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Very enjoyable trail, even though it was pouring on us nearly the whole time. We took the time to go see the Jump Off and I’m sure it would have been beautiful had it not been so misty that morning! There were some difficult sections on the boulevard trail section with steep uphills but the views paid off. Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for a more secluded approach to LeConte. We did it in three days (1st day: Road Prong Trail+Appalachian Trail with sleep at Icewater Springs Shelter, 2nd day: Charlie’s Bunion back to Boulevard Trail and sleep at LeConte Shelter, 3rd day: coming down LeConte via Alum Cave). Overall an easy paced trail, with us getting done with hiking in early afternoon. Would recommend taking time to see the different viewing points like Myrtle Point and Charlie’s Bunion if you have the time.

hiking
12 days ago

10/10 would hike again.

The trail was wonderful! We went in the morning (started about 8am) and it never got too hot which was a huge plus for me, especially since it was mid July. The sights were beautiful and completely worth it. I got to see a momma dear and her two babies on the trail also!

I do warn though, it gets very busy since it’s in a very touristy area so going early would be the best. When we got done with the hike, it was very crowded and a lot of people were on the trail then. So go early if possible!

I think this is the toughest trail I’ve hiked in the Smoky Mountains. From the parking lot to the lodge and back was a little over 19 miles. There are a lot of up and downs, both ways. Several nice places to stop and take in the scenery. If I had to describe this trail in one word: rocks. Rocks. And more rocks. And when you think you’ve seen every rock. There’s more. Big. Little. Ankle breakers. Gravel. I would still consider this my second favorite trail to LeConte, but the rocky path made it tough on the tootsies. Not a lot of traffic once you get past the turn off for Charlie’s Bunion.

Did this trail on 07/12/2018. Started at Alumn Cave bluffs trailhead and ended at Newfound Gap. What can I say. It is a total Smokey Mountain experience. Creeks, views, wildlife, flowers. This route is 13 miles. We did it in 5.5 hours. Should have taken it slower to enjoy more but we also used this route for a workout. I have done this. Route several times at different times of year. Never disappoints

There are many ways to reach the top of mount Leconte. This on is longer then Alum, but it is milder, and I think the view was nice too. You also have some small extra options along the way. It took me 4.5 hours going up backpacking, including Charlies bunion, so I'd say it never got very steep, and the trail is well maintained

Definitely a nice hike through the quiet woods of the Pisgah. One tiny little waterfall on the trail. Always hang a left no matter what. It was nice, but I probably wouldn’t do again.

We prepared after reading reviews (especially Toby Brannan) and upgrading the AllTrails app. If you haven’t done that, I highly recommend it!

After walking through seriously overgrown trails (trails were about 6” wide because of so much growth), ending up on the gravel road was a welcome reprieve.

Our pup wasn’t happy about crossing so much water, but we loved it.

If you are looking for a private trail, this is it. We saw no one all day and it was the 4th of July!

It's tough to rate these trails because it's so subjective according to what each person likes, but I just finished the entire LGT with an extension from Wolf Pit Parking area, all the way out Babel Tower as my endpoint. Starting from Wolf Pit Parking area, down Faulker Flats, cross the river to the MST, then link up to Leadmine trail, then to LGT and finally Babel Tower trail. It was a brutal link up in this June heat (83 today and 2000% humidity). The gnats and ticks were ridiculously thick in the lower section of the gorge all the way to Conley Cove. Plenty of campsites, lots of good water to filer but very slick rocks, tons of downed trees to cross. So, somehow it seems much, much harder than it looks on paper. It's often referred to as 'gorge miles' because its very deceptive until you experience it for yourself. When you're looking at this thing on the map your mind says, 'it just runs flat by the river', but with all the log crossings, high steps and ridiculously slick wet rock it just makes you really work for every mile. Legs feel like someone has taken a baseball bat to them after exiting Babel Tower on my third day. I chose this link up to fish up the river. Very challenging but it will reward you, guaranteed.

I hiked most of this section back in April '16. Parked my car in Hot Springs NC and got dropped off at I-40 Waterville exit to pick up the AT. It was a late start, but made it to the Patch right at sundown. Just before crossing the road for the ascent to the top, there was a friendly sort parked with a hospitality cooler full of beer and soda for any hikers passing through. I took him up on a very unexpected but welcome IPA. It was Saturday, so the place was full of campers as well as thru hikers staying the night. It was like being in college again....only this time, I was that geezer laying low to rest up for the longer section to Hot Springs. If you make it in early enough, or if its not a weekend, there's a great camping area just into the woods on the north-bound side of the bald.

Challenging hike and well worth the work to get to Mount LeConte. My favorite parts were walking the spines of several ridges, and the short hike up to Myrtle Point.

Finally! I have wanted to do this for a long time and got it knocked out today.It is part of a goal to ascend or descend Leconte by the major trails I did it with a friend as part of a through trip down Alum. There are some great views along the way.

