4/14/2014

Mt. LeConte


If you're looking for my Weekend Wrap-up, click here.
There are 2 peaks higher than Mt. LeConte in the Smokies:  Clingmans Dome & Mt. Guyot.  It is quite a hike to the top of the mountain, but well worth it. This is a hike that I did a loooong time ago...like when I was in high school.  The hike to Mt. LeConte is 5.5 miles.  Along the way, you'll encounter Alum Cave (which isn't a cave at all but a bluff).  Saltpeter was mined out of here by Confederate Soldiers to make gunpowder during the Civil War.  Epsom Salt from here was also mined for dye.  
The half-way mark is "Gracie's Pulpit", named after a 92 year old woman who hiked up to LeConte.  There are a couple of ledges that you have to walk on.  I vividly remember those ledges, because I'm not crazy about heights.  Luckily, there are cables that people like me can hold onto as you go over the ledge.  
When you get to Mt. LeConte, you will find cabins to welcome overnight visitors.  There is also a "lodge", which is the highest lodge in the Eastern United States.  This is no ordinary lodge:  there is no electricity, so guests can enjoy kerosene lamps and propane heat.  Oh, and there's no running water, either, but a wash basin and bucket is provided for sponge baths!  They do, however, have a building with flush toilets.  Overnight guests can enjoy a home-cooked dinner & breakfast.  They even offer wine with dinner for a $10 fee.  For an additional $10, they will provide you with a sack lunch for the walk down the trail.
The Lodge's website suggests the Alum Cave trail is the "easiest", although they also say that some people think Trillium Gap Trail is easier since that's the trail the llamas use to bring supplies.  If you take Trillium Gap, you will go by Grotto Falls.  Visitors to this waterfall can walk behind the falls.
For some beautiful pictures of Mt. LeConte, click HERE.

3 comments:

  1. Totally admire that 92 year old lady for hiking; glad they named something for her!

    betty

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  2. Sounds awesome, I love waterfalls. Walking and climbing are ok too. Shawn from Laughing at Life 2

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  3. My sister and a friend hiked to Mt. LeConte many years ago. She told me about the hike and I knew even then that wasn't the trail for me. lol

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