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Used this trail as our descent from Mt LeConte. This is popular and busy but very challenging. 2700’ incline over 5.7 mi is a lot of uphill on the ascent. The initial part in the valley just after the trailhead is amazingly beautiful, however, with rhododendrons and a whitewater creek crossed by log bridges along the way. Once past that, the ascent begins and is relentless. The persistent are rewarded with some awesome views along the way. Be careful at this time of year: ice and snow can make some parts of the trail treacherous. If you plan to day hike this, bring water and allow plenty of time.

Hiked this as part of a two day trip this weekend. We hiked up to Icewater Spring shelter to overnight, then went on to Mt LeConte (and down the Alum Cave Trail) the next day. I think this is a total ascent of 1500 feet, rather than what’s listed: check other sources. Some great views along the way on a fairly strenuous hike. There is a nice spring available for water near the shelter, btw. Trail was in good condition. Few people on the trail, at least at this time of year.

Great views! Definitely the best trail I’ve done in the smokies so far. Took my wife and I about 4 hours on the ascent and 2.5 on the decent. All around great.

Tough trail, quiet a bit of an incline and very rocky. However, totally worth the view!

Great hike for families. Lots of fun geological features and little boomers everywhere!

This is my go to spot .

Hiked this trail on Wednesday. The weather wasn’t the best, visibility was very poor from the summit and I just loved it! The sound of my boots on the trail, the echo of birds calling, the rain beating against my pack, and a dog barking in the distance set the scene for my peaceful trek to the summit via the AT. It was very muddy and I stumbled a time or two and actually fell once due to the slippery trail. My trekking poles were a tremendous help on this day.

Always a great trail have done in all season and winter is the best

The day was fogged in, so unfortunately we didn’t get any of the awesome vistas. But we could imagine them. We did however still have a great hike. The leaves are gone at the upper elevations now but there is color (every shade of green) in the moss, ferns, and undergrowth. Still quite amazing. I’d rate the trail as moderate, and found it a nice leisure hike. We stopped at the shelter for a bite to eat and were greeted by a die and two fawns grazing in the reeds in front of us. That was our ‘10’, along with the shades of green undergrowth. We decided to head back from there since there was no expected view from Charlie’s Bunyan ; we’ll be back on a clear day. I rated 5 stars as I didn’t want to down rate it for the weather. This has all the makings of an awesome trail.

This is my favorite hike in the Smokies. Beautiful views and lots of amazing natural wonders to take in. Can be difficult at times but is well worth the effort. Can't wait to do this again when the wild flowers are in bloom.

Breath taking views from the top! Slippery when wet, gets real muddy in the rain. Wear appropriate shoes.

hiking
6 days ago

We did not go all the way to mount leconte. My hubby and I stopped at the bluff. From the trail head to the bluff, it’s about 2.2 miles. What a great hike. Really loved this trail. The mossy trees and creek were amazing. The arch was super cool. The bluff had icicles hanging that were falling down like missles. Loved it. This is a very popular trail so go early.

hiking
6 days ago

We did this trail after going to alum cave first. I would not suggest that you do both in one day unless you are conditioned. Chimney is strenuous. Trail started to get crowded. Go early!It’s a nice trail but it is a thigh killer. Would def go back especially to finish the trail where it is closed at the top.

This trail had a bit of everything. the view from the top was amazing too! just beware of the ice all over the trail this time of the year

I have so much respect for this mountain after hiking this trail. Definitely one of the hardest hikes I've done, but also the most rewarding. There are so many beautiful landmarks to keep you inspired along the way.

The walk in was steep and slippery in spots. Bridge crossings where slick and had ice. Snow closer to the Falls. Was worth the hike! 16,433 steps according to my watch. Recommend for those that want to see beautiful water falls. We did see a huge buck driving in. Then we saw a bear both going up and heading down.

Did this in early November and the contrast between the autumn colors at the bottom and icy trees at the top was so cool. Slow burn on the way up, but not too bad. Make sure to stop at the lodge and warm up by the fire!

Beautiful trail which suffered from the 2016 fires. They have made some great progress in restoring the trail and even though the end of the trail is still closed to hikers, it's well worth the 1.75 mile hike to the new overlook

My wife and I hiked to Mt. LeConte via Alum Cave Trail. We have never gone this way before but have done it several times via Rainbow Falls and Grotto Falls. No matter which way you go, it is beautiful. The foliage was gorgeous.

This hike has it all! Great variety of trees, views and difficulty including the cave, stone steps, and exposed rock where you will be thankful for the handholds. Be sure to wear waterproof shoes and once you get to the Lodge keep going for better views from the Cliff Top.

hiking
11 days ago

Only thing keeping it from getting 5 stars is the last section being closed since the 2016 fires, I understand why it's still closed but can't say it isn't disappointing. They have put in some great work to get the trail to the point it's at, but ending where it did was a bit of a tease. As is still a nice short hike with a good climb for the last third.

hiking
12 days ago

Great hike! It took us about 3 hours up and down, with lots of stops for pictures and a little rest at the top. Inclines are steep and it was pretty slippery, but overall fine. Views at the top are gorgeous and well worth the climb.

hiking
12 days ago

This was awesome!! It took my girlfriend and me a little over two hours to complete and there were definitely some steep inclines and declines! Not for the faint of heart, but the views at the end are worth every second!! 10/10!

Don’t miss this!!Absolutely amazing!!! Majestic views. It’s a long hike, start early so you can stop and take pictures along the way. It took us 8 hours round trip moving at a goos pace and making a few stops. Don’t eat the sack lunch at Le Conte lodge, it was horrible. Pack your own food and plenty to drink.

hiking
13 days ago

Me and my sweetheart Hoss went on this hike and it was beautiful,the climb is so worth it!! Beautiful views and cliffs.Seen the first snow of the year! The view from the top was beautiful,it was cold and windy. But cant wait to do it again. I couldn't ask for a better hiking partner,he wore me out!!

hiking
13 days ago

Hiked this trail in the early morning hours of a Sunday (started at 8am) and half the parking spot at the trailhead were already taken. So go early. First half is a well-trod wide trail with a steady incline, but easy going; runs along the river with plenty of photo ops. Once you hit the switchbacks it does get a little steeper, but very doable with a steady pace. Falls are spectacular. We climbed up to them (despite a sign advising against it). =) Just be careful and use common sense. Pictures don’t do it justice. Beautiful hike in the fall with plenty to see.

hiking
13 days ago

Very awesome! I climbed behind the waterfall itself. It’s slippery and there are signs saying to be careful, but I’m a dare devil and was determined to do so. Hike itself wasn’t too challenging. Saw a deer, climbed up a fallen tree! Enjoyed it very much. Will do again

One of the first hikes I did of the weekend! It was definitely a challenge and pretty long but well worth the hike up! Weather was beautiful, part of the mountains were frosted off from the sun not hitting them just yet. The views are to die for! Keep your speed steady.

hiking
13 days ago

This was beyond the MOST steps I’ve climbed in quite some time! Awesome views. Got to the top and there’s somewhere you can sit! Although about 0.25 miles away is the chimney tops itself, it was blocked off due to the fire. There is a gate blocking it off.

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