MTB Project Logo

blueBlack Kitsuma/Point Lookout Loop

  4.6 ( 104 ) Favorite

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store

Trail

9.9 mile 15.9 kilometer loop
55% Singletrack
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,642' 501 m
Descent: -1,672' -510 m
High: 3,159' 963 m
Low: 1,616' 493 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 35% (19°)

Dogs

Off-leash
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

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

Logan Watts

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

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 This Featured Ride

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Ride

Check In

Check-Ins

May 7, 2019
Wesley Combs
Picnic area up and back down 10mi
Apr 30, 2019
David Hoffman 1
Apr 29, 2019
Courtney Harasz
Park at the parking lot & pedal up the road 1st. 9.9mi
Apr 28, 2019
Matt Ivons
Apr 27, 2019
Danny Moore
First time doing Kitsuma. It was awesome! Had to cheat on some of the climb. Shhhh! — 1h 56m
Apr 27, 2019
Rob DiP
9.9mi
Apr 26, 2019
Nate Kelley
Trail is in great shape
Apr 6, 2019
Joel Mathewson
Perfect soil 20mi

Stewarded By


Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 104 votes

#1

in Montreat

#30

Overall
  4.6 from 104 votes
5 Star
69%
4 Star
26%
3 Star
4%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
1%
Rankings

#1

in Montreat

#30

Overall
914 Views Last Month
52,547 Since May 19, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
5%
70%
25%
0%

0 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