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Hard hike but worth it. We went at a pretty fast pace so probably wouldn’t have been as hard if we had slowed down. Lots of ice in places that made for very slippery footing. Starts with a beautiful mountain stream. Views are absolutely breathtaking. Guide cables at the top near icy areas and shear cliffs. Make sure to hike the extra mile and a half out and back to Myrtle point once at the top as well as the short hike to Cliff tops. Definitely my favorite smokies hike.

This trail is definitely rated appropriately.. My husband and I did it yesterday and it kicked our butts! The first half to alum cave is not as bad and quite scenic. It gets considerably colder and drippy from there on to mount leconte. The sun was out and several large icicles above the cave area were melting and falling - watch your head! Wear plenty of layers and water resistant clothing for the second half of the trek. Appropriate hiking shoes are a must as this has a lot of tricky footing and wet areas. The majority of the trail is wet in fact. At the top it was probably at least 30 degrees colder with lots of snow still, but you can warm up inside the Mt leconte lodge dining hall before heading back out. We hiked back down around 4p and the trail is very shady and cool at that time with little sun until the last mile. Overall excellent challenging trail with breathtaking views!

Pretty falls, easy walk.

It was an amazing hike.I will do this trail again.Next time all the way 2 My Leconte

Love this trail will do it more a very nice walk in the smokies

My wife and I hiked this today in about 6 hours (which includes about 30 minutes of stopping). We are relatively new to hiking and both in fair shape. Got there around 8 and the parking lot was half full. Didn’t see too many hikers on the way up but tons on the way back down and the parking lot and adjacent roadsides were packed. To be fair, it was a gorgeous day weather-wise which will bring a lot of people to the park. The trail itself wasn’t too bad. The incline was pretty gradual throughout and wasn’t too strenuous. All in all it was a fairly difficult hike due to its overall length, but the views at the top were well worth the work.

5 days ago

I hiked this back in 2015, before the wildfires. It was a pain in the butt but well worth the experience. Looking forward to hiking it again.

Amazing hike with a decent incline. The stone steps through the mountain was a crowd pleaser and there are so many amazing views along the trek. Rested under the bluffs towards the end of the trail and it was well work the hike. 10/10 would do it again.

This IS a bucket list hike for anyone who loves the mountains

It was a difficult trail! But it was incredibly beautiful. Some of the changes in elevation we very steep. Coming down was much easier than the trek to the top. One you reach the top the view is breathtaking. It is also frightening. You can get claustrophobic pretty quickly. This one takes some endurance and patience.

one of the best trails in tennessee. it has tough terrain and beautiful views

12 days ago

Trail was in good shape with bridges over mountain rivers at the beginning with stone and wood stairways. First mile is easy and second half is moderate for anyone in decent shape. Difficulty is simply due to steepness. The trail is smooth all the way up. Couldn’t see anything at the top due to clouds the day we went.

Love waterfalls!!!

Best hike with an awesome view!!!

Tough uphill walk so its a great work out (i'm a seasoned hiker with average fitness), unfortunately the view at the end has been hampered by the fire.
There's a nice viewing platform that has been built that gives you a nice view, but when you look at the burned out Chimney mountain and surroundings, you can imaging how spectacular this hike once was.
Really pretty waterfalls along the way, and I would imagine during the late spring when there's more folage and flowers are blooming the hike up is spectacular.

Hiked on3/31/18.Weather was cool and sunny. There was some ice on the trail towards the top and icicles on some of the overhangs. Good crowd but not to crowded.

This was a fun one. It starts off easy enough but, has a very sneaky, gradual incline. I purposely did not work out on legs the week of this hike and, that was the right call; granted, we did a moderately strenuous hike the day prior to this trail. The sights are great and we really liked all of the running water going in between the rocks. Hike is not overbearing until after the cave; many hikers call it a day at that point, which is approximately half way, I believe. The rest of the trail from there has a lot of icy rock to shimmy across, depending on season and time of day. The camp ground up top is pretty neat; it's like a trip back in time. Go a little further to reach the cliffs and take in the well-earned view. Also, have a lunch or two in my case. The hike back down is easy compared to the climb up. Bring a lot of food and water; the two of us went through about 5-liters of water on a day that was 60 degrees F. Well worth the trip and was a rewarding experience. We can't wait to come back to this park.

This was our first visit to the Smoky Mountains and this hike did not disappoint! I hiked To Mt. Leconte with my husband and 9 y/o son on March 30th. It. Is. Strenuous. It took us 5 hours round trip. We hike frequently, We are all in pretty good shape and I have not experienced a hike this hard. My 9 y/o cried. Steep inclines - lots of steps! That being said, it was amazing and once you’re at the top you have a great sense of accomplishment!
The views were amazing on the way up. It’s a different, more rocky terrain than we are used to seeing. There are lots of wet areas and stream crossings so waterproof hiking boots are highly recommended! There was ice on the trail at the top with lots of cables to assist in traversing safely. Beautiful icicles hung from the trees and cliffs! There are so many interesting landscapes to see on this hike!
Overall this hike was a great experience and we can’t wait to go back in the fall!

