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LeConte Lodge Lottery

Monona, WI
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LeConte Lodge Lottery

I am planning a road trip from WI to the Smoky Mountains National Park. I just discovered LeConte Lodge and emailed to check availability today. After surfing the web, looks like I need to be very lucky. I do not have set dates yet, but thinking of traveling in late March to early April. If I do not get reservations, we may try camping/cabins in the park. What is the chance of getting a spot without reservations midweek? Any other must sees on the drive down to TN or NC? What temps are we looking at this time of year in the spring? THanks

Boston...
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1. Re: LeConte Lodge Lottery

At the time of your visit I would be surprised if you don't find a number of sites to choose from at any campground you choose to stay in. That said, it never hurts to book ahead of time if you know which campground you will be spending your time in.

Are are no cabins inside the national park. One you can stay in, at least. There are a number of summer cottages in Elkmont in various states of disrepair, although money was recently allocated towards restorations projects.

vcv
Tennessee
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2. Re: LeConte Lodge Lottery

You can reserve campsites in the park on-line; check the home page for the park for a link to the reservation site. (In the winter it's first come, first served; I'm not sure when they begin taking reservations.) Elkmont is probably the most popular campground.

The weather for the spring is very unpredictable, but you can get average highs/low and record highs/lows by checking weather.com

There are plenty of rental cabins near the park entrances. On the Tennessee side, the main entrances are near Gatlinburg and Townsend. I've never rented a cabin but see them on the way to the park. I personally prefer Townsend, which advertises itself as "the quieter side of the Smokies," but there are a lot more tourist activities in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area.

It's been years since I've been to LeConte; but so far as I know, it's still very difficult to get reservations unless you call the first possible day.

Knoxville, Tennessee
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for Pigeon Forge
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3. Re: LeConte Lodge Lottery

LeConte Lodge is indeed in the GSMNP and houses 45- 50 guests per night from March (22nd in 2010) until Nov (23rd in 2010).

Web site: http://www.leconte-lodge.com/about.html

This July will mark our 3rd year in a row we've been lucky enough to get reservations and love the experience you'll have there. The reservations can be made beginning Oct 1 for the coming season and by the 2nd or 3rd of October all weekends are usuallly booked followed shortly by the week days.

You may find some availability early in the season during the week but not likely this late unless someone cancels. More than likely if you do get them they will dictate which day during your trip you are able to stay not you picking the date. In any case it's well worth the trouble and challange to get them if you can. It's a great get away if the weather corporates. Last year it poured (rain) on us the entire 2 days and that made for a rough go at times and we were clouded in at the lodge the entire time but it was still fun just not as fun as when it's good weather.

Search back a couple weeks on this forum for a link to a blog maintained by the winter caretakers of the lodge for some great images and other info on the place during the off season.

Even if you don't get rooms consider a day hike up and back. You can reserve lunch now at the lodge even as a day tripper and still enjoy the place.

Chris

Paris, Tn
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for Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge
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4. Re: LeConte Lodge Lottery

I think its very important to remind you, there are no cabins or cottages anywhere inside the national park for rent. And the only places in Elkmont that you can stay at is the campground. The summer cottages that were mentioned earlier, are summer homes built by, and for wealthy folks mostly from Knoxville and Chattanooga built before there was ever a national park. As stated, these homes have been left to the elements, unattended since around the early 1950's

Knoxville, Tennessee
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5. Re: LeConte Lodge Lottery

I hope the replys you have gotten to your original post is not confusing you or anybody else reading this thread.

There are cabins for rent in the GSMNP but only in one place. LeConte Lodge on the summit of Mt. LeConte has several cabins that can be rented and are available from March to Nov as I stated in my reply above. Link to more info=> http://www.leconte-lodge.com/

I believe the last reply author was attempting to say there are no other cabins in the park or he may not be aware of LeConte lodge and their cabins.

Hope this helps,

Chris

Monona, WI
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6. Re: LeConte Lodge Lottery

We can get a reservation at LeConte Lodge on April 13 & 14th. Is this to early in the season? Will the wild flowers be out? Will there still be snow

nashville
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7. Re: LeConte Lodge Lottery

that weekend is good for wildflowers... not on Leconte, but you'll probably see at least some patches in the lower half of the hike.

that weekend is right on the cusp of winter-spring. you probably would see snow in spots on Leconte, and maybe a lot of snow.... hard to say.

which trail are you gonna take to the Leconte Lodge? Alum Cave Tr and the Boulevard Tr are my favorites, but you also can't make a loop without a shuttle. the other three you can make a loop out of so you don't have to go the same way down as you did up.

...most importantly: the average low on Leconte in April is 30, but you could easily see single digits temperatures... it could also rain constantly like Chris kindly pointed out.... so, if you take those reservations, make sure you're prepared for *every*thing

Edited: 11:05 am, January 12, 2010
Knoxville, Tennessee
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8. Re: LeConte Lodge Lottery

We hiked it in early February last year during a warm spell and had a great time until we got very close to the summit where we found patches of thick and very slick ice completely covering the trail for short distances. When the temp in Pigeon Forge was 59 degs at 8:00 am we found the it to be a chilly 36 degs at the lodge at 1:00 pm.

The weather you'll find in April is just too difficult to predict this far out but if you'd like to see the lodge and that is when you are plannig to come I would go for it. You'll need to watch the weather as the date approaches and plan accordingly. Here is a good link to watch the temps and snow amounts each day over the last 30 days or so. Check it when you get close to your date for an indication. I would consider buying a pair of the clamp on devices for your shoes to give you traction on ice. Bring multiple layers of clothes to shed and put back on after you get there. http://www.leconte-lodge.com/trailinfo.html

It could be just too cold to make the trip but there's no way to know for sure now. Good luck! If you are able to make it you are in for a real treat. It's a great escape. Breakfast and dinner are really good and filling!

Chris

Paris, Tn
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for Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge
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9. Re: LeConte Lodge Lottery

Pardon my error. I was aware of Mount Le Conte, and I knew you could make reservations there, but I wasn't considering it as a motel or cabin in the sense as a rental. But I certainly appreciate your calling me on that mistake. The last thing I want to do, is give someone false information.

Knoxville, Tennessee
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for Pigeon Forge
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10. Re: LeConte Lodge Lottery

Hi Paris. I didn't mean to make it sound like I was 'calling you out'. lol. I figured you meant there were no other ones...... You have provided many posters here great advice! Please continue to do so.

You'll probably notice I don't answer every thread in the Pigeon Forge forum even if I am the D.E. for the area. In many cases others like you have already answered the questions or comments with great advice often better than I could OR in other instances I don't know the answer to the question and have to wait until folks like you answer it.

You and other readers of the site provide invaluable information to others that helps make this the premier travel board on the web helping millions of others on a daily basis. We're all here to help others and gain information about places we're thinking of going to or have been to in the past. Thanks for your posts and great advice to others.

Chris

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