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Daniel Banks reviewed Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte
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HikingGreat!

This hike is best thought of 2 parts: Part 1: to Alum Cave This is a beautiful, moderate section that follows a creek through lush forest for much of the way. It’s not too difficult until you pass arch rock, when it steepens up. Most hikers seem to stop once they reach Alum cave and turn around. For inexperienced hikers or those with children, this will be a solid workout and gets you some beautiful scenery. Part 2: to Mt Leconte (and beyond) From Alum Cave onward, the trail really steepens, and you move higher in elevation. You are rewarded with many spectacular views of the Smokies along the way. The best views we got were from “Cliff Top”, which was a spur just past the lodge. Had I known about Myrtle Point, I would’ve continued on to there as well, but unfortunately we turned around at High Top (which was confusing because there wasn’t really anything there). Overall, this hike has a wide variety of scenery and provides a nice ROI. Your legs / feet will feel it, but the memories are worth it!

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Joyce Zhang reviewed Rainbow Falls Trail
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Hiking

Relaxed hike that took about 3 hours. Not too busy. GPS said we did 6 miles. Green near the bottom and near the top!

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Mark Newman reviewed Rainbow Falls Trail
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Hiking

The trail rates as “hard.” I would say it’s on the light side of hard. The path is well managed and very easy to stay on. There are several small waterfalls on the way up. The payoff is at Rainbow Falls which falls a great distance. It is beautiful. I’m so glad we chose to do this hike. It is well worth the effort!

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Adriana Lemite reviewed Laurel Falls Trail
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HikingGreat!

Nice trail well maintained with gentle hills .... just highly trafficked

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Dara Rancifer reviewed Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte
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Hiking

As a less experienced hiker it's a bit challenging, but wonderful! Got there at 7:20AM as it was cloudy, was able to find parking. The trail is easy to follow, and is a nice hike, after Arch Rock it gets a bit steeper, but making it to the atleast the bluffs is worth it!!

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Thu Krumpoch reviewed Laurel Falls Trail
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Hiking

Easy trail. Good for families with young children. Waterfalls is flowing at the end

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Jen Bowles reviewed Chimney Tops Trail
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HikingClosedGreat!

There are a LOT of steps which is what makes the hike so difficult, but stop and enjoy the views along the way to help pace yourself! If you pass the closure sign at the end of the trail, you will find a narrow path with many fallen trees you will need to climb over, under or around which makes for a fun challenge. Once to the Chimney Tops, you will find yourself doing some steep rock climbing to get to the summit! This part is definitely quite scary but worth the views. Stay safe and don’t do more than you think you can handle!

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Stephanie Edwards reviewed Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte
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Hiking

This trail was really hard! We started out at 7:15 and had most of the trail to ourselves for a while (note: we went back today for another hike at 7:45am the day after this hike and the trailhead parking lot was full, just depends on the day/weather I am thinking) and got done around 2:15pm. It was an intense way up to the top but the views were pretty nice. This hike would be best for a sunny day, though. The way down is difficult, and it’s true when other reviewers say their toes were cramping and crammed in their boots on the way down. You will be tired after this hike, but its a beautiful site and a must-do!

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 9, 2021
HikingGreat!

Nice hike- lots of folks on trail on a beautiful spring break Friday. A few pretty views and the “cave,” really more of a huge rock overhang, was pretty cool. Definitely gets steeper on last half, with lots of steps at the end. Another 2.7 miles from there to Mt LeConte, which we did not do. We are in late 50s but keep a steady pace and my husband doesn’t linger to savor the views, so out and back for us was right at 2 hours. Would like to come back and go to the top.

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Otha Easley reviewed Rainbow Falls Trail
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Hiking

It was “uphill” the “whole” way there. Unfortunately I didn’t think the Fall was worth the effort. There are more gorgeous Falls with equal or lesser effort to get there.

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Mesut Cingillioglu reviewed Chimney Tops Trail
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Hiking

Chimney is closed! Given 1300ft elevation, the view is average at best

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Kyle Keller reviewed Chimney Tops Trail
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Hiking

Very steep but worth the views. Too many people not following the 7 principles of Leave No Trace. A lot of garbage on the trail. My eating though is based on the views and trail which were awesome and well defined.

