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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.

Moderate hike; Falls were beautiful

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.

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.

Just amazing. Simple as that.

hiking
12 days ago

Pleasant hike on a December afternoon with no one else on the trail. We rock-hopped 36 Creek crossings up and back.

Fun and challenging trail’

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.

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

Loved the hike, definitely one I would do again! Beautiful view at the end.

beautiful hike with an awesome waterfall

Great, quick hike with accessible falls at the end. High water when we hiked and appreciated waterproof footwear.

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!

We loved this trail. The falls are beautiful. The trail is rocky with roots in several areas. I have a bad knee and was able to do this trail with out issue just had to take it slow in a few areas. We will visit this trail again.

Wait for a clear day and go early to make sure you get a parking spot.

Great trail. If you’re taking kids, I’d suggest having one adult per child under 5yrs to keep one hand on them and/or to carry them. The narrow, rocky terrain isn’t terribly safe for little hikers.

Such a great hike, challenging but worth it!

We went to this place in hot August, but it felt like an autumn day even in the parking lot on the mountain. There were birds, bumblebees, and beautiful flowers all along the trail. At first, we could see the valleys below. When we got to the highest point it was all clouds. It was peaceful, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone in the area.

It was absolutely breathtaking. We went as a cloud moved in but getting drenched while in a cloud was incredible.

Worth every minute!

hiking
27 days ago

Nice cardio workout on ascent. This trail has several boulder fields that are nice. There are several good views of Gatlinburg as well.

Worth every step! The whole trail is a pure bliss:)

A December hike in a sunny day is fun! Along the creek first then hike up to the cave. Further to the Cliff top. Narrow road but with chain to grab on. Still icy at the top. Special gears could help. A great day hike choice! !

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is amazing and had an awesome hike! Hiked this in partial rain with significant fog but it was still very nice and I will do it again one day to try to catch the views. I read the review regarding crampons for the latter of the hike and wish I would have taken the advice - it was definitely doable without, but it would have been more comfortable with.

Saw more people than I would have liked, but the views were amazing. Go all the way to Myrtle Point. If icy, crampons are worth carrying.

Most beautiful trail in the park. If I could only do one this would be it for sure.

Beautiful hike!

Wife & I hiked this trail to the bluffs and back for a total distance of 4.6 miles. This was perhaps our favorite of all the trails we hiked in the park, not so much for the destination but for the trail itself.
The first segment of this hike is just delightful, with gorgeous views up and down Alum Cave Creek. We did this hike after a day of heavy rain, which made the creek particularly full and active – and scenic.
Nice, wide path from the trailhead all the way to the bluffs. Numerous crossings on bridges or sturdy footlogs. Climbing the rock stairway through Arch Rock is a unique experience. The last segment past Inspiration Point is rather steep.
As always, carry – and drink – plenty of water, and take some energy snacks (or lunch) to enjoy at the bluffs before heading back to the trailhead. Even though much of this trail is shaded, sunscreen is never a bad idea. And since the trail is near the creek much of the time, bug spray is advisable during the warmer months.
A couple of days later we drove past this trailhead and parking was INSANE! Dozens of cars lining both sides of the road in both directions! This is most definitely a situation where you’ll want to be at the trailhead early in the morning to avoid the crowds – and an extra half-mile walk from your car to the trailhead!

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