Kitsuma

 29 votes

9.6 Miles 15.4 Kilometers

55%

Singletrack

1,756' 535 m

Ascent

-1,770' -539 m

Descent

3,165' 965 m

High

1,608' 490 m

Low

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

All Clear

3,165' 965 m

High

1,608' 490 m

Low

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

A couple of tough climbs before earning a grin-inducing, fast descent through Pisgah National Forest

Building Map
Loading Map Data
Map Settings
Featured Ride
Trail

Overview

The Kitsuma Trail is a classic must-ride Pisgah loop that features a challenging 12+ switchback climb with a backdrop of Mount Mitchell (the tallest mountain East of the Mississippi) views and an awesome ~3 mile descent containing gravity defying water-bars, flowy sections, and some steep rocky areas that are the signature of the Pisgah experience.

Need To Know

To get to the Kitsuma trailhead, take exit 66 off of I-40 toward Ridgecrest and turn right at Dunsmore Ave. Take a quick right on Old US 70, where you'll pass Ridgecrest camp on the left. Follow the road down to Yates where you'll make a quick right and an immediate left on Royal George. The trailhead lies at the end of the road.

Description

The trail starts at the Kitsuma trailhead through a gentle forest road next to Interstate 40 then quickly goes straight up as the 14 switchbacks hammer your thighs. When the forest floor is somewhat dry, it's possible, but challenging, to clear all of the switchbacks on the way to Kitsuma Peak. After the initial ascent, enjoy being fooled by a quick downhill before being greeted by the second, steep but short climb. After the two lung-busters, there is a beautiful, mellow ridge ride where you are graced by some nice views of Mt. Mitchell before you start the hair-raising descent.

The legendary 2.8 mile downhill towards the Old Fort picnic area begins with a rocky descent into a quick left-hand switchback. Water bars, doubles, drops and a couple of berms accent the ridiculously fast, sometimes narrow and flowy track through the forest. If the trail is wet, watch the roots on the trail as they may have the urge to throw your wheel off the skinny sections of trail.

Once you wipe the grin off your face in the Old Fort picnic area, turn left on Old US 70, and then take the first left into a paved road closed to motor vehicles. Follow this winding 5 mile mellow climb and then hang a left back on Royal George Road back to the Kitsuma trailhead.

Contacts

Rate Featured Ride


   Clear

4.6 from 29 votes


Get On-Trail Navigation

Send to Phone
Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Sep 25, 2016
Loo Loo Lee Curtis
Sep 24, 2016
Jessica Hensley
I think this trail about killed us — 10h 30m Delete
Sep 20, 2016
Kent Klay
Boring . It was straight up for 7.6 of the 9.6 miles and the downhill was just downhill. The ride up on the greenway was the best part. 9.6mi — 9h 43m Delete
Aug 27, 2016
Mark Brazinski
Aug 19, 2016
Adam Snow
Jul 17, 2016
Rob Laird
Jun 27, 2016
Tyle Stelzig
Dustier and looser than last time I was here (which was October) but still awesome riding conditions. Had a blast. Point Lookout Trail (the recomme... Delete
Apr 24, 2016
Michael Bunch
Now I know the meaning of Pisgah switchbacks! Delete

Stewarded By


Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 29 votes

#32

Overall
  4.6 from 29 votes
1 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
3 Star
7%
4 Star
31%
5 Star
62%
Rankings

#32

Overall
905 Views Last Month
17,471 Since May 19, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
5%
63%
32%
0%

Conditions


All Clear on Sep 20, 2016
Dry - Dry like the ride dry.
Update ConditionsHistory

Comments

MTB Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Mountain Bike

MTB Project is supported by

Support Your Local IMBA Chapter