Been up from Alum Cave and also enjoyed this summit via the Boulevard. The tallest mtn east of the Mississippi.
An incredible trip for my first experience in the Smokies. Lot's of ice on the trail and quite difficult without crampons. 10 degrees at the top, but comfy night in my sleeping bag!! A late night ice storm made for a tricky descent the following day. Next time, I'll bring crampons.
Perfect winter day on Leconte. Used crampons on the icy ledges for most of the way above the Alum bluffs. A few dicey spots due to rotten ice but it added to the fun. Thanks to Rusty, the lodge caretaker, who kindly pointed me to the summit cairn. Beautiful views near the true summit and from Cliff Top. It warmed up in the afternoon and there was lots of slippery slush on the way down. Tip for winter Leconte climbers - don't stand under the icicles at Alum Cave...
LOVE IT WAS NICE DAY CAROLINA BLUE SKY GOOD DAY FOR HIKE.MY FOURTH TIME HIKING THE MOUNTAIN AND TOOK A FRIEND HE WAS TAKEN BACK BY THE BEAUTY OF THE MOUNTAIN.
Cool hike through hemlocks to the Alum Cave where huge icicles hung down dripping in the morning sun. Periodically they would break off and come crashing down, shattering on the rocks below. It was pretty cool and maybe a little bit hazardous. The trail above here is in terrible shape and barely 18 inches wide in a couple spots with pretty steep dropoffs. Here, and in other exposed sections they have eyebolted cables to the rock face for handholds. Nice views across the Great Smoky Mountains along the way and at the top. The best hike that I did that week in GSMNP!
I started at 7:00am in the moring and reached the Le Conte lodge around 11:00 pm (at a slow pace). After grabbing a quick snack, I hiked to the summit of Le Conte. After snapping a few pictures, I ate lunch at the Cliff Tops and then started back down. I reached the trail head at 3:00 pm (slow pace). This is nice and relaxing. Although steep in certain spots, it is well worth the climb.
I hiked this sucker on a bad leg. At the parking lot, I took the trail to the left to get to the top. Nice views on a nice day. I drove to Clingman's and hiked to the top later in the day.
Beautiful day. Driving ou to Austin Tx for a new job assignment. Hit the trail about 10:30. A ranger told me the trail was completely icy, said I would need crampons. I found that hard to believe, since it had been in the 50s and 60s the prior day or two at the base elevation. Anyhow, I told him thats what the "Oh shit " cables were for. As it turned out it was icy in spots, but there was no need for any equipment. There are alot of awesome views from the trail and summits.Alot of dead trees.There was also alot of traffic up there, mainly just to Alum cave. I was hoping there would be some of those man sized icicles in the cave,but alas it had been too warm. Adios!
Grew-up an hour away. Has become way too crowded April - September, but still a great place to go. Views are magnificent. Recommend going in the winter (AT Blvd).
I've climbed LeConte a number of times. Only once did I fail to make the summit. In 1982 I took a three-day backpacking trip through the park the last weekend of April. We went up the peaks toward Charlie's Bunion from the east and then we were supposed to summit Le Conte via The Boulevard. However, a late season snowfall was far deeper than anything we'd expected, with a uniform depth of about three feet and waist-high drifts. Being Southerners, we didn't have snowshoes, or suspect we'd have needed them. As darkness overtook us, we had to set up camp on a ridge and spent the night sleeping in our tent atop the snow--the night I realized sleeping on snow is pretty darned miserable. I had a good sub-zero down bag and an insulite pad, so I didn't get cold, but the surface was so uneven and so unyielding that I woke up pretty miserable. With the snow so deep, we backtracked to the AT and walked on down to Newfound Gap and hitched a ride to our car.
Summited it latest this September, and posted a trip report. Went via the Alum Cave Bluffs Trail and did it as a quick day hike.
My sister Debbie and I climbed this mountain. Even though it was late fall, temperatures reached the 50s and maybe 60s in the afternoon. I told Debbie that we would probably see lamas at the top. She thought I was joking with her and she refused to believe me. We then ran into someone hiking down who had stayed at the lodge. We asked them how they got food up there and they told us about the lamas. So I got my sister with that one! The views were great most of the way on a very easy but long trail. We got to feed the lamas up top some potato chips. (that is one of things thier caretakers feed them). We also enjoyed the views from the top of the cliffs. A great hiking day!
Mt. Leconte is my favorite in the Smokies. Views are great!!!
This is a unique experience in the Great Smoky Mountains. Climbing to the summit of Mount LeConte and staying in the rustic cabins at the top is truly fanatastic! Book months in advance if you wish to stay in the cabins and be sure to watch the sun set from clifftops.
Natural Born Hikers
Nice hike. Started at 2AM, view of Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Pidgeon Forge at night were breathtaking. About 4400' of elevation gain. Took Trillium Gap Trail on descent. Ice climbed for a little while at 6220' of Trillium Gap Trial. Rainbow would be awesome climbing if it ever fully came in shape. 14 hours car to car, could have been slow since we had not slept.