I'm not an experienced hiker but I'm in good shape and workout 5 days a week so I thought what the heck let's see what I can do. This trail has such good reviews for the scenery and we are from Illinois so we don't travel to the Smokies often so we thought "when in Rome". I can't imagine another day hike in this part of the country would top this one. It was breath taking. Every. Single. Part. It was difficult but definately doable for my fitness level. Even saw numerous kids under the age of 15 make it to the top. Lots of inclines and stairs and when you reach the summit it is humbling. I can't wait to do it again in the fall!

We only went to the bluffs, about 2.3 miles in, and turned around. The trail to the arch (1.3 miles) is a moderate incline along the river, very beautiful and peaceful. Once you get to the arch, the incline seems to increase and I needed to take a couple breaks to the bluffs, even though I considerate myself moderately fit. It was definitely worth it though. The view from the bluffs was amazing and made a great spot to have a snack and refuel to go back down. Continuing on past the bluffs to the mountain top seemed nearly impossible to me but clearly there are many who can do it and I imagine it’s amazing. Great photo opportunities throughout.

21 days ago

Made the hike on Good Friday, March 30. The weather wasn’t the best when we started the hike with rain and temperatures in the low 50’s. We found room to park directly adjacent to the trailhead. We had a small group of four and we began our ascent at 10am. As advertised, the first mile was pretty easy. The fast moving creek and the two pedestrian bridges made for great pictures.

The second mile is the real deal. Heaven’s Staircase was a great workout for my quads and hamstrings not to mention my breathing. It also a great setting for a trail picture in the morning with the fog laying heavy on the trail and the steps disappearing into the fog. The rain probably kept trail traffic light as we met maybe 20 hikers coming down as we were going up and we passed another 10 on the ascent.

When reaching the “top”, we were disappointed by thickness of the fog as we could not see more than a couple hundred feet. There was no valley view due to the fog. As many already know, the trail has been shortened by 1/4 mile due to the instability of the mountain turf at the summit. Our walk down was easier but the descent does work on the calves and the knees. We met probably 40 people coming up as we made out descent.

We met a diverse group of people on the trail, young, old, toddlers, teens, families, parents and grandparents. We met ones, twos, threes and fours of varying people from a across the US. We met people from Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana and Chicago.

The entire hike took us two hours and 20 minutes. When we returned to the parking area, we observed at least a dozen vehicles parked on the shoulder of the narrow but accommodating Newfound Gap Road. I will do this hike again. Get there early for the full visual effect of Heaven’s Staircase and linger at the top for the fog to burn off to give you an incredible view of the valley.

went March 31,2018 with my family. friendly people. saw marriage proposal very sweet. ice on rocks & icicles hanging.

Strenuous hike - 4 miles round trip
New Observation point has a great view of Mount LeConte.

22 days ago

This was a nice hike! I definitely recommend it for people who can handle physical activity.

It took us about 1.5 hours to go up and I forgot to time the way down (but it was much faster and easier! Ha!) The first hour was moderate, really pretty views. After the first hour it was pretty difficult for me and I had to stop to catch my breath a few times. It’s a lot of steps and at an incline which made it tiring. (I’m also not at peak physical fitness level.)

Once we reached the highest we were able to go (the ending section was closed) we got to a platform and all we could see was fog! We will have to try this another time when it’s not raining.

The trail is busy, you will be with other hikers.

22 days ago

The trail is not as hard as some people say. Now, the last half a mile is hard because of the incline. It took me and my teens 2h to go up and down this morning. Even though it was rainy and foggy. Unfortunately we could not see anything from the top since the rain and fog moved in. We will try it again in a clear sky day.

I recorded almost six miles from the parking lot. We stayed at Mount LeConte overnight and enjoyed the last snowfall of March 2018. Our two teens hiked with us (13&14), and the views were the best so far than any other trail I have ever hiked. The first leg of the trail to Alum Cave is pretty easy, but from there it gets tough for half a mile and easy for a quarter mile. After that, it is all uphill. If you are hiking in winter, make sure to put spikes on your boots. The rocks are slippery and icy. The views are majestic. The trail is pretty crowded until Alum Cave, but after that the crowd dwindled. The trail is tough but worth it. I would recommend it!. Don’t forget to buy your t-shirt at Mount LeConte

Love this trail, there is something satisfying knowing llamas are how supplies are taken up to the lodge. This trail is well marked with several steep sections. The trail is more strenuous once you pass the alum cave junction, and there are several areas great for views but could be hazardous if wet or not paying attention. The lodge is such a cool setup but most likely it will be fog ridden when you reach the top limiting views

Hiked 3/27, started at 11:00, and was not the last car parked off the road as hikers coming up as we were descending. Took 5 hrs. with hot chocolate and nourishing, yummy chocolate, peanut butter,, oat no bakes on peak. Comfortable 36 degrees on top with no ice on trail. 12 and 13 year boy and girl counted 2906 man made stairs from wood and rock and figured trail was 199 and 14/15ths football fields or 29,040 steps! Loved the community room with games and guitars at the lodge. We will return and camp there.

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