Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte is a 10.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, TN that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November.
Mt. Le Conte via the Alum Cave Bluffs Trail is an out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a river and concave cliff. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. The first section of the Alum Cave Trail, up to Arch Rock, is a fairly gentle climb. You'll follow Alum Cave Creek for the first mile. Then, just before reaching Arch Rock, the trail begins to follow the smaller Styx Branch. This section of trail is choked with rhododendron, offering beautiful blooms in early summer. At just over 1.3 miles from the trailhead you'll reach Arch Rock, the first prominent landmark along the trail. The arch was formed by freezing and thawing which eroded away the softer rock from underneath the harder rock. The trail actually goes under the arch and requires a climb of several steps etched into the stone before exiting at the top. Roughly 2 miles from the trailhead you'll reach aptly named Inspiration Point, with its commanding views of Little Duck Hawk Ridge to the west, and Myrtle Point on Mt. LeConte towards the northeast. The Eye of the Needle, a hole in the rock at the top of Little Duck Hawk Ridge, can also be seen from Inspiration Point. At the top you will find the LeConte Lodge which provides the only commercial lodging in the national park, as it operates about 10 rustic cabins with no electricity or appliances.
Loved it!! We hiked this trail October 9th, 2016.
We were doing Mt. Le Conte hike while we passed this. The end point of Alum bluff cave trail is wonderful and offered great views.
I enjoyed the trip it's a nice half day hike and the cabins on top of Mount Le Conte were great and as well the food. l hiked and stayed in the spring of 1998.
Great trail with a little bit of everything. You'll start out by following the river/stream all the way to Alum Cave. When you get to Alum Cave continue on up to the Alum Bluffs and this is where you will need to
decide to make the 2.7 mile climb to the top of Mount Le Conte or turn around and head for the car. If you are going to make the climb, it will be well worth it. Bring plenty of water, snacks, hiking poles and good sturdy shoes. This is a strenuous climb but the views make it all worth it. In my opinion, the views on the way up are better than the peak itself. You'll know you are nearly at the top by seeing a sign for the lodge and the peak. It flattens out after you see the sign pointing to the lodge. Coming down the mountain is not easy either. Your legs are going to get a full workout during this hike. Take as many breaks as you need to stop and stretch, hydrate and snack. I went with a small group of people, two of which who were in much better shape than than I and they made it to the top in 2hrs and 10mins while I struggled to get up there in just under 4 hours. I stopped many times to take in the views, readjust gear and catch my breath from the climb. I probably could've pushed a little harder to make it up there quicker but we didn't have any plans so I was in no rush.
Nice steady hike, not too strenuous. Definitely will do again and hopefully make the time to climb all the way to Le Conte.
The views are beautiful the entire time. Every type of terrain a hiker likes. They are also doing great work altering the path to more accommodating to all. Worth the long hike to the top. The lodge and views are awesome!
Great hike so many beautiful views .. I have done this one twice and it is my favorite
Great hike! My boyfriend and I did this trail to Mt. LeConte summit pass the Alum Cave. Took us 2.5 up, recommend for you to be heart endurance ready. We ride mountain bikes and hike regularly in Texas. Recommend hiking this amazing trails it was worth the spectacular views!
One of the best overall in the Smokies!
we did not take enough food and regretted it on the way out! Awesome views on this trail and the lodge is a very welcome stop to re up on water. We went all the way to myrtle point... do not quit without the extra little bit to the point! there should be a sign that says you are stupid if you dont go the extra 15 mins.
Hiked Alum Cave Trail to Mt. LeConte with my wife, daughter, and son-in-law. We're all "novice" hikers (haven't hiked since high school/college days). Took 4.5 hours up, spent 1.5 hours at the Lodge eating lunch and talking with the staff, and 3 hours back down. Great hike !!! Recommended to all hikers, with the caveat of "be in shape" !!!!
Great hike, beautiful scenery and strenuous second half up to Mt. LeConte. Can't wait to go back.
This hike was AMAZING!!!!
Would definitely do it again.
Great trail, but this route as shown does not actually take you to the top of Mt. LeConte. It says to Mt. LeConte but the end of the trail as shown leads to Cliff Tops. This route needs to be edited so that it leads to the correct location. To get to the actual top of Mt. LeConte, continue east past the lodge on to Boulevard Trail. About a quarter mile up you'll see the pile of rocks on your right.
Hiked this trail and loved it. It was pretty crowded so i would suggest going early in the morning. Well worth no matter what though!
Love this trail. not a hard climb and beautiful along the way.