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All reviews arch rock inspiration point mt leconte le conte great hike day hike hiking shoes beautiful creek steep sections favorite hike moderate hike mountain stream turned around miles round trip moderate difficulty well worth the effort worth every step
From the small parking area you enter the trail by a bubbling brook. We saw 2 baby bear cubs and their mama! My grandson held 3 salamanders! The trail is quite tricky as it is eroding in many places and you need to cross a...More
As usual, many details here. Read on for that or for short and sweet, see SUMMARY at bottom. Great family adventure!
Our kids are 8, 8, and 10. Try as we might, none of the three are too enthusiastic about hiking. After looking at reviews...More
This trail did not disappoint. The view from the bluff was out of this world. Would highly recommend for anyone who is looking for beautiful views from a unique perspective in the park.
A few tips:
This hike has a moderate rating and is an...More
My husband and I completed this hike with our toddler on our backs. We hiked all the way to the top and got to see all kinds of wildlife to include mice, deer, and a bear. We completed the 11 mile round trip in 4...More
Out of our group of 4, one is not crazy about hiking so we searched for a relatively short but interesting trail. Alum Cave Trail pretty much fit our desires. It is 4.2 miles roundtrip with a decent, but not terrible incline. Many rocky streams...More
The hike is pretty easy until your reach the first cave. Then it becomes pretty moderate. There was also bears on the trails according to some hikers below me. I didn't see one but honestly I didn't want to see one on a trail. The...More
I don't get it. The trail itself barely meets the level of mediocrity in my opinion. Along the way there is not much to see other than the 2 photo ops at the arch and then the concave cliff. Neither one is all that great....More
Response from Beefseeker | Reviewed this property |
Great answer Janet... but believe it or not, Alum Cave trailhead is one of the few trails that one will have cell service on, in the Smokies. AT&T and Verizon both work at various locations on this trail. Good pointer on the... More
Great answer Janet... but believe it or not, Alum Cave trailhead is one of the few trails that one will have cell service on, in the Smokies. AT&T and Verizon both work at various locations on this trail. Good pointer on the ice crampons... those rocky areas higher up get a little slick
Response from billparkins | Reviewed this property |
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.
Response from billparkins | Reviewed this property |
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.