Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte

HARD 2003 reviews

Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte is a 10.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, bird watching, and backpacking and is best used from March until November.

Distance: 10.7 miles Elevation Gain: 3,008 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

hiking

bird watching

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

snow

no dogs

This trail begins with a mild incline along Alum Cave Creek and the Styx Branch. At 1.3 miles you will get to Arch Rock, one of the trail's prominent landmarks. The arch's interesting geological features were formed when wind and water eroded away the softer rock. The trail passes right under the natural arch making a great vantage point for photos. At the 2 mile mark you will arrive at Inspiration Point. From here, you will be rewarded with views of Little Duck Hawk Ridge and The Eye of the Needle, as well as Myrtle Point on Mt. LeConte. Past Alum Cave, at the peak of Mount LeConte is the LeConte Lodge where you can stay in one of the primitive cabins that are the only formal lodging in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. At the summit you can also purchase drinks and use the restroom. This is a popular trail, so you will likely be in the company of other hikers.

hiking
48 minutes ago

I have been a number times with small groups, yesterday needed to change it up; went by myself. Peacefull, little cloudy, then light rain but was just right cloudy in the low 60's. Welcome change. It's a great hike to get well needed exercise. All will love this hike!!!!!

hiking
11 hours ago

Loved this hike !!! Highly suggest it.

Awesome trail. The smokies lived up to their name this morning. We reached the top but couldn’t see anything. We started around 8am and barely saw anyone after the cave. The lodge is only open from 12-4pm. We arrived around 10:30am and the worker didn’t seem pleased that we were there (we brought our own food and drink). The coffee is not free as others had mentioned. Overall an awesome trail. We hope to come back on a less foggy day.

hiking
2 days ago

This was a great trail suggested by the Sugarhill visitation center, the ranger. Who is n avid hiker in his 70’s Had to give it a go, which I did. I’m glad that I did, great trail for someone who wants to get there heart beating gradually going up, but well worth it. I suggest this to kickers who want a little Something more than the average easy trail. Nice hike. Peaceful.

2 days ago

I loved this trail. Start early to beat the heat and CROWDS!

hiking
3 days ago

Trail is great, a lot of incline after Arch Rock! I am 64 and not as fit as I once was so had to take a few breaks. Trail views are great and the Forest Services are constantly working on them!

hiking
4 days ago

Fun trail. Nice views. Could not believe we seen a deer and fawn crossing the hike path up by Mt. LeConte. It was a very nice day hike. Would be nice to stay up there and hike down the next morning. Strenuous going up past the bluff. Wet rocks, steep inclines, made it cautious coming down. Very nice challenge.

hiking
5 days ago

We hiked the Alum Cave Trail yesterday. The trail is beautiful and the second half up is challenging. Trail hugs the mountain on the upper part and this creates some stunning views and steep drop offs. Highly recommend this trail.

hiking
6 days ago

Amazing, challenging hike in the Smokies.

Best hike we did. So much natural beauty. We stopped at the bluffs and came back

hiking
9 days ago

Well worth the hike! Flora and landscape changes constantly on your way up, so keep a lookout for different collections of plants. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have hiking boots, we did it on a whim without any planning and didn’t have any trouble. Do be sure to bring plenty of water.

hiking
9 days ago

Left around 7:10am and only passed a few people on the way up. This trail is beautiful and the views are spectacular! I stopped only for a little water and to take some pictures, hiking at a pretty brisk pace and finished in about 4 hours and 20 minutes. Lots of folks hiking up on my way down. Definitely a strenuous hike and my legs were hurting the rest of the day. Highly recommend! Totally worth it!

hiking
10 days ago

We only hiked to the cave with our kids (4,6,8) and loved it!

hiking
10 days ago

The best hike in the Smokies. The "cave" is awesome and a great place for an extended break before climbing to the summit. I made it to the lodge a little before lunchtime and was able to buy a bagged lunch full of goodies. Saw the llamas! I checked out both Cliff Tops and Myrtle Point before heading back down. It took a total of 8 hours and around 12 miles.

hiking
bugs
muddy
11 days ago

The trail was very beautiful! Definitely challenging and took us all day to do. The view at the peak was amazing but very buggy so we did not stay up there for very long.

hiking
muddy
12 days ago

This is definitely one of the best hikes of the smokies, the views are amazing as well as the trail is challenging and has variations which makes it a pleasure to hike. I will hike it again! It took me 6hours to complete the hike (including 45mins at the lodge and 20mins of sketching at one of the spots).

hiking
13 days ago

I would highly recommend this trail! We had a blast going up and even ran through a few clouds! The cave and peak were definitely worth going to. The views were amazing!

hiking
14 days ago

We had an amazing time on this trail. Some spectacular views on the way up, even though the top was cloudy. Would highly recommend. It will take you a good chunk of the day but is well worth it! Even just going to the cave is worth It, but I’d recommend peaking it if your gonna go that far!! Parking lot was packed but didn’t see many people along the trail until we made it to the cave

hiking
14 days ago

Did this trail with a friend a few weeks ago, my first of the smokies. I was 290lb 6’4”. Cardio was labored severely toward the top. I hurt the day off and four days after. Can’t wait to go back lol. The trail was challenging but peaceful and the views throughout where amazing. This trail is all ascending to LeConte except one saddle between ridges so the decent is pretty fast.

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful trail from start to finish. Views at the top are gorgeous. Lodge at the top was convenient for lunch, not having to pack as much food in. Very crowded trail, you will not find solitude here, but still worth the climb. For the love of nature, people, if you’re going to let your kids or teenagers hike ahead of you or alone, please make sure they respect nature and the people around them trying to enjoy the trail.

hiking
16 days ago

Difficult but a lot of fun! Beautiful views, flowers, creeks and wildlife along the way. Be prepared. We walked 14 miles during our hike, but we went a couple of other areas.

hiking
rocky
17 days ago

really great hike up to Alum Cave and then another 2.7 miles up to Mt LeConte. You'll find cabins and llamas and water near the cabins or you'll continue down the Boulevard out to Myrtle's Pointe or up to the Cliff Tops. Awesome views from the Cliff Tops! About 11.5 miles and 3,000+ feet elevation gain, it took us about five hours. Challenging hike with rewarding views.

hiking
rocky
17 days ago

The way to the "summit" is great. Partly a bit more difficult and sometimes a bit easier. But it is steadily uphill. The trail is heavily frequented. The view in between and at the end is breathtaking.

hiking
rocky
18 days ago

Great hike with amazing views. Left at 7am as a family of 4 reaching the lodge at 10:00am while stopping a lot along the way. We explored the rest of the trail after the lodge but would recommend taking the shorter cliff hike instead. We started our descend at 12:00 and reached the bottom by 2:00. Highly recommend!

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
18 days ago

This trail in a whole is actually like 12 miles depending on which trails you take once you get to the top. But it is absolutely amazing. Also the hikers lodge at the top was definitely a surprise!

hiking
19 days ago

One of the many amazing trails to Mt LeConte. It offers stunning views and lots of resting places along the way if needed. I recommend being on the trail no later than 8 am to avoid the crowds. Pack lots of water and snacks.

hiking
20 days ago

fantastic!

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