into the switchbacks.
  4. Near the top of the switchbacks, you'll see the option to continue left-and-up on the Kitsuma Overlook trail, or turn right on the Youngs Ridge trail. Follow the turn to the left for Kitsuma Overlook.
  5. Shortly after turning left towards Kitsuma Overlook, the trail will fork again. Stay to the left.
  6. There will be no more turns on the Kitsuma trail - and you're almost to the first downhill section!
  7. The first downhill section is very steep with some drops. It starts at minute 17:00 in the video below.
  8. The second downhill section starts at 19:40 in the video below.
  9. The third downhill section starts at 28:15 in the video below.
  10. The final downhill section starts at 40:40 in the video below.
  11. The trail will put you back into the Old Fort Picnic Area. Simply ride through to the main road.
  12. Whether you shuttled or plan to ride back to the top, follow your Google Maps GPS/direction back to the Kitsuma Peak Trail Head. It will be approximately 5 miles.
  13. Enjoy the ride!


Where to Stay
Renting a vacation home through Carolina Mornings is the first step to planning a truly memorable adventure in the mountains. With rentals situated all over Western North Carolina, we're confident that you'll find precisely what you're looking for in a cabin rental! To begin the process of planning your ultimate mountain excursion, contact one of our dedicated and knowledgeable Vacation Planners. They'll work with you to find the perfect home and to help tailor a vacation that fits all of your needs. To learn more about renting your first cabin in the area, contact Carolina Mornings at (844) 412-6881. Be sure to ask about our Mountain Discovery Pass, included with every Carolina Mornings Rental!