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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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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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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
Hiking

Awesome trail. Beautiful day!

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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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Jennifer Steelman reviewed Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte
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HikingGreat!

The trail today was beautiful!! The warmer temps have eliminated the ice that others mentioned but some areas were a bit wet. The stream section of the trail was very lovely. I loved how the water fell over the rocks and the way it sounded. We stopped for many pics. The arch is pretty steep so watch that. The cave was enormous and a good place to stop for a rest if you’re headed to the top. The second half of the trail was great on the way up. Spectacular views of the mountains. We ate our lunch at the top. We then took the next small trail to Cliff Top for another amazing view. The return trip was what got me. So much downhill and my toes kept getting cramped up in my boots. I think I was more tired when we reached the car then when we reached the top. It was a great hike though. Very beautiful and two types of scenery to enjoy, but it is a very hard trail. We saw kids and older folks out so it is very doable for all but just take lots of breaks. Our round trip including several breaks and a lunch was roughly 9 hours for the 10 mile hike.

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

Such a beautiful hike! We added another mile and another 300’ by stopping at Stinson beach to eat lunch. We hiked midweek so there were moderate numbers of people, mostly masked.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 7, 2021
HikingGreat!

Trail is very well maintained. Trail is not too bad getting to Alum Cave; however, expect the last 2.7 miles to LeConte to be very tough. In my opinion, the best views come after Alum Cave. Definitely worth the hike.

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Kaylene Betancourt reviewed Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte
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Hiking

Amazing. Entire hike was just so amazing. A little crowded until you get past the cave. 10/10 recommend.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 7, 2021
Hiking

Very nice hike. I started at 7 am so had a fairly peaceful hike up the mountain. Trail is well manicured Views were great. Trail was more crowded on the way down, but overall folks were very friendly today. I made sure to get to the peak of Mt. LeConte as well as the Cliff Top viewing area.

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Lindsay Watkins reviewed Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte
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Nature tripsGreat!

We started the trail at 0730 on 4/6/2021 and we were starting to fill up the lot. It was brisk and we all wore layers including hats. The trail is beautiful and follows a river on the way up. The hike is definitely hard and you should only hike if prepared to sweat. It took us around 4 hrs to peak. They have really nice stickers at gift store, which is open 830-930 and 12-4. They had cute sacked lunches. There is also a water source at peak and a public restroom. Best view in all of Tennessee. You could skip cliffs and make a long visit to my Murtle point which has an incredible viewpoint.

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Dana Caliendo reviewed Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte
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Hiking

A little icy in the morning (6AM) on the way up but most of it started to melt by the time we were headed down.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 6, 2021
Hiking

Flat!

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HikingIcy

We love this hike. Challenging yet manageable even for my knees. Once you get to Charles Bunion, take the time to continue 1/4 to 1/2 mile past take a left at a trail T then look for a narrow rock path on your left. A little bit of a steep grade, but the view is worth it.

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Chris Adrian reviewed Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte
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HikingGreat!Icy

Absolutely tremendous hike, 9 hours round trip, made it to the peak. Did this hike on March 4th. Ice imbedded into trail. 53 degrees at base and 36 at peak. Wonderful hike.

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Malisa Ciccotto reviewed Charlies Bunion via Appalachian Trail
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Hiking
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Ginny Williams reviewed Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte
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HikingGreat!

We hiked this trail on 4/5/21 and it was beautiful. We did have ice at some of the higher elevations but I imagine that is gone by now. If you have a group that just wants to go to Alum Cave that is well worth your time but going on to Mount LeConte was a really good adventure. We actually were looking for Peregrine Peak but never saw a sign or noted where that was so we hiked on to Mount LeConte. Ours was a 10.7 round trip and took just under 5 hours with a stop for lunch at the top. If you reach the "lodge" area they do have restrooms (one step up from a port a potty in that they are permanent structures) and access to a well spigot for water refills.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 5, 2021
WalkingGreat!

Easy hike. Wish it was longer. The views are worth it.

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HikingGreat!Icy

Hiked this trail on a beautiful Saturday. I definitely recommend starting the trail early because it becomes heavily trafficked later in the day. It is tough to find parking on a busy day. Other than that, the trail was amazing. Very scenic throughout and the views at the top were stunning. I definitely recommend this trail.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 5, 2021
HikingIcy

Worth the view! We knew there might be ice and brought the ice cleats and walking sticks. At times the walk up never seemed to end. However it was the walk down that did me in!! Knees were shot by the time I got to the bottom. Always impressed with how polite and friendly other hikers are in the Smokey’s ! Sorry the bag pipe fella couldn’t get things going. But we appreciate the effort.

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Kimberly Ann Stephenson-Miles reviewed Charlies Bunion via Appalachian Trail
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HikingIcy

Great workout for cardio and bit of a stretch at the middle. The last 2 miles are technical with ice and boulders. Per Garmin was about 200 flights. Nice hike

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Matthew Labella reviewed Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte
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HikingIcyRocky

Very nice trail. Going up was rigorous, and ice didn’t help. I got there in the early morning because parking spaces fill up quickly. Due to that, there was still ice on the trail. Quarter of the way up is where you see the Alun Cave, and ice was falling down there so be careful. But then another quarter of the way up from there was the summit, which itself was anti-climactic. But the hike itself was fun and challenging. The ice made it even more challenging which I liked, but it was impossible to not slip and fall a few times.

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Shannon Moore reviewed Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte
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HikingGreat!Icy
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 3, 2021
Hiking

Nice trail. Was a little challenging for my 70-year-old mother-in-law with the rocky terrain. If you have older hikers you may want to bring hiking poles.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 3, 2021
Hiking

It was beautiful! The first 3/4’s was nice and easy, but the last 1/4 got steep very quickly. The view was worth every step. Once the trail started gaining quick altitude, there was a part that looked to have 3 different paths (go right) and was a bit confusing. Other than that, trail well trafficked. Some parts were technical with rocks and roots (which I enjoy)!

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