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Little Butt & Big Butt Trail Along The BRP

For a more intense and quieter hike off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, head to the Little Butt and Big Trails. You’ll pass Point Misery and soon be rewarded with stellar mountain views.

While many Asheville visitors prefer easy to moderate hikes, we receive a lot of questions about longer and more difficult hikes, too, especially in the 5-mile range.

The Little Butt and Big Butt Trails are perfect if you want a solid half-day, less trafficked hike.

The trek is strenuous but mostly well-labeled and maintained.

The Little Butt hike is known for its gorgeous scenic views of the Black Mountains and Mount Mitchell.

It’s also the perfect rock overlook for a picnic. And, let’s face it; you will need to refuel on this hike.

So, are you ready to enjoy a tough hiking trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway? 

Keep reading to discover all that you need to know about the Little Butt and Big Butt Trails.

Plus, we’ll help you explore even more of the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Asheville. Let’s get started!

Read more about the Best Hikes Near Asheville, NC.

Little Butt Big Butt Trail NC with white brunette woman sitting on a rock with backpack looking out at the Black Mountains with trees and clouds in skyPin
Where do you find a stellar view like this? Grab our guide to hiking Little Butt and Big Butt Trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.

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Little Butt & Big Butt Trail Stats

Big Butt Trail BRP North Carolina with white brunette male in a red shirt with green backpack walking along a trail surrounded by green brush, trees, and wildflowersPin
The Big Butt hike promises overlooks, spring flowers, and a challenging trail.

Distance From Asheville, North Carolina: 45-50 minutes; 23 miles

Address: Walker Knob Overlook at 59700 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Black Mountain, NC 28711 & MP 359-ish

Hike Difficulty: Difficult

Length: The Little Butt Trail is about 5 miles roundtrip, Big Butt Trail is 6 miles roundtrip, and if you continue on to NC-197, that is 12 miles roundtrip

Duration Of Hike: Four to five hours for Little & Big Butt Trails

Type Of Hike: Out and back, forest stairs, narrow trail paths, tall grass, white markers on the trees

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Why Hike Little Butt & Big Butt Trail?

Little Butt Trail Overlook NC with Black Mountains, cloudy sky, and green treesPin
Little Butt Trail ends at a rock cliff facing these rewarding views.

Personally, we love Blue Ridge Parkway hikes, but sometimes, they get slammed with locals and visitors.

If you are looking for a difficult hike with fewer people, Little and Big Butt Trails are for you.

Most people research this BRP hike as “Big Butt Trail,” but the eye candy is along the Little Butt hike. Like many of the hikers here, we’ve only continued on just past Little Butt.

We quickly turned around before the official Big Butt marker, which is only .5 miles further. With no view and overgrown grass, for us, Big Butt has a reputation for being unremarkable.

Forest Stairs Little Butt Big Butt Trail with white brunette male in red shirt and green backpack climbing brown stepsPin
Oh those forest stairs…

Along the way to Little Butt’s overlook, catch late spring and early summer blooms and butterflies. Sometimes, the trail grass isn’t trimmed; be prepared for itchy legs and pack bug spray.

At the trailhead, you will start with a descent into the Pisgah National Forest, and later an ascent into the Black Mountains.

Little Butt and Big Butt Trail has a 1300-foot elevation gain.

When we looked at our hiking app about 1.5 miles into the trek and saw “Point Misery,” we may have given a nervous chuckle.

Little Butt Big Butt Trail Overlook with white brunette woman sitting on a rock with backpack looking out at the Black Mountains with trees and clouds in sky Pin
Pack a picnic for this very spot at Little Butt.

At 5715 ft, you’ll just feel the unmarked ‘Point Misery’…

Throughout the hike, I may have also exclaimed quite a few times that I really don’t like forest stairs. My butt, she is littler after this one.

Around 4.5 miles, you’ll approach unmarked but easy-to-spot Little Butt’s end. Two pathways lead into this cliff overlook.

We pack food and stop here for a picnic. You will need to take your trash with you.

