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"If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else." --- Yogi Berra

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)

See our Mt. LeConte Trips →

  • LeConte 2017  Hawksbill

    November 9, 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 …

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  • Mt. Leconte

    August 29, 2015

    DAYHIKE: Trip #23 Trails Forever Program … at work on Alum Cave Trail. After a year of work on Alum Cave, Trails Forever finally finished the majority of their work on the trail.  They did a great job and it was a lot of back …

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  • 2014 Nov Trip Pic Official

    November 13, 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. …

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  • 2014 Halloween LeConte01

    October 13, 2013

    DAYHIKE: Alum Cave We day hiked Alum Cave Trail just a few days after the government shutdown had ended. It was great to see so many people on the trail. [image title=”Alum Cave Trail” alt=”Alum Cave Trail” caption=”Alum Cave Trail”]http://www.sandyrumsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/20131020-112510.jpg[/image] [image title=”LeConte …

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  • The Crew

    November 9, 2009

    LeConte Trail: 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! [image title=”Alum Cave Trail” …

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  • LeConte 2008 16

    November 14, 2008

    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. [image]http://www.sandyrumsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/LeConte-2008_01.jpg[/image] [image]http://www.sandyrumsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/LeConte-2008_02.jpg[/image] [image]http://www.sandyrumsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/LeConte-2008_03.jpg[/image] …

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  • LeConte 2007 7

    November 11, 2007

    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. …

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  • LeConte 2004 07

    November 13, 2004

    Mt. LeConte, Tennessee 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 …

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  • Mt LeConte, Tn Family Trip

    November 11, 1999

    The last time our family got to go on the annual trip to Mt Leconte was November, 1999. How could this be? Time just goes by so fast. It seems like yesterday. Our boys went on to live their own lives and we’ve just never …

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