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“A wonderful place”
Review of LeConte Lodge

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LeConte Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 25, 2011

It rained most of the way up the Rainbow Falls trail and all the way back down the Bull Head trail, but it was still magnificent! The staff at the Lodge are very helpful. It was quite refreshing to be at a place that has no power, TV, radio :)
The food is excellent! I highly recomend it

Room Tip: Try to get reservations early and DO get on the wn
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank rmoody_01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (142)
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124 - 130 of 142 reviews

Reviewed August 26, 2010

My husband and I were able to get in after a cancellation, and were so glad we did. The hike to the lodge is as diverse as it is beautiful. Just difficult enough to make you think you really accomplished something! We were so pleased with everything once we got there. The staff was wonderful, the cabins were clean and comfortable, and the food was surprisingly good considering there is no electricity there. The breakfast was especially good! I read one review that said you couldn't adjust your own heat, but we were instructed how to do that when we were shown to our cabin. (Turns out we didn't need it, as it ownly got to the low 50s that night).
All in all, I would highly recommend this to anyone that loves a good hike, and a unique lodging experience.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank freeme4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2010

Not for everyone, but if you love the outdoors this might be your place. I found nothing negative about this place, and am surprised at the very few negative reviews. Thought the food, the cabins and the staff were great. One staff member, Katie, turned out to be my own personal trail angel when she chased off a large black bear as I walked into the lodge grounds. If you're hiking up in really hot weather, bring twice as much water as you think you'll need. The bottomless glass of wine is for real and a great value...they will NOT let your glass go empty for an entire hour!

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank birdmanimal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2010

My husband and I, his parents and my sister in law (all ranging in age 31-60+) were invited to join a group at the last minute. I had never heard of this place and wish I had sooner! I will start by saying I'm not a hiker...but I'm not out of shape and work out several times a week. One of the couples traveling in the group that invited us are in their 70s and they have done this trail as well as all the others many times. We hiked the Alum Cave Bluff Trail and I'm so glad we did! Yes it is steep but the views are out of this world. The hike up took us about 3 1/2 hours with several breaks as well as a stop for a light lunch snack about 1/2 way. We were so glad we waited to eat a large meal because we arrived at the Lodge around lunch! I had the potato soup and everyone else had the soup and the chicken salad sandwich which they all said was wonderful. Inexpensive and the perfect meal after a good hike.
The cabins are rustic and thankfully we were told about the flushable restrooms down the path(I felt sorry for the day hikers that used the other restrooms). We stayed in a 3 bedroom cabin with our family staying in one room and the other two rooms going to our hosts and a couple of teenage boys that had made the hike by themselves. We had large bunk beds and one single bed. The bed was the first thing I hit after lunch and took a mini nap before dressing in a warmer outfit to take a look around the camp. There are several cabins, a lodge where all meals and drinks are served and an office. We spent about an hour in the office just looking at all the pictures articles and stories about the lodge. It was very interesting!
One thing we wished we had brought were some cards or a good book (my backpack was full of wine so there was no room!). Luckily we were staying with the couple that had plenty of stories including stories on the history of the start of the camp. They were also Naturalists so we were able to learn about all the plants, animals etc. of that area.
The views are beautiful and at night if it is clear enough you can see all the lights below of the town. The crew that runs this place is top notch. I wish I could find the slip of paper where I wrote down all their names but it has been lost. Just know they are all great. Everyone was helpful and seemed to really love working there. The dinner was delicious...the breakfast good but I think I was still stuffed from dinner the night before. We had plenty of wine which if you plan ahead you can get unlimited during your meal. We packed a few bottles of our own just in case which were perfect on the front porch watching the sun fade away.
Tips: Pack bug spray. This time of year they are everywhere and seemed to be worse the higher up we climbed.
Beware of bees: If you are not a bee lover (which i most certainly am not) beware of the alum trail the bees absolutely love the Rhododendron bushes which cover this trail from top to bottom. This time of year they are in full bloom so to get the great views and good hike you have to share the trail with the bees.
Make room for a book or a deck of cards (or if you are musically blessed a guitar)! Time goes in slow motion on the top of this mountain. I love peace and quiet and great conversation but really there was a moment or two I thought i'm exhausted and wish I could curl up in this rocking chair with a great book.
Take a wash cloth, baby wipes, and hand sanitizer. The water is readily available and there is warm water as well but bring your supplies :)
Pack light...whatever you bring up you must take back down and I found the hike down harder on my toes than the hike up. Plus if you bring certain items (wine) the bottles must be taken back down the mountain.

