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Did this in early November and the contrast between the autumn colors at the bottom and icy trees at the top was so cool. Slow burn on the way up, but not too bad. Make sure to stop at the lodge and warm up by the fire!

I hiked from the trail head to shinning creek path, camped and then came back. This was an extremely strenuous trail but the views were incredible.

Great hike. Nov 03, 2018. Dark and cold start but beat the crowd. Very foggy, pretty cold ( about 22 degrees)
Snow at higher elevations, really pretty. Great hike because it’s up and down. Kinda easygoing and pleasant because it isn’t straight up. Fog cleared lots of great views. My new favorite. It was a Saturday traffic coming out was bad. Peach season Saturday.

Not fun, no views. Better hikes in the area.

19 days ago

This trail was okay. We went clockwise and camped at the campsite since we had a late start to our day. It was all downhill which made it go very fast. The campsite was very nice. It had a place to hang food from bears and a fire pit. It was right by the river which made it a bit chilly but it was nice to listen to. No outhouse but it was not a big deal since we had the site completely to ourselves. In the morning, we headed out on the trail towards the Hemphill Bald. When it came to the second intersection with a river, we couldn’t find the trail on the other side and there was no bridge in sight. We think that the trail was supposed to go up the mountain a bit before crossing the river, but since we couldn’t see a clear path, we decided not to risk getting lost in the woods. We turned back and did the half of the trail that we started with. There was no mountain view or wild animals which was disappointing, but the trees were beautiful and the weather was very nice so I can’t really complain. If I were to do this loop again, I would go the other direction around the loop!

I thought the Alum Cave trail would still be my favorite route up when I planned the Boulevard ascent - I was wrong. I love every minute of this mostly solitary walk in the woods (very little traffic after peeling off at the 2.7 mile mark). From Newfound Gap parking to Myrtle point in 2:45. Spent a considerable amount of time there with the place to myself. Then from Myrtle Point to the Jump Offs (added on my return) and back to the parking lot in 2:40. I was beat by day’s end, but loved every step of my GPS’d 19+ mile day.

Hiked all the way to the top of Mount Leconte. Beautiful but hard hike, mile markers are not exact, to get to the true “top” is more like 7-8miles but it is worth it! Go all the way to Myrtle point past the lodge, it gives you a 360 degree view of mountains. Many people hiked up and stayed at the lodge, my father (50) and I made it a day hike, doable but we were sore the last few miles down. The Bullhead trail was closed, we were going to take that down, but some locals at the top said the Rainbow is the prettiest anyway. There are a few shorter trails to the top from the gap if you want a shorter route to the top. Perfect time of year 10/13, get an early start though because the hike to the falls gets crowded with people in the afternoon. Fire damage is noticeable on the way up, giving some sections an eerie feel. Otherwise amazing hike, just needs some updated mileage!

Great hike, beautiful at the top! Seen deer, elk and turkey! Would do it again!

A great trail. Made the mistake of following GPS more than the Hiking Trail sign at first but eventually got some common sense. Took 5.5 mike hike each way,definitely faster on the return. We appear to be a week or two past prime wildflower colors but the bees were still happy bees! Lots of roots and uphill and lots of fun!

Awful trail. Very very rough, always rains, no camping views at cold mountain, trail is not kept up at all, would not recommend

Went on an overnighter to Mt LeConte. We loved the solitude. My favorite area was the backbone right before Mt LeConte where it’s narrow and you can see East and West. Was hoping we would see a bear since it isn’t highly traveled, but no. The Alum Cave trail is probably prettier, but so darn busy.
Recommend the trip and spending the night at the LeConte Lodge.

We did the whole thing in one day with backpacks. We had camped Friday night near the trailhead/near standing bear hostel (great place, very friendly) and got an early start Saturday morning. Our plan was to make it to Max Patch Saturday, catch the sunset and sunrise, camp for the night, and hike back to the car on Sunday. Hahaha.
We made it to Max Patch but by the time we got there we were exhausted. It stormed on us for the last mile and the radar called for more, so we bailed.
Northbound is not for amateur backpackers or the faint of heart. It is up, up, up. Southbound is probably much easier.
We’re glad we did it and plan to come back and overnight from Max Patch to Hot Springs.
Can camp near standing bear and cut out an extra mile of trail where there’s not much to see.
Water at trail head and 2 miles up, 5 miles up, and then allegedly near Max Patch but we didn’t find it.
Lots of neat camping spots along the trail. We should have started earlier on Friday and gotten further in on the trail instead of trying to do 13 in one day.
Not a lot of views on the trail, just at Snowbird and Max Patch.
Hiking would be a lot easier than backpacking.

