Great Smoky Mountains

Mount Leconte (Smoky Mountain Peak Viewed from Gatlinburg, Tennessee)

Mounte Leconte is one of the most picturesque mountain tops in the United States.  It is definitely one of the landmark viewpoints in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  The two-day hike to the top of the third-highest peak in the Smokies is really four walks in one.  On the 1st day you walk 7.7 miles to the summit of LeConte, traveling first on the Smokies crest, then on the Boulevard, a nearly level, mile high ridge with all-but-continuous views on both sides.  After visiting LeConte Lodge, which can only be visited by foot and has a long-term wait for overnight reservations, you can walk to Cliff Top and view the sunset behind Sugarland Mountain.  You can then walk almost a mile in the morning to Myrtle Point, where you can see the sunrise over the Smokies crest.  Then, you can walk down the 5.5 miles long Alum Cave Trail which has monsterous mountain & grand river views.
Also, please note, you have a choice of five different trails that go to the top of LeConte.  Three of them–the Bullhead, Rainbow Falls and Trillium Gap–are long, hard climbs with only occasional views.  Alum Cave, which is steep in some places, is a very scenic 4th option.  The fifth trail includes the Appalachian & Boulevard trails and offers a longer, but less steep option to Alum Cave.  Both sets have unbelievable mountain views.  They say the Boulevard Trail offers the best chance of viewing wildlife.  We recommend you park at the Newfound Gap before your hike for best access to the trail(s) to LeConte.  Good luck on your hike! Stay at a vacation cabin rental in Gatlinburg, then go hike during the day for adventure and outdoor fitness.  Bring your camera to take scenic photos of your adventurous hike up to LeConte!  You’re sure to enjoy them in the future and they will provide daily inspiration.