Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte

HARD 344 reviews

Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte is a 10.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

10.3 miles 2965 feet Out & Back

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

scenic driving

trail running

walking

cave

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

no dogs

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.

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

Awesome trail, great Vista views accompany the entire hike so plenty to see on the way to the summit! Not for the faint of heart or ppl with fear of heights. A must if you are visiting the Gatlinburg area and want a memorable hike.

4 days ago

I loved this trail because of all the unique features you get to see along the way! Well worth the time spent!

10 days ago

Love this trail. One of my favorites

11 days ago

11 days ago

My favorite hike in the Smokies! Great views!

12 days ago

backpacking
13 days ago

One of the premier trails in the park.

hiking
16 days ago

icy and beautiful. tough without spikes.

18 days ago

18 days ago

18 days ago

Hiked in February, some icy patches and dangerous Icicles but very beautiful!!

18 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

Mt Leconte is my favorite hike in the Smokies and in my Top 5 for the entire Southeastern USA. It is strenuous with about 3000' of ascent if you go to the summit, but well worth the effort if you are in condition for it.

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago