Explore the most popular Cave trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great trail, well marked, has a lot of shade, beautiful creek, great views.

Amazing hike! Arch rock is awesome, then on the alum cove. Just past the cove you can see the eye of the needle ( keep looking to your left and follow the rocky ridge line). But the reward is the summit past the lodge the views are priceless. It took 2hrs and 25minutes the summit. Best hike we have done in the Smokys!

4 days ago

This hike is truly amazing! It’s very difficult with lots of steep uphills, but my girlfriend and I — both probably novice to moderate-level hikers — were able to do the whole thing in about five hours. Definitely bring more water than you think you’ll need and a snack to refuel once you reach the top. In peak seasons the trail is VERY busy up to Alum Cave but then loses many of the more casual hikers at the Bluff. I’d recommend hitting the trail early to miss that big crowd. From that point on the crowd thins out and the trail gets much more strenuous. However, all that being said, the trail features many amazing panoramic views and stunning natural features that will keep you motivated and inspired to reach the top. Once at the top, refill your water at the LeConte Lodge and then take the half mile hike up to Cliff Tops for a magnificent, unobstructed view of Clingman’s Dome, Chimney Tops, Gatlinburg and more.

The trail was amazing!!! My first real hike and I feel accomplished! My knees hurt though.

Myrtle Point is a must and so worth the extra steps if you made the hike to LeConte. Sunrise is spectacular from this vantage point.

Myrtle Point is a must and so worth the extra steps if you made the hike to LeConte. Sunrise is spectacular from this vantage point.

Beautiful hike. You MUST do the extra 0.2 after you reach the lodge.

good trail...long and tiring especially during the second half. definitely a challenging and rewarding trail. I moved quick and completed the trail in about 4 hours, with about 20 minutes of hanging out at the top of the cliff. personally, I prefer challenging short trails (3-4 miles) so this was not as enjoyable, but not deducting any stars for my personal preference.

Perfect day hike. The variety of scenery once you get to Arch Rock is hard to beat. You go quickly from rhododendron-lined creeks to the open views at Inspiration Point, then the massive Alum Cave, then steep cliffs along the final climb, then high-elevation spruce forest, then the shrubs and bare rock on Cliff Tops. The sections with cables along exposed drops are just intimidating enough to be interesting but shouldn't be dangerous at all when the trail is dry. The well-maintained trail and the efficient route make the peak surprisingly accessible for being so high and remote. There were young children and people old enough to be my grandparents on the highest section of the trail. I took exactly 3 hours to reach Cliff Tops. The most experienced hikers were moving faster than that, but most people I saw were on pace for about 3-3.5 hours. It wasn't too crowded on a Saturday morning. I only encountered other hikers about every 5-10 minutes until I came back down the lower sections later in the afternoon.

9-9-19 gorgeous day for hike up and back with hubby. It was hard and slow but will likely do it again. This was my second trip 23 years later on a nicer day. \0/

A must do in the smokies. They do a great job with trail maintenance

Well-maintained, beautiful trail. Some nice views on the way up and on the top. The point of summit is a little underwhelming (basically a giant cairn-like rock structure), but it’s very close to a beautiful overlook. To get to the best views, keep going past the lodge. There will be a sign on the right that indicates another trail that is .2 miles. If you take that, you will find the best overlooks. It is not far from the lodge at all. To be honest with you, I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the name of the trail, but it is not hard to find.

We were entertained while hiking on this trail as you walk along the creek, then briefly through a cave, then you pass the arches and of course while climbing to the top there are various lookouts to stop for a short break. Once you get to the top it’s wonderful. Make sure not to miss the clofftops trail as I thought it was better than the Mt. LeConte viewpoint (but definitely see both and judge for yourself). It’s a short easy hike to see both. We packed a lunch and just enjoyed sitting and watching the scenery. Stopped at the cabins to refill our water bottles before heading down.

Started out only going to the bluffs but pressed on to the lodge on top. excellent views. My battery went dead so recording is incorrect. Hiked 11 miles not 7.5.

The trail was in good shape. Long way to the top but totally worth it. Lots of lookouts and the lodge was cool

bridge out
11 days ago

Love this trail. Took all day to hike to mount Leconte but worth it.

no shade
14 days ago

One of the very best hikes in the park! Definitely a bit crowded but worth it! I've done this hike many many times

This was my wife and I’s first summit and it was pretty amazing. The views from the top are incredible, especially on a clear sunny day. The lodge at the top is a perfect stop for rest, water refills and lunch. All in, it took us a little over 6 hours with stops for pictures, etc. It’s a must do if you’re in the market for a long, rewarding day hike.

This was an amazing experience for me. It was double the distance and triple the gain that I've ever attempted before but my son in the Coast Guard taunted me by saying.. "Mom, there's no learning in the comfort zone!" So I did it and was very proud of myself. (now I'm not afraid of other "hard" trails) It was challenging going up but coming down was much easier. The stairs by Alum Cave was killer. There were wire handrails that helped in a couple of places. We had a sack lunch at LeConte Lodge (an expensive sack of cheese, sausage and several other items for $12-but it's not like there is anyplace else to get food.) I thought there would be a better view at the lodge but wasn't. So we took the small .2 mile hike to the top.

Enjoyed this trail, even though it’s a bit tough and long. It was super cloudy when we got to the top, but if it had been clear, this probably would have been five stars. Being in the clouds was cool too though. I’m pretty slow and made it to the top in about 3 hours. It definitely started to get busier on the way down around noon...

This was an awesome trail but very strenuous. The arch, cave and views along the way was specular but I was hoping for better views around the lodge but it was blocked some. The trails are very well maintained and a large number of hikers stop at the cave. Be sure and go the extra .2 miles to the Cliff Top as it worth it. Bring your own food as the sack lunch was available at the lodge it was $12 and not worth it.

Great trail. Definitely rated hard for a reason. Great views from the top and worth the hike to see them. Biting bugs at the end of the tail at Myrtle Point. Trail was nice and maintained till the end and pretty wide at most parts. Babbling brooks and gentle waterfalls\creeks throughout.

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