Mount LeConte and Rainbow Falls via The Bullhead Trail

HARD 61 reviews

Mount LeConte and Rainbow Falls via The Bullhead Trail is a 13.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
13.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3966 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

old growth

no dogs

The Bullhead Trail is an American hiking trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. the trail ascends Mount Le Conter and offers outstanding views. The Bullhead Trail is the least traveled route to the summit of Mount Le Conte. The beginning of the Bullhead Trail is, for all intents and purposes, actually the trailhead to the Rainbow Falls Trail. Both trails are designated the same parking area, and because of their proximity (the two paths are separated only by a 0.3-mile (0.48 km) spur trail) many hikers choose to ascend one trail (usually the Rainbow Falls Trail) and descend the other. Given this, however, the trail is still the least popular route along Mount Le Conte, probably because of its isolation (in the woods, near to but away from its crowded neighbor trail) and that it contains no spectacular landmarks along its path. But it is this isolation that makes the trail so desirable to those who favor solitude when hiking.

hiking
7 days ago

13 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

At LeConte Lodge today. This trail is currently closed for renovation and repair between Mt. LeConte and Rainbow Falls! Check with Park Service before heading out.

15 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

Hiking in the snow is never as much fun, the trail was trafficked enough that the snow was packed and slippery bu not trafficked enough that it was easily passable. The falls were a little disappointing but the climb after was exponentially better. Much less traffic, awesome views, and not terribly strenuous. I would suggest this trail later in the season though, it was very windy and cold on the exposed side of the mountain.

hiking
2 months ago

This is actually the Rainbow Falls and Bullhead loop trail. I have done this a few times. There are little to no views along Rainbow. The falls are a joke. I have visited them in snow, sun and rain and it has never been Impressive. There are several really nice views coming down Bullhead and I definitely recommend going up Rainbow and down Bullhead.

hiking
2 months ago

I've hiked all but one Trail up to LeConte, and this is by far my favorite!!! The views are outstanding!!!

hiking
3 months ago

Loved this trail. Great day hike. The plants and trees around the mountain are incredible.

hiking
3 months ago

Bull Head trail is closed due to fire damage. The ranger said it will be closed for the foreseeable future. Check before you go!

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Nice hike would recommend crampons it will help with the ice.

6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

This was our longest hike to date - we are late 50's/early 60's. We did the Rainbow Falls hike and on to Mt LeConte then down Bulls Head trail. 7 hours and it was 14.4 miles total. We hiked up above the smokey haze that was covering the valley due to forest fires in nearby counties. Beautiful Christmas trees at the summit. Lots of boulders and rocks and a nice thicket onBulls Head. Rainbow Falls was a trickle due to lack of rainfall. These trails were a challenge and our joints were sore from the steady ascent on rock paths to the top and then the fast moving - toes-hurting descent to the parking lot! But that's what the nice hot tub back at our chalet is for...we would do this hike again someday , but not any time soon. Lol

hiking
8 months ago

I still remember this one. It was a leg burner.

hiking
8 months ago

We did this years ago, combining it with the Rainbow Falls Trail. If you love the woods, this is the trail.

9 months ago

9 months ago

10 months ago