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Don’t get me wrong, the views from the observatory are breathtaking and definitely deserve 5/5. But there were hundreds of people there and felt like an amusement park and not the great outdoors. That’s probably me being an outdoor snob, to be fair, but if you’re a fan of nature and pure hiking I’d do this one later.

Amazing views well worth the trek up the mountain side, the hike will take your whole day. One of my favorite places in the smokies for sure.

scenic driving
21 hours ago

Beautiful, easy drive! We loved the falls on the side of the road. We went at about 5 pm and found very little traffic. The directions definitely take you to the “out” end of the drive! We would definitely take this drive again.

This was one of the most beautiful hikes to date.. I highly recommend it but be ready, We did it in 4 hrs but well worth it!!!

Love driving this motor trail. There’s so much scenery and places to pull over to walk around and see the waterfalls and a few old historical buildings. Also Ely’s Mill at the end is a must visit.

Very pleasant, easy walk. Temperature was in the High 70’s and clear sky. Trail is very easy and only had a total elevation gain of about 700’. Half of the hike is along a beautiful creek. The highlight of our hike was a swim where a small stream cascades into river. Hannah saw a baby snake....

AWESOME TRAIL! The Alum Cave makes a great, scenic half-way point to sit and rest or eat. The second half is way more strenuous, but SO MUCH FUN! Even though it was foggy at the top, the lodge was a joy and the hot chocolate was pleasant. Looking forward to doing this one again.

This was our second time taking this trail up to the lodge. Beautiful trail and the views at the top are amazing. Unfortunately on this trip at the top the fog and clouds were socked in. Still worth the journey up there.

This trail was beautiful! We hiked to the bluffs and the view there was fantastic! The scenery, bridges, arch and so much more made this trail very interesting. Something different at every turn. Will do this one again.

This hike was beautiful!

Although there was no visibility, it was a fun experience! It's a steep walk up a paved walkway. Wear layers for sure!

This is a great trail. Starts out along the river, cross a nice bridge, and come across the falls. When we went it had rained heavy for days before. I've never seen the river so angry and the falls flowing so well. The river had to be nonstop class 5 rapids. very impressive

Amazing hike. Nice seeing the different types of plants as the elevation changes. Leconte is awesome! We saw a large black bear driving there early in the morning as well. it poured half the trip but it was still 100% worth it.

THIS IS A MUST SEE TRAIL. One of the best views I’ve ever seen the whole way up. Every .25miles you have an amazing view whether it’s an overlook, a cave, a natural waterfall formed by the constant stream, or the huge cave opening. Highly highly recommend this one.

The view is worth the hike!

Very good and a great 1-3 hour day

Great drive through GSM.

That said, I’d avoid this during busy times...

For what it is, this was fun. A steep walk up, but the view from the lookout is breathtaking. If it’s cloudy or foggy, wait 10 minutes, and it’ll clear.

Don’t go at lunchtime, as we found out it was a great place to picnic. Cleared out by the time we were down at 2:00.

This trail is awesome! I hiked it on 8/2/18 and already want to hike it again. We got there early morning around 8 am and saw no one else on the trip up. The arch was really cool and the the cave was not what I thought it would look like but loved it. It rained our whole hike so being under the cave overhand was a nice dry break. The best part are the bluffs. Make sure you make it at least that far. Even in the storm the views are spectacular.

The road to Clingman's Dome is just off SR-441, which is the Gatlinburg bypass. It is a long and beautiful road through the Smoky Mountains but there are no gas stations so fuel up in Pigeon Forge (southbound) or Cherokee (northbound) as the mountains will drink your fuel. The parking lot is large and paved and affords great views without getting out of the car. The paved trail to the top is a steep half mile that levels near the top where there is a short trail over to the Appalachian Trail. At this point you can walk the AT in both Tennessee and North Carolina as the trail hugs the border. the tower provides a 360 degree view of the Smoky Mountains with views reaching from 20 miles to 100 miles depending upon visibility.

Started just before sunrise to avoid the crowds, definitely worth it as we got to the top in just under 3 hours, a gorgeous view all to ourselves!

Started out to do half of the Trail, but decided to go a little further after the cave. Next thing we knew we were a mile from the top. Well, you can’t turn back then, right?! So we walked on....just before the lodge, the skies opened in a downpour! No worries, it’s an adventure! Great hike, great views (before the rain!). Definitely strenuous but doable. Go for it!

hiking
10 days ago

Great Easy Trail. Plenty of scenic creek views.

Excellent views and beautiful day to hike! Upper to middle 70's for temp. Trail is moderate with tree cover most of the first 2 miles with the river along the way and easy to follow to the first amazing view of Alum Cave then on to the Alum Bluffs you will definitely see and feel the intensity as you go forward to the top at LeConte Lodge. I could feel it two days later in my quads and calves. I am so glad I made it up and back with no issues. Highly recommend hiking poles, hydration and protein snacks. Enjoy!!

Beautifully kept trail and stunning views. Mileage is pretty accurate, at least per our GPS trackers. Definitely a difficult trail, but not crazy hard. Steady incline the whole way, without many overly steep inclines. Wire assists in areas with really rocky terrain/close to the cliff side.
We’re 3 early 30s women in ok shape and it took us about 3.5 hours to summit and about 2.5 to come down- this with some stops to have some granola bars and take in all the stunning views.
The bagged lunch at the top was pretty solid, good mix of fruit, protein and carbs.
Definitely wear hiking boots with good traction , much of the trail is jagged rock and is wet even on a sunny day. Ankles take a beating.Hiking sticks are a big help on the way down as well.

Overall it’s a stunning trail, definitely
Recommend!!!

We hiked this trail down from Mount LeConte in late July. Temps were in the mid-60s. Butterflies, wildflowers, breathtaking views, well-maintained trail...the total package! Glad we hiked down instead of up; my tired old legs would have been like spaghetti if we’d hiked TO LeConte on this trail! Haha!

Pretty tough but well worth it! Has a little bit of everything, can't ask for much more.

Beautiful hike! So glad we did it!

Great hike,lots of excitement going up with some tight spots,and the 20s and 30s minutes walks with nobody else but the ones on your group hiking and always beware of wild life,the VIEWS are breathtaking, unfortunately when we got to the top it was foggy,but up there they have a little "village" and lamas they use to carry stuff down for the people that stay up there.. we did the hike with 2 kids one of 11 and one of 6 at the time last year,boy and girl,it was our second hike,it was hard,they never gave up and went all the way,so proud of them,you will enjoy it but it is hard unless you are prepared or are determined and just go. Enjoy. One last word for the people that made the trail so safe and well done,great job.

I’ve never hiked a trail where so much work went into making the trail safe and easy to follow. The park does an incredible job. There are a couple of river crossings that require you walk across a log and there are hand rails. Everywhere the trail gets narrow or slippery, they’ve attached a steel cable to the rock face that you can grab onto. I’m an out of shape 55 year old and I reached the summit in 5 hours and made it back to my car in 2:30. Really felt the elevation going up. Didn’t expect to be so short of breath, but it is 1500 feet higher than Denver at the top.

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