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mt leconte

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Ohio
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mt leconte

I was wondering if anyone has hiked the Alum cave trail @ mt leconte, if so was it a difficult trail. I was looking @ some pictures and it has cables to hold onto because the some of the path is narrow. I am not an experienced hiker my no means. Thanks

Baton Rouge...
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1. Re: mt leconte

Hi traveler!

I've only hiked that trail as far as the cave. It's pretty easy up to that point. My hubby has hiked on to LeConte and tells me that it's pretty strenuous from that point up to the top. Some parts are basically straight up, but it is the shortest trail to the top of Leconte according to hubby. I'm not much of a hiker, we used the Trillium Gap trail and that was hard enough for me!

Hope this helps!

Jennifer

Cincinnati, Ohio
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2. Re: mt leconte

My grandfather and my mother did in back in 1939! LOL He talks of holding onto the cable and in some spots crawling on his hands and knees! I'm sure there have been improvements since then. I hope to get there someday.

Tawas City, Michigan
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3. Re: mt leconte

The Alum Cave Trail to Mt. LeConte has some of the most spectacular scenery in the park. It is also the shortest route to LeConte (4.9 miles). It is a steady climb of approximately 30 degrees from base to summit. The Alum Cave Bluffs will be at the half way point. The cable you refer to is along a very short section of trail that narrows to approximately a six foot width. When you reach the Lodge, inquire about the route ( an additional 120 yards) to Cliff Top, for one of the finest views in the park. It is a special place to relax and enjoy the wonders of nature. We will personally be climbing up there, ourselves, next week.

Boston...
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4. Re: mt leconte

I myself have actually made this trek, to I can inform from personal experience. I did it in the middle of December, so not only did we have to traverse the cliffs up past Alum Cave; we had to make sure not to slip on the ice as well! The hike is rather strenuous, four thousand feet up in four and a half miles or so (then back down again). The views at the top and on the way up are gorgeous, though.

Of course, I'm fourteen and have hiked across the US and in Alaska all my life, so you may find it a little (or a lot) more difficult than I did. If you really haven't hiked very much, it may be a better idea to try a less trying trail (Alum Cave to Mt. LeConte is the second most difficult trail segment in the entire park). If you wan some other suggestions, just holler.

Blue

Georgia
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5. Re: mt leconte

Your experience level won't be a problem. The trail is not dangerous in any way as long as you take your time and use the handrails. I have hiked the Alum cave trail on the way up to the lodge for the past eight years. As for the difficulty, most people don't have a problem with that either. This is the steepest trail, but also the shortest. Also, the Alum cave trail has the best views. If you find yourself getting tired, just stop for a few minutes and admire the view!

Hope this helps!

(P.S. If your group has more than one vehicle, the Trillium Gap trail is great to take back down the mountain.)

Cullowhee, North...
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6. Re: mt leconte

Ah Bluecuzco, looking back when I was 13 years old we were hiking in Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada, Glacier and Yellowstone. I sure hope you appreciate the gifts your folks are giving you. So many kids just sit around pretend about reality on their Xboxes or PS3s, but you my friend are living reality. A hats off to your parents.

As far as Alum Cave Trail goes. The sections with the cables are icey in the winter and the cables are to assist hikers with their steps. My 6 year old son and 11 year old daughter have backpacked up Alum Cave to LeConte this past summer. My daughter was carrying a Kelty backpack with about 18 pounds. Not bad. If a 6 year old can do it, then most any able bodied adult can. it is a great hike up to LeConte and quite scenic as others have mentioned.

I would reccomend it to a first time LeConter...

Enjoy your hike.

Boston...
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7. Re: mt leconte

This thread is old and the person has long since decided whether to go or not... They seriously need to have a feature where posters can put a tab on top that says something to the effect of "this thread is now outdated".

My dad def has done a great job training my to love nature, and to that are my thanks till the day I die. I mean geez, I'm only fourteen and I've already been to the Smokies more times than I can remember, multiple trips to other natural area around here, Yellowstone, Alaska, two trips to Washington/Oregon, and I'm going to Costa Rica this summer and Haines, AK the one after that. I feel happy just thinking about it. Got to love God for all that. Geez, it's really incredible. Heck, even my meager back yard is pretty cool when you think about it...

Now I'm the one asking for and planning all of our camping trips! People in general have been so desensitized to nature. "I'm not an outdoorsy type." We're hard wired with a need for nature, especially kids. Have you ever read Richard Louv's book Last Child in Nature?

Atlanta, GA
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8. Re: mt leconte

I know that was on old question, but I think that Mt Leconte via Alum Cave trail is my all-time favorite that I've done in the park (out of maybe just about 10 hikes).

It is certainly somewhat difficult with something like 2500 feet of ascent. The cables you don't need unless it is icy up there.

I want to do that hike again...maybe this year during fall foliage...that would be excellent.

Wish I was in...
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9. Re: mt leconte

We enjoyed the hike up LeConte so much that we are now going to make it an annual event.

Last year we chose to hike up Alum and down Rainbow. This year we are hiking it via the Boulevard.

I am hoping to get reservations at the lodge one day, so we can see the sunrise and sunset from the top of the mountain. That sounds like a perfect trip to me.

Cullowhee, North...
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10. Re: mt leconte

FFG:

Invest in nice summer sleeping bag, an inexpensive backpack and a little gear and you can stay in the backcountry shelter for free! The money you spend at the lodge could go toward gear. You can get summer bag for about $70, a backpack anywhere from $160 to $340 depending on your budget, a stove for about $50.

We have never stayed at the Lodge and the shelter thing is quite cool. Give it a try.