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All reviews arch rock inspiration point mt leconte le conte great hike day hike hiking shoes favorite hike creek crossings steep sections start early moderate difficulty mountain stream moderate hike turned around snow and ice well worth the effort
Alum “Cave” is really just a bluff with a big overhang of rock, but still a really cool place to hike to! The first roughly 1.5 miles will take you over a pretty solid path (a few rock steps and tree roots along the way...More
Our entire family felt this was the best hike in the park and maybe the best hike any of had ever done. Kids loved the log bridges and stream crossings. Many great vistas. We turned around at the cave. Wished we would have had time...More
This is a very popular hike in the Smokies. Had to park on the main highway due to crowds. We arrived at 9:30 but I suggest earlier. There were times that we were alone on the trail but not for long.
Hike was moderate. I...More
The hike was good if you are looking for a moderate hike. The reason for the 4 stars are that the location of the hiking trails isn't clear. Mt.Le Conte, which we were looking to hike, was after the alum cave hike and we didn't...More
This was definetly a HIKE! Took us about 3 1/2 hrs to get to the cabins at the top. You can stop at the lodge grab a tshirt andy bar or something sit on the rocking chairs and just take a well deserved respite. They...More
This is a great way to spend the day for anyone staying in the Gatlinburg area. The first half of the hike is pretty easy. After you reach the arch, the trail begins to incline a bit more. Visiting the rock shelter is worth the...More
To take advantage of the beautiful sunrise, you would need to go to the top of Mt LeConte. The trail is not closed, however hiking up 5 miles on the Alum Cave Trail in the dark is a little risky and perhaps not recommended... More
To take advantage of the beautiful sunrise, you would need to go to the top of Mt LeConte. The trail is not closed, however hiking up 5 miles on the Alum Cave Trail in the dark is a little risky and perhaps not recommended. I would suggest hiking up the day before and staying at the LeConte Lodge or at the backpacker shelter. The lodge takes months to reserve. The backpacker shelter is a three sided open air lean-to with wooden platforms to lay out a sleeping bag. No other amenities are available at the shelter. This can be reserved 30 days in advance through the National Park Backcountry Permit site. Reserve them early. The 12 available spaces/night are gone rather quickly. The shelter is $4 per person - one night only. Then hike out 1/2 mile or so to Myrtle Point for the sunrise. The night before you can head over to Cliff Tops for the sunset - Absolutely breath taking.
Alum Cave Trail begins on the Newfound Gap Road 8.6 miles south of the Sugarlands Visitor Center. The trail terminates in 5.0 miles near the top of Mt. LeConte on the Rainbow Falls Trail. The trail has an elevation gain of... More
Alum Cave Trail begins on the Newfound Gap Road 8.6 miles south of the Sugarlands Visitor Center. The trail terminates in 5.0 miles near the top of Mt. LeConte on the Rainbow Falls Trail. The trail has an elevation gain of about 2500 feet. This trail would be considered moderate to strenuous by Smoky Mountain standards. This trail would be very tough for a 9 year old, however I have seen many at this age at the top. I would highly discourage trying to take a 2 1/2 and a 4 year old. This being one of the most popular trails in the park, solitude will not be available. The trail begins level and smooth on a well used trail. The trail will gradually increase in steepness over the first mile, then will continue the same rate of climb for most of the trail. Soon after crossing Styx Branch at mile 1.1 the trail reaches Arch Rock at mile 1.4. At Arch Rock the trail will climb thru a narrow passage thru the rock on hewn out steps. At mile 2.0 reach a viewpoint spur known as Inspiration Point. Just past Inspiration Point you will reach Alum Cave Bluffs at mile 2.3. The bluffs above overhang so far that rain doesn't reach the ground close to the base of the bluffs causing the ground below the bluffs to be very dry and dusty. This is a great resting place or lunch spot. Many hikers will turn around at the bluffs and head back down, so the crowds will be lessened dramatically for the remainder of this hike. Soon after the bluffs the trail will level out and actually have a short downhill run for quarter mile or so. At mile 2.9 the trail begins the uphill push to the top of Mt LeConte. There will be several sections of trail with handholds provided to assist the hiker with icy sections. These are helpful from falling and to assist in icy conditions during winter. Near the top the trail will enter into a beautiful Frasier Fir forest. The last 1/4 mile of Alum Cave Trail will be level before reaching Rainbow Falls Trail. Turning left on Rainbow Falls Trail will take you to Cherokee Orchard in 6.6 miles. 200 yards to the right is the LeConte Lodge.
The Alum Cave Bluffs are about 2.3 miles from the trail-head on Newfound Gap Road. The trail will gradually increase in steepness over the first mile, then will continue the same rate of climb for most of the trail. About... More
The Alum Cave Bluffs are about 2.3 miles from the trail-head on Newfound Gap Road. The trail will gradually increase in steepness over the first mile, then will continue the same rate of climb for most of the trail. About 300' elevation gain the first mile. About 600' elevation gain the 2nd mile. About 200' elevation gain in the last 0.3 mile. The trail is very well maintained and is absolutely beautiful. If you read my review, it will give you more detail. - Bill P