Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte

HARD 575 reviews

Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte is a 10.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
10.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2965 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

scenic driving

trail running

walking

cave

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

no dogs

The first section of the Alum Cave Trail, up to Arch Rock, is a fairly gentle climb. You'll follow Alum Cave Creek for the first mile. Then, just before reaching Arch Rock, the trail begins to follow the smaller Styx Branch. This section of trail is choked with rhododendron, offering beautiful blooms in early summer. At just over 1.3 miles from the trailhead you'll reach Arch Rock, the first prominent landmark along the trail. The arch was formed by freezing and thawing which eroded away the softer rock from underneath the harder rock. The trail actually goes under the arch and requires a climb of several steps etched into the stone before exiting at the top. Roughly 2 miles from the trailhead you'll reach aptly named Inspiration Point, with its commanding views of Little Duck Hawk Ridge to the west, and Myrtle Point on Mt. LeConte towards the northeast. The Eye of the Needle, a hole in the rock at the top of Little Duck Hawk Ridge, can also be seen from Inspiration Point. At the top you will find the LeConte Lodge which provides the only commercial lodging in the national park, as it operates about 10 rustic cabins with no electricity or appliances.

16 hours ago

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2 days ago

Favorite trail in the park!

2 days ago

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3 days ago

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3 days ago

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3 days ago

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4 days ago

This was a great and challenging hike, totally worth the trip. It is moderately challenging, so be prepared. Bring lots of water and if you have hiking poles, I recommend bringing them too. The ascent took me about 3 hrs (with breaks) and descent 2.5hrs. Definitely stop at the lodge for lunch. They have bagged lunches with unlimited coffee/hot chocolate refills and a place to fill up your water bottle. If you're in decent shape, this hike won't be as difficult for you as many people commented. It's challenging, but don't let that deter you. The views were spectacular! After the lodge keep going the additional .3 miles to reach the lookout point.
Also, be sure to arrive early, the parking lot fills up quickly. The entire trail was 11miles R/T.2

5 days ago

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6 days ago

8 days ago

Fabulous hike! Beautiful trail with a river in the first half and amazing views at the top! Definitely a must do trail if you're in the smokies!

8 days ago

This trail is a challenge but totally worth it. Great trail with great views! It's a must do!

8 days ago

8 days ago

This is a fabulous hike! Beautiful trail along the river for the first half and amazing views at the top! Would definitely do this hike again!

hiking
9 days ago

Hiked this trail 8/11/17. Made it to Alum Cave in 45 mins and to the top to the cabins in 2 hours. Round trip took 3 hours 45 mins. Talked a few times along the way. Couldn't see anything at the top because of the fog, so planning on doing it again in the future to see the view. Wish I would have known about this app before my hike.

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10 days ago

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10 days ago

12 days ago

great trail,definitely a hard trail but worth the hike and be sure to go up to the cliff tops once you get to Mount Le Conte.. you don't want to miss it!!