Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte

MODERATE 222 reviews
#1 of 167 trails in

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 moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November.

10.3 miles 2828 feet Out & Back

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

scenic driving

trail running

walking

cave

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

no dogs

Mt. Le Conte via the Alum Cave Bluffs Trail is an out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a river, 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.