And my last tip....Book it! This place was wonderful and really a trip I never thought I would enjoy...but I cannot wait to go back. The crew there, the food, the views and the time to spend with family was priceless.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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5  Thank Ellyanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2010

I've read about and always wanted to go to LeConte Lodge and I finally made it! Since it is so hard to get to, I assume the reader already knows about the LeConte Lodge. We stayed in Gatlinburg, and took the Alum Cave Bluff trail, arriving at the trail head on Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. We took a lunch and ate near the bluff, and arrived at the LeConte Lodge at about 2:40 p.m. We checked in, and all went smoothly. Meredith there did a good job showing us where everything was (restrooms, dining hall, office, and our cabin). We rested, played some music and games in the office, and had the most wonderful hot chocolate in the dining room (coffee, hot chocolate, lemonade and cookies are served from noon to 4 p.m.). We got cleaned up with a sponge bath (hot water is provided near the dining hall), and went to dinner when the bell rang at 6 p.m.. Dinner was awesome! There is no electricity there, and the dining hall was cozy, being lit by kerosene hurricane lamps, as clouds drifted by outside. We had a great time with our table mates. Many of the people there return each year at the same date. After dinner, the entire lodge went up to Cliff Top (a short .2 mile hike from the lodge) to watch the most beautiful sunset. After a night's sleep, an awesome breakfast is served at 8 a.m., consisting of pancakes, scambled eggs, Canadian bacon, grits, biscuits, coffee, hot chocolate, and Tang. The apple butter is also great. After breakfast, most people leave pretty quickly so the staff can start preparing for the next arrivals. The staff and service at the lodge are great. After we checked out (actually, "checking out" is just leaving), I hiked on up to High Top and Myrtle Point (a .7 mile hike from the lodge), and returned back down the Alum Cave Bluff trail to the parking lot. I wore shorts on the hike up, and took a spare shirt, long pants, and a sweat shirt for the night time (I'm glad I did). Be sure also to bring a flashlight, as you will need it, and don't forget a poncho or some rain gear. There are flush toilets there, which are very private and convenient (a key is provided). Be sure and bring some cash for tips and to purchase a commemorative t-shirt, which is only sold at the lodge. This is a trip you will not forget!

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank gwall60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2010

My wife and I hiked to LeConte Lodge last week via the Alum Cave trail. It was great. The Alum Cave trail is difficult but not terribly so. You definitely feel like you have accomplished something when you reach the lodge. The hike is beautiful - gorgeous views, mountain streams, all kinds of flora and fauna. The hike up was sunny and clear. The next day, on the way down, rainy and foggy. Both conditions offer a totally different perspective on the trail.

The people staffing the lodge were friendly and nice. Food was very good and satisfying. Rooms were comfortable and the beds large. We hiked a short distance up from the lodge to view the sunset. It was incredible. There were several people there and it was a very festive mood. When the sun finally sank below the horizon there was spontaneous clapping, it was that cool.

Breakfast the next day was a 8:00 am and was hearty and tasty. Saw a bear on the way down. When we yelled it ran thru the woods like a scared puppy. It was neat to see though. Even though climbing Alum Cave is fairly strenuous, coming down is a breeze.

We'll definitely do LeConte Lodge again.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bluestraveler67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2009

I am quite surprised by the last 2 reviews. I have hiked and stayed on Mt. LeConte numerous times (at least once a year for the last several years) - last in June of 09. If you are looking for a swanky hotel with all the amenities, then this is definitely NOT for you. However, if you are a lover of nature and enjoy hiking and backpacking, then there is no experience like this anywhere else.

On this trip up, I hiked Alum Cave trail with three kids, ages 13, 12 and 9. My kids have made this hike with no problem since the youngest was 5 - but we are very active, outdoorsy folks so this type of activity is not unusual for them. It was pouring rain the entire way up, yet when we arrived we were greeted warmly by the staff and shown to our quarters, once dry we got the welcoming hot chocolate. Dinner was very a hearty and plentiful hikers meal, and it is always great to have an opportunity to meet other people who come from all over to experience this unique lodging opportunity in the National Park. By sunset, the clouds had dropped down and the view from Cliff Tops was phenomenal, every bit worth the hike.

If you are lucky enough to get a clear day, there are fantastic views all the way up the mountain. Alum Cave trail is very strenuous and steep, particularly past the bluffs - but you get panoramic views in many spots on the trail. The vegetation changes a great deal on the climb because of the elevation change, so if you are a lover of vegetation or natural flowers, you will not be disappointed by the hike.

The cabins are indeed rustic but warm and dry, and there are flush toilets available for guests. New this year they are offering day hiker services as well, including a hikers lunch. Staff was very pleasant (this would be the same staff that the last two reviewers said were rude and unwelcoming?) and met all of our needs. There are a variety of cabin styles to meet the needs of many different types of groups.

I can't wait to get up the mountain again and my entire family will be back in June. I am looking forward to taking another trail up, since we are going on a Wednesday I hope to follow the llamas up Trillium Gap.

Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
2  Thank savtrav22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about LeConte Lodge

Address: Near the summit of Mount LeConte, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Location: United States > Tennessee > Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Price Range: $75 - $120 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
Also Known As:
Leconte Hotel Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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