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Fun little day hike with nice views

I have done this three times, each of the last three years, it is always best in the fall, but doing it in December means less crowds. The loop is a better way to do it, although the distance is closer to 11 miles that way. Going straight up and down means fighting the crowds coming up through the scramble, which is not fun for either direction. If you are doing it in the summer or fall, I strongly recommend avoiding the weekends or starting early. Arriving around 0800 will leave you waiting in lines on the weekend that can stretch for an hour or more at the start of the scramble. This hike is a lot of fun and a real sense of community develops along the way. Not good for pets at the scramble. Make sure to pack a lunch and enjoy the view at the top.

One of the best one day hikes I have taken. Came out a little over ten miles on my calculation. The slope goes up but never too steep. When you get to Alum Cave, turn around, the view is from the cave not into the cave.

1 day ago

This is a beautiful hike with awe inspiring views. We hiked it on 3/15 and encountered some icy spots along the way. Micro spikes would have been helpful at times, but with some slow and careful stepping we made it without too much difficulty.

2 days ago

Great hike with fantastic views! Be sure to start early in the morning so you are able to catch the sun rise over the mountains and avoid unwanted traffic on the trail.

We hiked to Mt. LeConte during airlift operations and once we reached the top we were able to watch a helicopter deliver personal belongings of those staying in the cabins up there. However, given that airlift operations were taking place, Mt. LeConte lodge was closed to visitors and we were unable to purchase merchandise there.

Amazing hike. The rock scramble is tough but great fun.

Great trail. My wife loved it. We had fun and great views.

3 days ago

The day we hiked, 1/3 of this trail was covered of ice, which made it super slippery and dangerous to climb up and down. There were so many people falling. 1/3 of it was super muddy. Bring spikes and hiking boots will help you finish this trail with no pain and effort. It wasn’t that bad in term of elevation but to be honest, the end view was such a joke to me. On the way back, I was able to relax after being so stressed out because of the ice then noticed some beautiful streams along the trail. If you want to challenge your body, go and do this trail. If you want something truly worth your effort, I would recommend doing other trails out there.

My group finished this trail in roughly 4 hours. We took it easy and enjoyed the view along the way. Absolutely my favorite in Smokies so far. First mile wasn’t that hard. Ice covered stairs in some parts and falling ice made it little bit scary. The view at the bluff is stunning. We didnt make it to the last 2 miles to mount Le Conte. I do want to go back and finish it one day. We all love this trail, hard but totally worth our effort.

Very hard hike. Great views once you finally make it. It was snowy and icy for a portion of it which was very slick. There was also a lot of mud. If you can make it all the way up, the views are amazing. The way down seems like nothing.

Amazing hike today. Views are unbelievable. Steady incline most of the way but well work the effort.

Defiantly on my top ten list!

Beautiful views and rock features with a nice stream to start. I climbed in March and made it about 0.5 mile past the bluff. I have a healthy fear of falling and one ledge was solid ice. Even with the metal rope hold it was too much for me. The path was icy after and I only had on trail runners, no spikes, so I called it quits. I saw a lot of young people hiking in regular sneakers. I’d highly advise against this and recommend spikes for cold months. Also carry lighting in case you don’t make it back before dark. If there are icicles at the bluff do NOT stop under them. They will fall and the large ones have the capability to seriously injure people. Looking up isn’t safer. Just put your head down and run under the bluff.

The top was still closed from the fire. It was pretty steep and difficult to climb down with the snow and ice

5 days ago

3.15.18: I enjoyed a sunrise hike! I started about an hour before sunrise in the ambient light and was at the viewing platform in time for the colors on the horizon just before the sun came up. It was icy the second half of the trail which was more treacherous coming down than going up.... I was ok in my solomans but would have preferred traction devices. I am a fast hiker and hiked alone, but even in the icy conditions and stopping for a few photos was done in under two hours, so it’s not a super long hike. If you have bad knees maybe avoid, there are lots of stairs as others have said. I didn’t think the stairs were too much, a few stairs then trail, then stairs...not an endless staircase up. The viewing platform at least at sunrise was spectacular, shades of purple and orange. Nice hike even with the end closure!

Need to work up to this one! Much harder than I anticipated, granted it was also day 3 of hiking around the smokey's. I only made it about .5 miles past Arch Rock. Will definitely be attempting again!

on Chimney Tops Trail

9 days ago

The bridges and river crossing were beautiful. The trail was very muddy and steep the last mile. The view from the overlook was nice but far from the best in the park. Admittedly, clouds and haze may have been obscuring the full effect.

So fun! The scrambling is challenging but fun. Gorgeous in the fall.

this is a trail i love. great views and family friendly. just watch the children at the narrow parts of the trail where the cables are. Alum Cave Bluff is a great place to eat lunch and watch the chipmunks scavenge. its not real hard. mostly a gradual ascent.

Another great day hike. Took my gf and her son out for the day and had a blast. Heavily trafficked, but you’re still able to find your own space

STRAVA app tracked 11.0 miles from trail head parking lot to the lodge area and back down. We wanted to do the extra 0.3 miles to the summit but we were completely worn out (in a good way!) Being from the Midwest, I am not acclimated to the higher elevation so this trail made me out of breath toward the top, but the terrain is not very difficult. Had a great time!! Took our group of 6 people exactly 7 hours to complete - slow and steady with lots of stops for pictures.

Awesome trail! Still a great view even without being able to go the last .25 miles since it's closed.

Hiked up last May (2017) and spent two nights at the lodge. Spent the full day exploring the three peaks of LeConte. Hike up was pretty difficult, but I'm 72 and had a 40 pound pack. Hike down was easy, but I was already thinking about doing it again.

We’ve done this trail twice we love it!!!

Great hike. Good difficulty level going up, with interesting rock scramble. Nice walk down the trail to cool down and relax

Beautiful hike. Probably my favorite in the Smokies. It is difficult but totally worth it. There are many great views all along the way.

We did this trail on the rainy afternoon of Feb 28th (up to Alum Cave Bluffs and back down). This trail deserves the “hard” rating as it is uphill and pretty steep at times. I was pretty winded at parts past Arch Rock (but it was our second hike of the day). It is well maintained with built in steps and stairs to assist you in the especially steep portions. It offers fun terrain to navigate (rock formations and flat log bridges for creek crossing) and some breath taking views! I loved the portion we completed and plan to return to camp at Mount LeConte!

Such a nice hike...it was a muggy day, but when you get to the cave, it really cools you off. I really enjoyed the hike.

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