November 9 – 22, 2017
- Trail: Alum Cave Trail
- Hiking Time Going Up: 3 hours 7 minutes
- Hiking Time Coming Down: 2 hours 15 minutes
This year we decided to hike up and down Alum Cave Trail. Due to trail closures, we haven’t gotten to hike this trail many times in the past few years. We got on the trail a little later than usual (around 11 am). It was very foggy with a heavy mist — just enough to get soaked.
Hurricane Irma had come through the Smokys a few weeks earlier and we found a lot of damage. There were lots of trees that had been blown over and these trees snapped other trees as they fell. Just from what we could see from the trail, there must have been over 30 downed trees. Crews had done a great job, however, on getting the trees cut away and the trail reopened.
Our hike up was a steady slog through the mist. There were no views through the fog.
At the top, our cabin was warm from the lp heater and we quickly changed into dry clothes and went to the dinning hall to get coffee and hot chocolate.
Friday was a beautiful day. We had breakfast and then walked out to Myrtle Point. It was warm on the rocks and a bit out of the wind. We also walked down Rainbow Falls trail to the Bullhead Junction. Our goal was to see if we could get part of the way down the Bullhead to see the fire damage from last year but we couldn’t get past the trail junction. Then, we hiked the loop to Chimney Tops. It was beginning to get crowded on the rock face so we didn’t stay for the sunset.
We got on the trail early Saturday. It was game day after all. We made it home in plenty of time before the 3:30 kickoff of the Clemson game.