In front of you, find views of Cane River Valley, Clingmans Peak, Black Mountains, and Mount Mitchell.

Don’t skip this post for even more Picnic Spots.

When Is The Best Time To Hike Little Butt & Big Butt?

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In the spring and summer, enjoy the flowers along the Little Butt and Big Butt Trail.

Because this is a strenuous hike, we prefer to hike Little Butt in the spring when it is cooler out. Plus, you’ll spy colorful blooms and butterflies.

With that said, this elevated area of the BRP is cooler and shaded, making it a bearable summer hike, too.

This section of the Blue Ridge Parkway will close in the late fall and throughout the winter due to weather.

We always recommend checking the National Park Service’s website for all Blue Ridge Parkway updates and closures.

How Do You Get To The Little Butt & Big Butt Trails?

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I love spotting butterflies along the BRP trails.

Head north down the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville. You’ll pass Craggy Gardens, Craggy Gardens Visitor Center, Craggy Pinnacle, and Glassmine Falls Overlook.

Soon after, around MP 359, you’ll see a paved horseshoe lot on your left.

Parking is extremely limited. Once you park, look for the Big Butt Trailhead sign, which is to the left of the Mountains-To-Sea Trail.

What Else Can You Do Around This Area?

Dense Forest Little and Big Butt Trail NC with white brunette male with green backpack and red shirt walking down trail surrounded by treesPin
This area of Blue Ridge Parkway can stay up to 20 degrees cooler than Asheville, especially with the dense canopy around the Little and Big Butt hike.

Mount Mitchell

About 7 minutes further down the Blue Ridge Parkway, head to Mount Mitchell State Park – a popular day trip from Asheville.

Here, encounter Mount Mitchell’s summit, which is the highest point east of the Mississippi at 6,684 feet.

Craggy Pinnacle

Located at MP 364.1, hike about 1.4 miles round trip on this out-and-back trail to a gorgeous overlook at Craggy Pinnacle. On a clear day, at the top, you’ll see the Asheville Watershed, Craggy Gardens, and Mount Mitchell. Don’t miss our complete guide to hiking the Craggy Pinnacle Trail.

Craggy Gardens

At Milepost 364.4 or 367, you can park and hike Craggy Gardens. Known for its stellar picnic area, gorgeous blooms, and incredible views, the Craggy Gardens hike is about 2 miles roundtrip as an out-and-back trail. Both areas have nice restrooms.

Where To Stay Around Asheville

Don’t miss these inns, hotels, cottages, and cabins around Asheville. Also, be sure to check out our Asheville recommendations.

Save This Post For Later

Little And Big Butt Trail Hike Near Asheville Pinterest Pin with yellow wildflowers and white brunette woman sitting on rock looking out at Black Mountains and Mount MitchellPin
Headed to Asheville and looking for gorgeous BRP hikes? Save our guide to Little and Big Butt Trails for later. Hike like a local with Uncorked Asheville.

Have you hiked Little Butt & Big Butt Trail?

Have you attempted Little Butt and/or Big Butt? Did Point Misery feel like actual misery to you? How about those steps? What are your favorite Blue Ridge Parkway hikes? Please let us know in the comments.

Looking For More Outdoor Adventures?

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Best BRP Trails In NC
Breathtaking Craggy Pinnacle
Picnic At Craggy Gardens

Christine and Tom of Uncorked Asheville with white brunette male in sun glasses, hat, and maroon sweater and white brunette female in red, blue, and white plaid shirtPin

Christine (pronouns: she/her) is the owner and lead writer of Uncorked Asheville. After falling in love with those gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, Christine and her husband Tom decided to call Asheville, North Carolina their home. When her pointy Italian nose isn’t stuck in a book, Christine is adopting all of the kitties, getting lost in the forest, and drinking an ESB.

Christine has a BA in English and History from Smith College, her MLIS from USF-Tampa, and is a former U.S. Fulbright Scholar - Indonesia. She also owns The Uncorked Librarian LLC with books and movies to inspire travel.