Took Forney Creek down, camp 70 was a great spot! The hike up to sliders bald and mount buckly was difficult but so worth it. The views are amazing. Great 2 days in the smokies!

Made a 3-night, 4-day loop of it.
Day 1 - Left from Clingman's Dome and stayed first night at #68. Pretty steep down with a few water crossings. Two sites to chose from at #68, both decent and right on the river.
Day 2 - Several river crossings, some waist high water and a little worrisome, but overall a beautiful hike. Stayed at #70.
Day 3 - Hiked up Jonas Creek Trail, to Welch Ridge to stay at Silers Bald shelter. Up-hill the whole way and makes for a long hike, but pretty good views the last few miles.
Day 4 - Hiked the AT out back to CD.

A very steep climb on the first day. We camped at a great camp site with easy access to water. It was honestly also a steep climb down the second day. If I did it again, I would probably avoid the summer since we sweated our faces off with all of the elevation change... But the view from the bald was beautiful and so worth going to see. From the campsite, it's about 400-800 meters up to the bald. We set up camp and hiked up to the bald to eat, which was well worth it.

so I have to give my daughter a shout out she is only 5years old and she hiked from Daniel Boone boys scout camp to the summit of Cold Mountain and back in one day. We hiked it as a family I carried our 2year old in a pack on my back and the wife carried all our food and water. We started at 9:15am and made it back to the truck at 7:25pm. it was tough and we had to take plenty of breaks but I don't know how many other 5year olds can say they have done it. Next time I believe we will camp though.

2 months ago

Beautiful trail with lush green Appalachian woods full of water and wildlife. Never saw turkey or elk but you could hear hens in the woods clucking and see where elk had been. With 35lb packs we did find this to be on the higher end of the moderate spectrum. Nice easy walk to begin the trail, consider this your warm up. Plenty of small brook crossings, nothing to worry about just watch for the mud, it will appear deceptively shallow and then suck you down into the depths. Switchbacks give a great place to step off for a moment and catch your breath before you continue on. As you get close to the Catalooche Ranch you are going to see a gate on the right of the trail, just go inside and walk the pasture, (make sure to close the gate), save yourself some bushwacking. We were the idiots climbing through the overgrowth on the edge of the field watching people leisurely stroll down from the bald therefore missing the scrambling we were doing through briers and weeds. More people out than I expected on the trail but it appears there are a few different ways to access the bald. Never saw a sign for the Continental Divide, alot of people were looking for it while we were there, best I could do was offer a mileage gauge, doesn't appear that is it marked. Due to time management issues we didn't make the loop but did make it to the bald, arrived too late in the morning and made the decision not to pack out in darkness. Will do this trail again to complete the entire loop. Five star rating, good trail with beautiful scenery that was kept up well with excellent parking (although a small lot) and easy to access.

3 months ago

Started at Twentymile Ranger Station and took Twentymile Trail to Long Hungry Ridge Trail to Gregory Bald Trail. Blueberries were gone in mid-August, so no bears to be seen. Stayed the night at Campsite 13 then finished the loop the next day by continuing on Gregory Bald Trail to Wolf Ridge Trail back to Twentymile Trail. Lots of beautiful bridge stream crossings on the lower parts of the trail and the views from the Bald are worth the trip. I found the posted mileages on the trail and on the description above to be significantly different from what my AllTrails app was registering. The app showed 13.4 miles from the Ranger station to Campsite 13 and then 8.5 miles to finish the loop the next day. That's 21.9 miles compared to the 15.3 listed above.

Trail is tough. Not super crowded. No views, but beautiful area. Summer growth is over taking trail in places.

Very enjoyable trail, even though it was pouring on us nearly the whole time. We took the time to go see the Jump Off and I’m sure it would have been beautiful had it not been so misty that morning! There were some difficult sections on the boulevard trail section with steep uphills but the views paid off. Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for a more secluded approach to LeConte. We did it in three days (1st day: Road Prong Trail+Appalachian Trail with sleep at Icewater Springs Shelter, 2nd day: Charlie’s Bunion back to Boulevard Trail and sleep at LeConte Shelter, 3rd day: coming down LeConte via Alum Cave). Overall an easy paced trail, with us getting done with hiking in early afternoon. Would recommend taking time to see the different viewing points like Myrtle Point and Charlie’s Bunion if you have the time.

