Mt. LeConte, TN

Mt. LeConte via Alum Cave Trail

In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  • Distance: 11 Miles RT
  • Elevation Change: 2763′
  • Difficulty:  Strenuous

The Alum Cave Trail (also referred to as Alum Cave Bluff Trail) is an American hiking trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in Sevier County, Tennessee. The trail ascends Mount Le Conte, the “tallest” (and sixth highest) mountain east of the Mississippi River and passes by many notable landmarks, such as Arch Rock, Inspiration Point, the Duckhawk Peaks, and Cliff Top, before merging with Rainbow Falls Trail near the summit.

The Alum Cave Trail is the shortest and steepest of the five trails leading to LeConte. Mt. LeConte contains four separate peaks in all, the highest of which has an elevation of 6,593 feet. Due to its short length and beautiful scenery (it is often considered Le Conte’s most scenic route) it is the most common footpath for hikers seeking to reach the summit of Le Conte. It is the preferred trail for families hiking with smaller children.

The entire trail is within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The trailhead is about 10 miles (16 km) from the town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, off Newfound Gap Road (U.S. Highway 441)

Some of our Alum Cave Hikes:

Mt. LeConte, TN

Alum Cave

  My ankle has improved so much, that we decided to put it to the test by day hiking Alum Cave Trail all the way to LeConte Lodge and back. The total distance hiked was 11 miles. Total elevation gain is approximately 2560′. It gets a little steep in places. I would rate this trail … Continue reading Alum Cave

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Mt. LeConte Lodge

Alum Cave Trail

Taking advantage of the good weather and lower temperatures, we decided to do a day hike up and down Alum Cave Trail on Mt. LeConte. We left early enough to get a parking space in what is usually a very crowded parking lot at the trailhead. We lucked up and there were still a few … Continue reading Alum Cave Trail

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Mt LeConte 2014

It was time for our official 2014 trek up Mt. LeConte. Phil’s brother-in-law was our guest this year. We chose to hike Alum Cave Trail. It was reportedly in the best shape and we hoped that it had minimal icy spots. The Thursday hike up was great. It was a warm sunny day in the … Continue reading Mt LeConte 2014

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The Crew

Mt. LeConte

Alum Cave Trail Our guests were my brother and two of his sons. The weather was crisp and sunny. The two youngsters enjoyed the dining hall the best, I think.  They drank buckets of hot chocolate!

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Mt. LeConte via Alum Cave

We hiked Alum Cave in and out.  My brother and his wife went with us and it was the first time we have ever taken a trip together. Phil had to sit on an inverted bucket the whole time, and he didn’t like that. I thought it was funny. Anyway.  It was totally awesome.

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Mt. LeConte Via Alum Cave

LeConte Trip with friends that had never been there! The weather was awesome. We hiked Alum Cave in and out. We also spent a lot of time with the Llamas. They are so soft but don’t care much for attention.  And … they bite!

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Mt. LeConte Via Alum Cave

Phil’s brother in law, Dale hiked in with us this year.  We hiked up Alum Cave trail.   The weather was cool and foggy. We enjoyed a lot of lodge time and hot chocolate.

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Mt. LeConte, 2017

Trail:  Alum Cave Trip # 27 – 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 … Continue reading Mt. LeConte, 2017

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