Mt Le Conte Hike - Alum Cave Trail

UPDATE: We were forced to turn back from our January hike due to car trouble, but it was a good dry run. We learned from it, and so I am making a few adjustments to this based on that.

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IMPORTANT: Only sign up for this hike if you have the gear for it.

You will need: sleeping bag (I recommend a cold weather bag for this time of year), a ground pad (for insulation between your sleeping bag and the ground), day pack, and hiking shoes.

Because this is a long drive, we will not be making any unnecessary stops on the way there. Please have everything you need with you.

That being said, we DO need to pack light. I was mistaken in thinking that my car could hold 5 people and their gear. While it can hold 5 people, it can't hold that much gear, so I am going to limit this hike to 4 people. If we get more people on the waiting list and can get a 2nd volunteer to drive, then we will open it up to more people.

One last thing: I apologize, but after $400+ in repairs to the car after the January trip, I won't be able to foot the bill for the gas & camping fees, so we will be charging a small fee for this trip to partially cover gas & camping fees.

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This is our second once a month hike in the Smoky Mountains. I'm adjusting the description of this to reflect the slight adjustment of hike location. Those who signed up for this hike were interested in hiking the Le Conte trail this time, rather than the AT trail up to Clingmans Dome. It's a shorter hike (11 miles roundtrip).

http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/lecontealum.htm

We will drive to Smokemont Campground, after work on Friday, leaving Memphis at approximately 5:45 pm, since the earliest I can make it to my house to rendezvous with everyone is 5:30 pm, hike Saturday, and drive back Sunday (arriving back approximately 5:30 pm).

With the distance of this hike, we will be carpooling. I can fit 4 additional people and their gear in my car. Please consider sharing in the expense of gas/camping fees.

Right now, there are no reservations required at Smokemont (one of the few campgrounds in the Smokies that is open year round). We can have up to 6 people per site. I have a 6 man tent (really more comfortable for 3-4). Is there someone else willing to be a driver, if we have more than 5 going?

For those interested in going, this hike is 11 miles round trip, with a beautiful views along the way.

My cellphone is:[masked]-8270. More details on Clingmans Dome: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/clingmansdome.htm

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  • Gavin A.

    We ended up up not being able to hike to Mt Le Conte, due to snow-related road closures, which were not listed on the official website, nor reported in their road closures Twitter feed. Even the road to the campground was closed 13 miles back from the campground. The only campground still open was Cades Cove, and with all the road closures, it was another 3 hours drive back there, so, we stayed in Gatlinburg, instead, bummed around town, and those who wanted to took the gondola tram up to Ober Gatlinburg and ice skated.

    But we hiked at Fall Creek Falls on the way back to Memphis. I will post photos soon.

    February 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi there, Looks like we wont make it . Urgent matters we will send pmsg. Ty.

    February 4, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      Okay, thanks. Sorry it didn't work out. Hope to see you guys "on the trail" some other time. Safe travels to you.

      February 4, 2013

  • Gavin A.

    Guys, just received the following message from a member of a Smoky Mountains hiking group. They saw our hike posted here, and wrote:

    "If you haven't heard, Newfound Gap Road is closed indefinitely. We got a lot of rain this week and it caused 200 ft collapse section of road on the NC side. When I made reservations for February backpack, the ranger said even Newfound Gap was closed. Maybe you already know this but I didnt want you guys drive all way to Memphis and run into that."

    I will have have a better idea after this weekend's hike (Jan 18-20), but my thoughts for the February hike (this one) are: go ahead as planned, but possibly do a different hike if we can't reach the Alum Cave trailhead, depending on what we can reach. If you guys are game for that. I'll talk with the rangers when I am up there tomorrow, and also find out what other hikes we can access. Are you in? I don't know about you, but I'm psyched for a Smokies hike. Updates will be posted as we get closer.

    January 18, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      Guys, I think what Kenny is referring to, is that he and Kara are probably going to stay on trail at one of the shelters. I think he wanted to test out some gear, if I remember correctly. I am planning on hiking in and back out (in one day) and camping front country. So, Leslie, the only gear that you would need to carry on the hike would be your pack with snacks and water. Sleeping bag, tent, and all that would be left at that campground.

      January 18, 2013

    • Kenny

      Oops I thought I let you know that I would stay at smokemont too. Since ya'll are. I was thinking it would be cold up there and all the extra gear to take.

      1 · January 18, 2013

  • Gavin A.

    Kararaina, good to have you along. I'll have more details on this February hike after we complete the January hike (this weekend).

    With the addition of Kararaina, my car is full. If we have additional people sign up, we'll need another volunteer driver.

    January 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Gavin .. not being forward but can we share a spacious tent ..?? u on one side and me on the other?? lol lol less supplies and i do not have a tent ?? pls advise ok ..Look forward to meeting you Karariaina

      1 · January 18, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      Ok.

      2 · January 18, 2013

  • Kenny

    I'm thinking the Alum Cave trail won't be affected. Nor any other trails up Mt Leconte.

    January 18, 2013

  • Gavin A.

    Ash, you need to get your priorities straight. What's more important? Hiking or taxes? Joke.

    We'll miss ya.

    January 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry our plans changed.. have a wonderful hike...

    January 16, 2013

  • Ash B.

    Won't be able to do this one. It's scheduled on the saturday I do my taxes. Boo! ;)

    January 16, 2013

  • Kyle T.

    Hi Gavin,
    I just joined this group and saw your hike planned. While I can't make this trip with you, I was just on LeConte a couple weeks ago and hiked up Bullhead, down Alum Cave, back up Alum Cave and then back down Rainbow Falls.
    FWIW I noticed you are training for a Rainier summit, which I also did back in September 2009.
    So I guess I was kind of just saying hey to the group here, but also figured if you wanted to talk about this trip or Rainier you could give me a shout.

    January 15, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      Heh heh, yeah, when I approved your membership, I figured this would be right up your alley.

      January 15, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      We'll be doing once a month hikes in the Smokies, up until the Summit climb, and depending on the interest, I may continue them after that, too. And sure, I'd love to pick your brain about the summit climb. I'll shoot you an email.

      January 15, 2013

  • Kenny

    I'm hoping to go. Hope it don't clash with a ski trip

    January 14, 2013

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