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“Wonderful hike, gorgeous streams, perfect!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Alum Cave Trail

Alum Cave Trail
Newfound Gap Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
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Activities: Hiking, Viewing wildlife
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Owner description: One of the most popular hikes in the park, it is the quick route to Mt. LeConte Lodge.
Rockford, Illinois
Top Contributor
176 reviews 176 reviews
111 attraction reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
“Wonderful hike, gorgeous streams, perfect!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

My husband and I hiked this trail with our 7 year old son. We went as far as Arch Rock, went up the steps through that, then turned around and returned the way we came. This was probably our favorite hike we took while on vacation. There are rock-filled streams along the trail and the sound of the water was so peaceful. There were a couple of footbridges to cross, which our 7 year old thought were great! We loved Arch Rock! Just an all-in-all perfect hike.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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122 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Ithaca, NY
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Great experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

The hike up to the Alum Cave Bluffs (2.3 miles, about 3 hrs round-trip) is highly recommended for those interested in exploring the smokies from close quarters. It is a moderately strenuous hike, through lots of vegetation, and quite nice views. We found quite a few blueberry trees growing at higher elevations, and the blueberries were surprisingly refreshing and thirst-quenching. The cave bluffs are basically a large rock formation that can provide shelter from the rain. The trail continues a further 2.5 miles to the top of Mt Le Conte (which we did not do). All in all, it was a great experience as a first time visitor to the smoky mountains

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pittsburgh, pa
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Moderate hike with great views!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013 via mobile

The hike til you get to the arches is fairly easy! Going up the steps at arch was interesting, our 7 year was able to do this hike no problem. After inspiration point its pretty rough to get to cliff bluffs... but worth it! The view is amazing! !

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Awesome trail”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

It is a 2.5 miles from the beginning of the trail to alum caves, a nice trail to hike include rivers, mini waterfalls around the trail.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Top Contributor
155 reviews 155 reviews
86 attraction reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
“Best Hike In the Smokies!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

This is the best hike we took in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and we hiked a full seven days. The Alum Cave Trail is unmatched in its combination of interesting geological features and stunning views. We didn't hike all the way to Mount LeConte; turned around after the Cave at about 2 1/2 mile up. We were a party of five that included a five and seven year old, so it was obvious why we didn't climb further up the trail.

The first section of the Alum Cave Trail, up to Arch Rock, is a fairly gentle climb, easy for the little ones. We followed the Alum Cave Creek for the first mile or more. It was full of rapids from all the recent rain and gave us plenty of photo opportunities. This section of trail was full of rhododendron and offered us beautiful blooms along our trail. The arch was a geological marvel that we climbed right under. Fortunately there were stairs and cable to help get all of us up safely.

As the traffic thinned out a bit,Inspiration Point was our next landmark. Upon this outcropping of rocks (which i read was about 4,700 feet in elevation), we could see pretty far in the distance, even though it was a cloudy, foggy day, Little Duck Hawk Ridge was close enough to view. It was rightly named Inspiration Point. Next in sight was the Eye of the Needle (a round, see-through hole cut into the side of Little Duck Hawk Ridge) as we looked to the left along the now rocky trail. Not far from there, at about 2 1/2 miles from the trail head, we spotted Alum Cave Bluff. I read that the bluff is at 4,950 feet and is 80 feet in height. The bluff was our final destination. Much of our hike was in the rain, so the bluff formed a shelter and a offered a brief rest before our decent.

I would do this hike again and again. It was that interesting and beautiful! If you are a hiker, you will certainly enjoy this journey. My next trip up will be without the kids, so I can climb to the top of the mountain.




Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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