It was a good trail, but I would not recommend it for anyone’s first time backpacking or camping. It had rained the few days prior to me and my gf doing it and the creeks were so full and crossing them was pretty dangerous. But overall a great trip. Plan for it to take 2-2.5 full days to complete the trail if it has rained recently.

I’ll give it middle of the road, if you like hiking or what to see what it’s like on parts of the AT this is a good place. There’s not any overlooks past the Bear trail and no waterfalls but for pure hiking this is still fun. Our family enjoyed it.

3 months ago

We did the full loop, clockwise, in just under 5 hours. I’ll give it three stars because no matter what, it’s still in beautiful north Georgia. Downsides include lots of road noise, major overgrowth (at times I couldn’t see my feet and the growth was above my waist), pretty much zero scenic lookouts in the summer, and bears. There was one loose at the camp site when I started the hike and I’ve noticed a common theme in these reviews.

I think this is the toughest trail I’ve hiked in the Smoky Mountains. From the parking lot to the lodge and back was a little over 19 miles. There are a lot of up and downs, both ways. Several nice places to stop and take in the scenery. If I had to describe this trail in one word: rocks. Rocks. And more rocks. And when you think you’ve seen every rock. There’s more. Big. Little. Ankle breakers. Gravel. I would still consider this my second favorite trail to LeConte, but the rocky path made it tough on the tootsies. Not a lot of traffic once you get past the turn off for Charlie’s Bunion.

Did in November and was a challenge then counter clockwise and was even more challenging in the summer clockwise!

We did run into a few bear cubs, but nothing major and was safe hanging in a plastic bag unexpectedly spending the night on trail!

I love this track. It’s a great challenge and wonderful workout! I have been able to complete counter clockwise in one day, but clockwise always catches me a few miles short for a one day completion. I’ll get there!

My main reason for setting camp was the downpour and being out of water after the Duncan ridge split. Clockwise, it was straight up!

Heard the thunder threatening, and booked it to a camp site I’ve stayed beforehand re and knew water is close. Hunkered down for the rain in the hammock. Once it moved on, came out for a nice fire since we covered the firewood and a warm mountain house meal!

Tried to catch some rest, but after the storm and out location in hammocks, the breeze was a bit chill. May have slept 3 hours. Got up, warmed by a nice fire, mountain house meal for breakfast and come coffee. A few miles and we were off the trail.

We parked in an intersecting road and tapped the tail from there. Much recommend if you want the “free feeling.” Not as in not paying out park fees, but able to do what you like. We entered a great spot to start our trip.

Great track! Get out and hit it! It’s a great conditioning run!

3 months ago

Just finished an overnight on this loop. Last nights highlights:

-torrential rain, has a rain forest jungly feel
-trails are clear but lots of growth hanging over and slapping my bare legs, i recommend long pants unless you like thousands of plants slapping your ankles. i was astounded i had no poison ivy rash or any issues though so the plants on this trail are not mean
-i rounded a corner and surprised a black bear on the trail..fortunately he panicked first and sprinted down hill so fast he started tumbling
-lots of climbing and elevation(for georgia) 4200 ft. that means cooler air and a nice sleep if you camp above 3500
-not stunningly scenic but a great workout loop. you should be in decent shape or the climbing might get old
-personal pet peeve with this trail is hearing highway noise while in my tent. i like hearing owls, crickets, and running water when im in my tent. maybe it was where i camped.

Did this trail on 07/12/2018. Started at Alumn Cave bluffs trailhead and ended at Newfound Gap. What can I say. It is a total Smokey Mountain experience. Creeks, views, wildlife, flowers. This route is 13 miles. We did it in 5.5 hours. Should have taken it slower to enjoy more but we also used this route for a workout. I have done this. Route several times at different times of year. Never disappoints

The trail is well maintained, so expect to do this fairly quickly for a 21 miler (did it in about 8hours). It was cloudy and rainy, so that might have affected my experience, but I felt it was all that great. The best view points are at the begining, doing the whole loop is a bit excessive.

This was a great route to get up to mount Leconte. I'd suggest exploring a bit more when you are on top. But it was nice. Well maintained trail.

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