Discover Just How Tall Mount Mitchell in North Carolina Really Is

Mount Mitchell in North Carolina
© Bonita R. Cheshier/

Written by Telea Dodge

Published: November 22, 2023

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North Carolina is an Appalachian state, which means it has no shortage of mountains. In fact, there are almost 3,400 mountains in the state of North Carolina. Of these peaks, there are 100 that rise to over 5,000 feet in elevation and 40 that are over 6,000 feet. This may not seem impressive to residents of Rocky Mountain states, but these mountains are ancient and impressive. Today, we’ll look at one specific mountain in North Carolina – Mount Mitchell. We’ll compare it to other mountains in the region – and across the United States – and learn about its height. So, how tall is Mount Mitchell? Let’s find out!

How Tall Is Mount Mitchell?

Mount Mitchell is the Highest Point in North Carolina

At its peak, Mount Mitchell reaches an impressive 6,684 feet in elevation, with a prominence of 6,089 feet. This peak is special for a big reason – it is the highest mountain in the United States east of the Mississippi River. Mount Mitchell was actually known as the highest mountain in the entire United States until 1845, when Texas joined the Union. Let’s look at how Mount Mitchell compares to other peaks on the eastern side of the United States.

Mount Mitchell vs. Peaks in the Eastern United States

We’re going to use a helpful table to lay out this information. You’ll be able to look at a direct comparison in elevation and prominence. Remember that elevation is height above sea level and prominence is height above surroundings.

Mount WashingtonNew Hampshire6,288 feet6,148 feet
Mount MarcyNew York State5,343 feet4,914 feet
Clingmans DomeTennessee and North Carolina6,643 feet4,503 feet
Mount JeffersonNew Hampshire5,712 feet742 feet
Mount CraigNorth Carolina6,647 feet287 feet

Mount Mitchell vs. Peaks in the United States

Now, let’s compare Mount Mitchell to mountains across the entirety of the United States. While it is the tallest peak that rests east of the Mississippi River, it simply does not compare to the peaks in the western portion of the nation.

Mount WhitneyCalifornia14,505 feet10,075 feet
Pikes PeakColorado14,115 feet5,530 feet
Rendezvous MountainWyoming10,455 feet530 feet
Mount LemmonArizona9,171 feet5,157 feet
Goat MountainIdaho11,918 feet814 feet

Where Is Mount Mitchell on a Map?

Mount Mitchell North Carolina

The highest point in North Carolina is Mount Mitchell.

© Flagstad

We’ve included a helpful map to show where Mount Mitchell is in North Carolina. It is surrounded by the Pisgah National Forest and it is a part of the Mount Mitchell State Park.

Wildlife on Mount Mitchell

Animal, Animal Head, Animal Wildlife, Animals In The Wild, Bear

Black bears are just one of the animals that live in the area.

©wirestock/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Website notes some really cool wildlife that lives in Mount Mitchell State Park. There are many animals that you might spot when you visit, both common and uncommon. We’ve included a short list of animals that live in the area. Many more critters live on Mount Mitchell, so keep an eye out and tread carefully when you visit. Remember that you should not approach wild animals.

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About the Author

Telea Dodge is an animal enthusiast and nature fiend with a particular interest in teaching a sense of community and compassion through interactions with the world at large. Carrying a passion for wild foraging, animal behaviorism, traveling, and music, Telea spends their free time practicing their hobbies while exploring with their companion dog, Spectre.

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