Hiked May 30-May 31 after and during intense rain. Trails here have the tendency to become gushing streams, and the Ivestor Gap trail and Art Loeb section between Flower gap and Cold mountain were both flooded for significant parts of the trail. We turned back after Flower Gap after conditions worsened. That being said, it was quite deserted and extremely scenic! Hope to be back in drier weather

Hiked Black Balsam Road to Shining Rock, then to Cold Mountain along the narrow ridge, after two weeks of rain. Many flowing water sources with streams down the trail and several ponds in the trail. I did my best to keep my feet dry. I gave up on the Ivestor Trail on the way back. Saw a clump of 12 Pink Ladies Slippers, a few trilliums, bristly locust and Chicken of the Woods mushroom past Shining Rock. As said in other reviews, beautiful views, especially at sunset. When I was at Cold Mountain, I wished I had a car at the Boy Scout Camp, for a 4 mile hike to the car, instead of almost 10 miles back to Black Balsom Road.

Great hike with a few great mountain overlooks. Good elevation challenge in the first few miles and enjoyable length. The loop spans multiple trails in this order: Chesnut Knob, Sawtooth Trail, Upper CCC, Little River Trail, Raven Rock Trail, and River Trail. There were a lot of gnats though.

literally my favorite ever. there's absolutely nothing negative thoughts say about this one.

It earns it hard rating but the views are worth it! Not blazed and many fallen trees so stay on path. There are no easy crossings with the spence ridge bridge out and all the rapids, other crossings are not well marked. There are some non-rocky areas for tent camping around Babel Tower and about 4mi in from Pine Gap.

started hiking a bit after sunrise, didnt finish because i needed to be back by sunset. Trail had a lot of fallen trees across it and was kinda overgrown. got lost for a few miles and had to bushwhack back to trail because it isnt marked, probably almost died once or twice. 10/10 would recommend

this loop is 271a, 266 and 239 with some time walking the road on the north end. multiple creek crossings, may stay dry depending on the time of year. take the time to go down to the base of North harpers creek falls, it's worth it.

Enjoyed a full day hiking in the mountains. Breathe taking views from the top.

Great hike!! One of my favorites in the area!! Definitely challenging but worth it!

backpacking
3 months ago

Great trail just not marked clearly, didn't get to complete the trail because of the confusion. it intersects with multiple trails. this was for N.harper creek falls, blaze color is yellow, then changes to blue and from I read it changes to orange after blue before completing the loop. really good camp site at the beginning of the trail, and another really awesome creek side site about 3 miles in give or take.

Boulevard is a good alternate route to Leconte versus the more popular Alum Cave or Rainbow Falls routes. Although an out and back on this trail is longer, the trail has a steady mix of ups and downs - but not too much of either at once. The side trails to “the jumpoff” and Myrtle Point are worth the stop if you want to do some extra and have the time. Trail is in good shape with the most rocky portions at the beginning and the end on the climb from Newfound gap to Ice water springs area. That is also the most crowded section as it overlaps the route along the AT to Charlie’s Bunion.

Would be a good running route if that’s your thing.

It was nice to have a good portion of the trail to ourselves even though it was a Saturday (sweat Heifer and beyond Charlie’s bunion encountered only 3 other groups total). Agree that the 3.7 mile portion of the sweat heifer was most difficult part of trail. Crossing streams/small waterfalls was fun throughout the kephart prong, sweat heifer, and dry sluice portions.

Beautiful and strenuous hike. Worth every minute. Wear waterproof hiking boots and make sure you have strong traction. About .5 miles into the hike it gets strenuous. Lots of mountain climbing.

I completed southbound which is less climbing. There is a climb up to Snowbird Mtn regardless which direction, but for this section SB was best & has better views from Snowbird on. One could save themselves a lot of climbing and it is shorter to use the gravel roadway (Green Corner Rd) to/from the Pigeon River/I-40. There is also a false white trail blaze that leads to the Standing Bear Hostel. It takes u about 1/2 mile out of the way. Seems like a false attempt to get a hiker to go to that hostel.

This hike is definitely a workout. The first 1-1.5 miles are pretty much a non-stop incline. After that it’s pretty much smooth sailing, with a few short inclines that sufficiently get your heart pumping. Took my dog and she loved it. It was definitely a workout for her too! We added an extra .4 miles to go to the Chestnut Knob overlook. The view itself is pretty good, but there’s not really anywhere to sit comfortably and no shade. And because we went on a fairly warm day, the sun was a little too much. Other than the overlook, there’s a few spots with some decent views, and places to sit and enjoy them. As other mentioned there are a ton of burnt trees, so a little dreary but nothing too bad. Overall I’m giving this hike a 4 because it’s a great workout, but it’s just short of a 5 because of the lackluster views.

hiking
6 months ago

We did Chestnut Knob, followed by Sawtooth , Upper CCC , and Little River Trail. A total of about 7.9 miles with over 1,400 ft elevation. Great workout for the day!

Great challenging day hike.

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