Where I’ve Been: Switzerland or Silent Hill?

On the way home from Spruce Pines, my sister took a wrong turn and we ended up in Little Switzerland, NC. Beneath the dense fog of the mountain emerged a small tourist spot. This place in particular seemed very out of place. Instead of rugged cabins lining the ridge or hipster-y huts in a shopping lot, bright buildings scattered resembling a very lost Santa    Town. These buildings surrounded a very contrasting luxurious resort that seemed to be having a Richest of The Rich gathering because lambos and maseratis lined the street opposite of the tourist parking. Honestly, I don’t think I could explain my amazement as we approached the place.

There was a quaint little ice cream hut that bustled with excited children, a seemingly abandoned kiosk with local news postings, and an abundance of touristy clothing and knick knack shops. The shops I looked around in had everything from Little Switzerland t-shirts, to heavy duty hiking gear, to knock off Chanel purses. Obviously, they were prepared for every type of customer.


The elevation of Little Switzerland can be anywhere from 2,600 to 4000. We were at the 3,500 level. The entire mountain was swallowed by clouds. It looked like a spooky, low budget horror movie where all of the money went to fog machines. We didn’t stay long as to not be consumed, never to escape. My sister managed to eventually navigate our way back down 226 (after taking yet another wrong turn which took us up to the tippity top of the mountain, where the roads were mostly closed…) and we eventually made it back to Nebo.

I’ve been thinking about camping near the summit of Mt. Mitchell (the highest elevated mountain in this area of the East Coast? I think?) in the Autumn and this will certainly be my first stop on the way there.


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