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Burns Diamond III reviewed Laurel Falls Trail
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Hiking

Good trail, with a beautiful waterfall at the end

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 9, 2021
Hiking

We started our hike at 8 and there were a few other cars in the parking lot. Only encountered 4 other hikers on the way up to the top and had the whole Jump Off area to ourselves for awhile. There was a lot of traffic coming back down the mountain. It's a decent trail but did not have many good views and was a bit boring at times until the very end of the trail.

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Brandie Putnam reviewed Laurel Falls Trail
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HikingRocky

This paved trail led to a pretty waterfall but was very very crowded. With the traffic this path sees it would be nice to have a bathroom at the trailhead.

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Laura Thimmig reviewed Laurel Falls Trail
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Hiking

Beautiful hike. Slight elevation but easy.

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Michael Delrosario reviewed Rainbow Falls Trail
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It was really rocky and uneven in many places. It rained on us going up and after the path got wet things got really slick. It took almost 3 hrs for us to get up because of the slick conditions. Bring water. We made it up though with 2 kids (12 and 5 yr old).

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Hiking

very busy trail. great views of the mountains!

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Emily Ahern reviewed Chimney Tops Trail
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HikingGreat!

Was difficult as advertised. Lots of uphill, enjoyed all the water you get to see in the first part of the trail, beautiful view at the top. Also snuck around the gate but I wouldn’t do that with children or inexperienced hikers, the sign is valid. Took us almost 4 hours though with a stop for lunch and some snacking/pictures.

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Brad Bowen reviewed Rainbow Falls Trail
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Hiking

Consistent uphill the entire way to the waterfall. The trail is wide and never too steep. The waterfall itself isn’t that impressive, especially compared to others in the region, but there are great views along the way. The crowds were insane, especially for a weekday. Most people didn’t seem to be prepared as they had little to no water and no sense of the trail distance. It wasn’t a terribly difficult hike, but you can easily get dehydrated if you aren’t prepared. Take sunscreen as the tree cover disappears as you increase in elevation.

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Hiking

Awesome trail. Beautiful day!

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Kandi Berkley reviewed Rainbow Falls Trail
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HikingGreat!Icy
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Ryan Green reviewed Laurel Falls Trail
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Hiking

Easygoing walk with plenty of other people on the trail.

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Jason Newcomer reviewed Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte
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Hiking

I wanted to rate this trail higher but our experience was hindered by somewhat crappy weather on the day that we went. I will say that our ascent to the summit was quite enjoyable, although challenging. We started our hike at 7:15 and only saw 1 other hiker halfway up the mountain. We also had all of Alum Cave to ourselves too. Once we got to the top the weather changed dramatically and become very cold and windy, which we were very underprepared for. The end of the trail is just a pile of rocks so you'll have to go to the Cliff Tops for a good view. Our descent was pure hell as all the rocks were loose and slippery from the constant downpour of rain, making it quite dangerous and stressful. Luckily we each had a trekking pole to stabilize us through the end, I couldn't imagine getting through this without one.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 8, 2021
HikingGreat!

Awesome hike! Ice mentioned in previous reviews has mostly melted and is easily avoidable. I highly recommend the detour to The Jump Off - it’s an additional 0.4 mi in each direction and yields a quite awesome, vertigo inducing view. Also, AllTrails marks the bunion slightly incorrectly. We continued past the real bunion to the spot on the map labeled the bunion with a significantly less impressive rock formation and less panoramic views. However, that spot was secluded and very nice for a hiking break! Lastly, the trail map leads to a pretty non-descript trail junction - nothing really to see and easily skippable. Going the entire length of the suggested trail including the Jump Off, we did 10.26 mi, 2500ft of elevation. It took us 5h30m of active hike time for an overall duration of 7h30m, and we hike at a moderate pace.

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Hiking

I love it!!!

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Hiking

Beautiful hike! Be prepared with layers for all types of weather- it was warm and quite sunny at the bottom, rainy in the middle, and there was freezing wind at the top for us!

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Hiking

great trail

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