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“Amazing views worth the intense hike.”
Review of Mount LeConte

Mount LeConte
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The Great Smoky Mountain National Park Tour by Helicopter
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Owner description: One of the most popular hiking mountains in the park.
Sevierville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Amazing views worth the intense hike.”
Reviewed January 18, 2013 via mobile

I am not a frequent hiker and have never carried a pack heavier than a small camelback, however I texcept Alum Cave Trail to LeConte with a group of friends. Some had done the trail before and some had not, so there were different levels of experience.
The beginning of the trail is somewhat flat but gradual in accent, so not bad. We made the first part to Arch Rock carrying approx 20# packs in about 45-60 mins. Not to say it was easy, but it was the easiest part of the entire trail.
From Arch Rock to Inspiration Point was a steady climb and there were great views here, a great place to spend 10-15 mins. and rest. Next your accent is a bit steeper to Alum Cave. By this time, I was so out if breath and just getting tired from carrying the pack and we were just about halfway there! Once I rested, I enjoyed the views from Alum Cave and bet it is awesome in fall and spring!
Now from here until about a quarter of a mile to the lodge, its a steep hike/climb/trail. There are large rocks to step up onto, ledges of a sort with cables to child to for safety, large roots to step up on, man-made log steps with rails to help in a couple areas, waterfalls, and different flora and fauna as you climb higher. This was the hardest part of the trail. It was about 2.5 miles in length.
Finally we reached the last leg of our journey and it was a bit more flat, but very wet, like walking in a shallow creek bed (but we have had lots of rain too). Really, I was so tired going up from the hike, the constant climb, and carrying the pack, I did not enjoy the scenery as I would have liked. It took our group 5.5 hours going up and that was with many breaks, especially above Alum Cave.
The sunset view from above the lodge area was well worth the experience and struggle up the mountain. Many people passed us going up and were coming back down pass I g us when we still had about 1.5 miles left to go. They also didn't have heavy packs and were also frequent hikers in this trail. Now, it took us 3 hours to go down, with 2 short breaks.
I would suggest a hike during spring, after the time changes thru fall before the times changes again to allow ample daylight time for a one day hike.
The weather is unpredictable. It was in the upper 50s when we started out and we added layers join the way up, especially due to wind. It was about 42 degrees up top. We experienced heavier rains down low, misting as we got higher, and rough cold winds toward the top.
We weren't sure about food, but we each drank about 24 oz or less on the way up and ate an energy bar, some pb crackers, and trail mix which was plenty of snacks. You can check the website about the lodge but there is food available during season for day hikers. There is a spring up top but I would use a filtration system.
Layers probably even in the summer months. I had regular hiking shoes, however purchased some Keen mid, waterproof shoes and loved them. Great support, good traction, and comfortable. Mine were about half a size larger than normal to accommodate my wool socks, but no blisters or soreness. ( I purchased them about 3 days before our
Hike!) Our pants were water resistant and zipped off into shorts. Wind apparel is probably a must except summer. This to e of year we wore a layer of heat gear, short sleeve shirt, and some type of thermal or fleece jacket.
I probably will never hike this trail again unless I have been exercising and hiking a lot and definitely not carrying a large pack. It was a wonderful experience just to see the views and really great family time without all of the business and technology!

2 Thank momrnc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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210 reviews from our community

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English first
Panama City, Florida
Level Contributor
1,285 reviews
355 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 534 helpful votes
“Excellent hike. Plan ahead. Start early. Pack smart.”
Reviewed January 16, 2013

This is one of my favorite hiking trails. My recommendation would be to camp inside the park if possible and start when the sun comes up. This will help you avoid the inevitable crowds and also give you plenty of time to stop along the way and at the top. Definitely pack for changing weather and the possibility of rain, mist or fog. There is always the chance of getting wet from streams and waterfalls along the trail depending on the season. If you start early in the morning, you can make a leisurely hike of it, eat lunch along the trail and be back down before dinnertime.

Visited June 2012
1 Thank Rather_Nomadic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
93 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Very nice”
Reviewed November 12, 2012

Amazing hike, beautiful views, you need to be in decent shape to hike here, with water, snacks and appropriate clothing and gear.

Visited April 2012
1 Thank amandaogle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wapakoneta, Ohio
Level Contributor
36 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2012

Everything I had heard it was.Spent the night in a cabin and well worth it. Hike up is somewhat strenuous but end result is well worth it. Hiking poles and sturdy hiking shoes a plus. Never cease to be amazed at people hiking in tennis shoes and sandals. These aren't the trails to do this on.

Visited November 2012
Thank Jon309
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franklin, Tennessee, United States
Level Contributor
65 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Rainbow Falls on Mt LeConte”
Reviewed October 25, 2012

Beautiful hike with many rewarding views along the way. Of course, during the fall season the colors displayed in the Smoky Mountains are spectacular. A little dry this year so the falls were flowing lightly - but still very enjoyable. A great workout too as this hike is bit challenging. Took us 3 hours hiking up and back (plus 30 minutes to enjoys snacks on the rocks at the falls).

Warning to those not up to a rigorous hike - this is not an easy hike. All uphill and a fair amount of rocks too. My old knee injury felt the challenge - on the way down especially. Should have used a walking stick to ease the load on my knee.

Visited October 2012
3 Thank Adam K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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