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“Attempt the trail to the top, it is worth the energy, easy to turn around if it's too hard or scary!”
Review of Mount LeConte

Mount LeConte
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: One of the most popular hiking mountains in the park.
Reviewed 17 August 2017

I thought I would only make it to the cave or the bluffs (half way up) but I made it all the way to the top of LeConte. I really thought it might just be a bit too scary and a bit too long. I run a lot, but don't have so much opportunity to hike, so leading up to the hike day for a couple weeks, I increased my running mileage so I was running 5-8 miles 3 times a week. In retrospect, I should have run more hills to prepare. I made it ok, in about 2.5 hours on the way up. I just would have liked to be less winded. Additionally, I was concerned about the drop offs I had read about, and the cables you can hold. I do have a good respect for heights, not an all out fear - and I did fine with that. I attached a couple pictures so you get the idea of the more scary sections of the 2nd half of the trail. Know that any scary section is pretty short, maybe 10-20 feet or so and what is nice is most sections even though there is a big drop off right next to the trail, there is often vegetation growing from way down yonder up to you, so it gives you some sense something is next to you which for me was very calming. If you are from a place with mountains you would likely not be as intimidated as I. I would definitely do this hike again, as long as it was not raining. I don't think I would enjoy any added slippery conditions. When we got up to the top, I was envious of all those who were lucky enough to stay overnight on that beautiful end of July night. It would surely be a moment to remember. We saw all sorts of abilities on the trail, many even older than I, and many with legit hiking sticks, but just as many that looked of average ability wearing tennis shoes instead of hiking boots, so you will surely see all levels heading up there even on the 2nd half of the trail. When we got to the top a fog had rolled in and spoiled our view, but I would still have done it anyway, the views along the way were just that pretty. Loved the level section at the very top, with all the evergreen scent, super pretty. On our day I understand it was one of the busiest days of the summer. We were rarely totally alone, and we definitely could not have stopped to take a pee break without being seen, it is just too hard to get off the trail in most spots as the thicket is somewhat impassible. So, I drank a lot of water and had to wait to the top to use the restroom up there, but it was alright. The walk down was easy, occasionally had to wait for uphill traffic. My advice, start before 9 a.m. if you want a decent parking spot at trail head and a little less foot traffic on the hill. If I did it, you can too. Spent 6 hours on the trail, then got in our cars and saw a bear, great finish to the day! Even if you only make it to the half way point, this is a gorgeous trail to hike.

7  Thank snowfall1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"myrtle point"
in 27 reviews
"alum cave trail"
in 72 reviews
"day hike"
in 19 reviews
"cliff top"
in 6 reviews
"dining hall"
in 7 reviews
"wool blankets"
in 3 reviews
"strenuous hike"
in 12 reviews
"lodge area"
in 3 reviews
"hiking poles"
in 7 reviews
"le conte"
in 7 reviews
"great hike"
in 14 reviews
"t shirts"
in 5 reviews
"bucket list"
in 5 reviews
"rainbow falls"
in 11 reviews
"avid hiker"
in 3 reviews
"coming down"
in 6 reviews
"an early start"
in 4 reviews
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27 - 31 of 244 reviews

Reviewed 6 August 2017

5 Trails lead up to this Lodge, We took Alum Cave Trail, its the steepest trail, but the shortest, with many beautiful views! There is No electicity, but lamps and heaters are provided. The Staff are always friendly and helpful. Nice wool blankets keep You warm at night, as it got down to 40 degrees on a July night. Reservations are required, and are hard to obtain, so you need to call sometimes years in advance, and be able to go when the opportunity arises. The hard hike up is well worth the views, but you sometimes are in the "smokies" clouds, and don't always get the view.
You can see the lights of Gatlingburg from the Clifftops and Pigeon Forge from the Lodge area. You can even see the Dollywood fireworks on clear nights!

1  Thank deenacarol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2017 via mobile

I was a little nervous about doing this hike with the many reviews saying how strenuous it is. The trail is actually in beautiful condition with helpful steps and smooth walking. We did Grotto falls the day before and that trail was full of roots and muddy. We took the advice and got an early start hitting the trail by 7:15am. No problem getting a parking spot and we saw very few people on the way up. We took the trail at the lodge to the cliffs where we had our lunch with a fabulous view. Spent some time looking around the lodge and chatting with other hikers before heading down. We met many more people just coming up. We made it back to the car at 2:20pm. So glad we did this hike!

2  Thank Colleen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2017 via mobile

Mount LeConte was a strenuous hike but the views are so beautiful that it is definitely worth it. We took the Alum Cave trail which is 5.5 miles. It is the toughest trail to the summit but it has the best scenery so it is the most popular. It took a little over 4 and a half hours to reach the lodge. Plan on booking well in advance if you want to stay at the lodge. We had to make reservations seven months in advance. There are only a few cabins and it is a popular place. Dinner was at six and the food was good. The staff are friendly and they serve the meals family style. You get dinner and breakfast with your stay. The cabin we stayed in slept eight and there were two rooms with bunks. There is no electric or showers. At sunset you can hike a half mile on a trail to see it and it is definitely worth it. One of the most beautiful scenes I have seen on my hikes. Around 6:30 the next morning we took another trail that was a little over half a mile to see sunrise. I would definitely recommend this trip. We were all tired but definitely loved it.

1  Thank Phenioxe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 July 2017

We booked a room for the night in August! It was the best ever! The prices were reasonable! But they gave you breakfast in the morning! Very nice to stay at! We used the Alum Cave Bluff trail! It was short and steep! We spent the weekend hiking on the trails. The Lodge was very nice!

1  Thank meshular1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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