This post is provided by guest blogger Lauren Stauss who has made the trip by foot to LeConte Lodge. Lauren is the owner of and writer for Write On LLC, a freelance professional and technical writing company. She is a passionate writer, fearless editor, and dedicated document designer. When she puts down her pen she enjoys hiking with her dog (Helga), napping with her cat (Jack), and attending live music shows. Visit her company blog for writing tips and more scribbles from this scribe http://writeon.lstauss.com/blog.
If you’re looking for a truly unique experience in the Smoky Mountains, consider hiking to LeConte Lodge. Situated atop the stunningly beautiful Mount Le Conte at 6,593 feet of elevation, it boasts some of the only lodging available in this mountain range. Plan a day hike and enjoy lunch at the destination or if you’re looking for a quiet evening in the Smokys, book an overnight stay and hike to your accommodations (book your reservations early as this is a popular destination with limited availability).
No roads go to the LeConte Lodge (they hike their supplies up and down using llamas!) so you’ll need to pick a trail for your journey. Keep in mind that you’ll be hiking to a hefty elevation and trails may not be suited for novices. Most of the trails have clear paths but you’ll often steeply incline or walk on rock ledges. Some have hand ropes for treacherous stretches. Options include:
- Alum Cave Trail (5.5 miles)
- The Boulevard Trail (8 miles)
- Bullhead Trail (7.2 miles)
- Rainbow Falls Trail (6.5 miles)
- Trillium gap Trail (6.5 miles)
If you can arrange a drop-off and pick-up I recommend exploring one trail up and a different down.
I hiked the Alum Cave trail in the Spring of 2011. Along the way we stopped to take in the Arch Rock and Alum Cave bluffs.
Trust me, the majesty of the trails are much too large to capture in any photo. So grab your hiking shoes, protein bars, and water bottles (hydrate! hydrate! hydrate!), hit the trail and get ready for a truly awe-inspiring Mount Le Conte landscape.
Llama train video
Mount Le Conte
Alum Cave Trail
- Mount LeConte llama packer reaches end of the trail (knoxnews.com)