Alum Cave Bluffs Trail is a 4.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
Even though Alum Cave trailhead has more parking places than most other trails in the park, it also fills up faster than most. Show up at noon and you'll be looking for a spot along the road, some distance from the trailhead.
Beautiful! Love the creeks and many bridges over them, arch rock and views at cave. Would have kept going to Mt Le Conte if the kids were not with us. Got pretty steep and tiring the last 1/4 mile.
Views are amazing and you can see the plant life changing as you ascend. Great!
It is a constant slope to the cave. The last mile to the cave is quite steep but full of stunning views and interesting pit stops. Definitely will work those hiking muscles. In March, it was icy and slick but easily managed. Keep going past the arch rock because the views are so worth every step.
What a beautiful trail! Went for a day hike with 60 year old (somewhat fit) mother (I'm 31, fairly active) and a close friend (41 and a little out of shape). The hike in is a pretty steady incline, enough to keep your heart rate up consistently all the way up, which I liked. And all the effort is so worth it once you get near the caves. Beautiful views of nearby mountain tops and gorgeous trees and rock formations. When we arrived at the caves (around noon) the massive icicles about 100 feet above were starting to drop, which I have to admit was pretty terrifying. It did add a little bit of excitement as we darted up the last little bit to safety in the 'cave' area. Once there, we sat and watched groups come and go, also dodging the icicles which was entertaining, given that everyone made it in/out safe. Once at the cave (about 2.5 miles in) it's about 2.7 more to mt Laconte. I would have loved to keep going but alas, my team was ready to head back for lunch. In all, though it was pretty heavily traveled on this beautiful Saturday, this was a fantastic trail. I recommend!
The trail is a very pretty winding hike through multiple levels of vegetation including rhododendron groves, spruce forests, mountain laurel hillsides, and fern carpeted glens. It crosses the stream back and forth and ascends through a rock tunnel and some rocky escarpments. The caves bluff is an unusual feature and resting spot. Beware the icicles in winter!
Definitely Worth the hike.
deffinently a hike for beginners, nothing was very steep. the pictures made it look much more thrilling than it was. not so much of a cave, more like a rock you sit under. not a very good over look either, also it was pretty busy even on a rainy day in January
Staying in the area for Christmas, and wanted to hit the trails Christmas Day. This is a great trail, and totally worth the hike. It's not treacherous, and the more challenging areas have cables to help you along. The views along the way, and at the Bluff make the work worth the journey. If you have enough in the tank to get an extra nature reward, the Mt. Leconte summit is up the trail from the Bluff (approx. 2.7mi).