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Mt. LeConte (via Alum Cave Trail)

  • Mar 29, 2014 · 8:00 AM

At 6593 feet, Mount LeConte is the third highest peak in the Smokies. However, measured from its immediate base to its highest point, Mt. LeConte can be considered the tallest mountain in the Eastern United States, rising 5301 feet from its base near Gatlinburg.  The Alum Cave Trail is unmatched in its combination of interesting geological features, history, high adventure and stunning views.

Hiking Summary:

• Roundtrip Length: 11.0 Miles

Total Elevation Gain: 2763 Feet

• Avg. Elev Gain / Mile: 502 Feet

• Highest Elevation: 6593 Feet

Trail Difficulty Rating: Strenuous

Do not attempt this hike as your first hike back if you've been inactive for the winter season.  This is a strenuous climb. 

Trail Location: Newfound Gap Rd

Directions to Trailhead: From Cherokee, North Carolina to:

Alum Cave Bluff Trailhead – go north about 23 miles on Hwy 441, Newfound Gap Road past Newfound Gap Overlook parking area. The Alum Cave parking areas will be about 5 miles from Newfound Gap Overlook on your right.

Due to the popularity of the Alum Cave Trail, there are two parking lots for this trailhead. To ensure a spot, you may want to arrive early during peak season, or any nice weekend throughout the year.

Parking Lot GPS:[masked] , [masked]

One of the unique things about the hike up to Mount LeConte is the lodge and overnight cabins at the top. Hikers have the option of spending the night in the historic cabins which can accommodate about 50 guests a night (you will need to make reservations well in advance). For more information you can visit the LeConte Lodge website.

Arrange Carpools in the forum below. 

Due to the length/ascent of the hike and distance from Georgia, be sure to carpool with someone that can attest to the ability of the others in the carpool to complete this hike.  

For safety reasons, RSVP roll-call will be taken before the hike and again at the top of the summit and walkie-talkies will be provided for the fastest and slowest of the group.

Rick's cell number:[masked]

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  • Giselle

    Hey y'all! I am just able to write back. I hiked 20 miles on the AT after Mt.LaConte! The Nashville group thanks you guys for letting us be apart of your hiking day. It's nice to know there is always a friendly hiking group to be apart of and to join forces. :) Until our next adventure!

    1 · April 3, 2014

  • Marie333

    Thank you, everyone! What a blessing to have hiked with such great people. Rain hike is now marked off of my list. I pretty much stayed dried and warm because of my super awesome water proofing and multiple layers.
    Special thanks to host for being a great sport as my side kick, and for helping take amazing photos. Special thanks to Gary for setting up our weekend home. Special thanks to Jill for driving us back to the PAR. And special thanks for all for being there where we were meant to be. Thank you. Open mind, open heart, open self. Remove the mind blocks, and ANYTHING is possible.

    3 · March 30, 2014

  • Debbie L

    I am going to Gatlinburg with the group and staying at the cabin as planned. If the weather is bad I may forego the hike.

    1 · March 26, 2014

    • Marie333

      I'm with you on this one. I'll also be going as planned.

      2 · March 26, 2014

    • jill

      The thing to consider is hiking on sunday. Beautiful weather anticipa ted. Just a thought.

      March 27, 2014

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