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LeConte Lodge
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Reviews (150)
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106 - 111 of 150 reviews
Reviewed July 9, 2013

Let me begin by saying that this was for the most part a great experience. If you are looking for a great hike, food, and lodging, this is worth your time and effort. I really had a great experience despite the rain, and fog. I am not an avid hiker, and I did this with a small group. Everything was top notch, and if you are into a great natural experience, this would probably be something on your bucket list. The only issue that caused me any discomfort was that my cell phone ran out of battery about .5 miles from the top. The staff refused to charge my phone because they do not have an adequate power supply at the top of the mountain. It appears that they only have power generated from a solar electrical panel. The day I was there it was cloudy. They said they did not have enough power to charge my cell phone. I was not happy with that, and granted, had I known they would not do that, I would have brought another device. I accept my responsibility. I do have a couple thoughts. In this age of technology, I think they should have some way of providing limited technology support at the top of the mountain. Many people use their phones for taking pictures, and for making emergency calls. This seems like a "no-brainer" to me. My job does demand that I keep in contact when it is possible, and I really think they should help become more friendly in this regard. The staff had all kinds of reasoning, but I would have gladly paid to have the service available. On the way down the mountain, we had a hiker fall off the trail and he had to be rescued. We were two hours into the climb down, there may or may not have been a signal, but I will never know. I was glad that two firefighters from Chicago were coming up the trail at the time. They saved my friend with ropes and a human chain. They were heroes as most firefighters are. When I talked to the manager, his response was that he has 13,000 people visiting a year and that he could not charge all those phones. In this age of tight budgets, I told him it would be responsible to charge them all $5 each. That looks like a pretty good revenue stream to me. Come on Tennessee. Help out the little guy who just wanted to hike and still take pictures, or check his email. I think you are missing the boat on this one. I will be the first to admit that I am not a natural hiker. Maybe it would diminish the experience for some. I will tell you that most of the people I saw at the top looked like they carried cellular technology, and could afford the fee to have their phone re-charged. This may be my fault for not reading about this prior to going, but I was a guest. Great Experience, but I think this could have been better for me if I had know this ahead of time. Maybe a sign at the bottom of all trails that mentions there is no way to charge your phone so be prepared to ration your battery. The management was very intelligent, just not very helpful in this instance for me. The manager did say that if the sun was out, this would not be a problem. He would have charged the phone. We had rain for two days, and if they were low on power, I can understand his point. I just think it is time to come out of the stone age and get more batteries, wind power, or a back-up for this purpose. For me it was not just about the email, although it was some. I did not get pictures on the way down, and my friend did fall 15 feet to a tree after letting go of one of the cables and dropping down the cliff to a small tree. I am sure I will not hike there again, but only because it is not my bent. I just know that others may come up against this issue unless the policy is changed. Please consider this before you take the trip. I also believe that TripAdvisor should list a category called "technology limitations" on the reviews. It is becoming more important all the time. Also, we took a tough trail to the top: The Boulevard. It was a long hike, and I wanted to really get some good shots on the way down.

3  Thank WuSongLong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

Via Rainbow Falls, I hiked up Leconte in the rain this past Sunday. I had no idea that there was such a long waiting list for the resort, a year in advance, or much less that the park's lean to shelter was booked up just as tightly. So when I arrived rather late, about two hours before sunset, I was a bit dismayed to find out a few things. One, you must have a reservation to eat dinner at the Lodge. I was lucky that they sold me a sack lunch for $10. That really helped a bit. But, I was sent back out on the trail since they had no room and the Lean To was booked. They knew I was descending via Rainbow falls, a 6.5 mile hike on rocky and wet terrain skirting very steep ledges and cliffs. I really had no idea this place was that popular, or that it had gotten so late with the overcast skies. It is a good thing my flashlight did not fail me, or I would have had a nice night roughing it in the cleft of a rock along the trail.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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8  Thank bmgatl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Reservations are tough to get - we started dialing the first day they opened. But so, so worth it! This was our fifth year in a row and we plan to go for the next 15+ if we are still physically able. There are no roads that lead to the lodge - the only way to get there is to hike. There are five different trails that lead to the lodge and we have hiked each one of them. I have to say that Trillium Gap is my favorite - both for the views and for the llama encounter if you go up or down on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday when they bring up the clean linens and perishable food. There are not many places like LeConte in the US. No electricity and no running water. When you check in you are handed a bucket and shown where the hot water valve on the back of the kitchen is. You have to pack you own washcloth and towels. But the views are amazing. Some days you are above the clouds and others you can see for miles and miles. This is a must-do experience!

Room Tip: You get what you get and you're thankful you got it!
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Mamalulu62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

What an amazing trip! I was extremely lucky to get reservations back to back with my friends so we were able to spend two nights on top of the mountain. We took Alum Cave trail. It took us almost five hours on the way up with a long lunch stop and only 3 hours down. Plan for cool weather. We went June 21st - the high was 64 and the low was 47. If you layer your clothing you will be fine.

The staff was amazing! We purchased the unending wine with dinner and our glasses were kept full. I have never had a better cup of hot chocolate. We visited with Ranger Mark Pitt - who gave presentations about the culture of the mountain and animals.

All in all - GREAT TRIP! A must do!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank JHTobin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2013

Hiked up alum cave with two girlfirends of mine. started on the trail around 8:20 am. Parking lot trail head gets full quickly so start early. Be sure to use the porta potties before you start as there are no restrooms along the way, except the woods. Wildlife is frolific snakes, bears. etc. We did not see a bear, just poop. Thank goodness. Took us 4 hours at a pretty good pace to hike up to the Lodge. The trail is very very rocky with rocks sticking up out of the ground @ a 90 deg angle. Several areas of the trail had only a 2 ft passing area up rocks and there are cables to help up maneuver around it. Still is was very unnerving and slick.
The lodge itself is what you would expect. Rustic but quaint. We had the last cabin closest to the myrtle point trail. A little distance from the Restrooms, after a very long day hiking. The lodge is stuck on the side of the mountain so the paths to each structure is paved with rocks. There are keys to the restrooms on a stick in your cabin. They do this so the flushing toilets are reserved for the lodge guests, not the day hikers. The office has merchandise ( get your i hiked it tshirt or hoodie), a heater, games, magazines and rocking chairs to sit around for a change of scenery. We did have to store our snacks in the office in steel garbage cans because of the bear activity near the lodge. We arrived around 12:30 and laid out in the grass in the warm sun till dinner time @ 6:00. They do ring a dinner bell. Dinner was tasty after a long hike. My favorite was the mashed potatoes. The soup was ok. They should get that from the Dixie Stampede, they do sell the soup mix. Breakfast was average. I am allergic to wheat so i could not eat the pancakes or biscuits. @ dinner i could not eat the cornbread or chocolate chip cookie. I let them know before hand, and they brought me roast beef without gravy. Another girl @ my table was allergic to eggs and dairy and they accomodated her request as well. The bunks beds in the cabin are full size. They were suprisingly warm. The heater in it was set on low by us and did not kick on all night. Top bunk was warmer. We did the reservation form online back in october, but you still need to call. It took me over 300 times to finally get through for reservations.

tip: mail a postcard $1 up at the lodge to your family. It was packed up and down by llamas.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank phislamajama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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