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2/3 of the way is pretty basic. The last 1/3 was more fun. Stepping through and over more creeks, trees, rocks. The terrain became more intense. Once I reached the waterfall, the temperature had dropped and the rocks were iced over. It was beautiful, very private and reclusive.

Went in November 2018. Right after a decent snow. About halfway up it was all snow and ice. Massive ice icicles were falling from the top of Alum Cave. Was a little daring trying to hurry up the frozen ground to get under the protection of the cave. Highly enjoyed the excitement of it all. The steps at Arch Rock were a solid sheet of ice. Fell only one time going down them. I enjoy the harder trails with a little twist of ice and snow.

4 days ago

Beautiful waterfall!!! The trail leads along the river!!!
Well worth the hike.

This was a trail that was totally worth the view at the top. All paved trail that has a steady and tough incline the whole way. The view from the observatory at the top is great. 360° view of the mountains that is very photo worthy. The most challenging part of this trail is parking. It is an absolute nightmare. Narrow two-lane road with cars inventively parked on both sides and a line of cars that goes halfway to Gatlinburg.

Really not terribly difficult, the stair portions are the hardest since they are quite the incline (calves and quads will feel it). The rest of the trail is moderate incline the whole way. The view at the top is pretty good but as of recently the last part of the trail has been closed, which is where the good view is.

Beautiful hike, wear hiking boots not tennis shoes! Bring water and a snack for when you get to the falls, it is well worth the hike. We live in Iowa and the trail was difficult for us but we made it!

We hiked this trail Jan 11th 2019, about 3/4 of the way up there was a bad icy patch, not un-crossable with out clips but definitely not for the feint of heart. There were 9 of us and 4 were inexperienced hikers. This trail was hard but entirely worth the effort. The views from the top were worth all the pain of falling on the ice. Bring lots of water, it gets warmer as you ascend due to the sun shining on the mountain. There are plenty of places to rest and take great pictures.

Worth all the effort! from the moment you see arch rock you know this is gonna be a cool hike. inspiration point should be enough to propel you to the end of this hike, but if that's not enough allum bluff is a wonderful turn around point and not much further past inspiration point. 10/10 will definitely do this hike again.

This was a pretty great trail! As someone who is highly active, coming back up had my heart rate going. There are lots of spots with really great scenery. There are some pretty cool high spots where you can look out and see way down and then some nice low spots. The waterfall is worth the hike in my opinion. We had a 7 year old and a 3 year old with us. The hike down was a bit slow for us because he walked the whole way but coming back up we backpacked him.

the walk to the falls is beautiful and fun to do easy enough to do with children

hiking
9 days ago

Great trail, moderate difficulty. Creek all the way along the trail so it makes for great views all the way through. There's a great spot- rock formation that makes about a perfect bench- about 1/2 to 3/4ths of the way through to have a sit and snack. Destination is beautiful and well worth the hike. Went in January and there weren't many other hikers.

hiking
11 days ago

One of my first hikes!

hiking
11 days ago

Wildlife and historical

Beautiful flaming azaleas on the bald!

Just amazing. Simple as that.

hiking
11 days ago

A really fun hike with some great scenery. I would recommend starting the hike early around 7 o’clock maybe 8 o’clock; this is what I did and I had the whole trail to myself until I was on my way down.

hiking
12 days ago

Great hike for beginners. Not too difficult but enough to make you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Has multiple spots for hammocking and the falls are great to take a quick dip into. Awesome for a warm summer day!

Fun and challenging trail’

highly recommend. needed to stop for a few breaks but totally worth the hike! view was breathtaking and not that hard!

l loved this hike! the first half of the hike is pretty easy then the second half is much more intense! I wouldn't label this difficult just a little strenuous. highly recommend. absolutely beautiful.

hiking
13 days ago

nice hike! definitely was a work out! I would start your day with this hike then maybe head to another trail after. beautiful views!

hiking
14 days ago

Did this hike on the way to Mt LeConte. Falls were gorgeous and you're able to walk behind them. Went on a Monday in December so there were no worries of crowds whatsoever.

Excellent hike with beautiful views in and above the forest. Not too hard, not too easy. Just right :)

I loved this hike , very popular tho and crowded at the falls , we had to take turns taking pics of it ...one thing I was glad not to see was a lot of trash on the trail .... a lot of rocks and roots to . but very BEAUTIFUL. .. ITS A SIDE VIEW of the waterfall to .

Very challenging but rewarding as well. We do it almost Everytime we come to Gatlinburg.

We went after a big rain and it was very muddy and slick most of the way up. Beautiful scenery with fishing creek beside you for much of the way.

Started at 835 and got to the cave/bluff at 1040. Headed back down at 1055 and got back to the arch by 1135. Back in the lot at 1230. Stopped for a few breaks and pics. I'm not in good shape at all and I considered it a moderately difficult trail. Any one who can walk 4 hours can get to the cave and back. There is a lot to look at with tons of small waterfalls and rapids along the creek up to Arch Rock. The trail is pretty easy up to the arch and then steepens. Once the trail opens up the views are incredible and worth the hike! Alum cave is massive...the pics do it no justice and must be seen in person. The trail was snow packed most of the way when we were there and icy in a lot of sections. I never felt like it was dangerous, but almost slipped and fell a few times on the way back down. I recommend doing this hike before attempting Chimney Tops, which is right down the road, especially if you don't do a lot of hiking. Its about the same length and time. I did Chimney Tops about 4 years ago with two young kids and regretted it. Had I'd known better, I would have done Alum Cave back then. Chimney Tops is on a whole different level of hiking. I will return again some day to finish this hike to Mt. Leconte. I'm satisfied for now.

Great views! Did in September a little cool as it is in shade mostly at the beginning then opens up to sun. Steep elevation, I would take snacks and lots of water. Be sure to leave early as it takes around 5-6 hours total. Great views but not easy!

18 days ago

We love driving the loop but was a great way to see it hiking it instead this time! This place never gets old !! Just beautiful!

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