Mt. LeConte


Mount LeConte is a mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At 6,593 ft (2,010 m) it is the third highest peak in the national park, behind Clingmans Dome (6,643 ft, 2,024 m) and Mount Guyot (6,621 ft, 2,018 m). It is also the highest peak that is completely within Tennessee. However, from its immediate base to its summit, Mount Le Conte is one of the highest peaks in the Appalachian Mountains rising 5,301 ft (1,616 m) from its base, near Gatlinburg, Tennessee (1,292 ft/394 m).

There are five trails that ascend the summit of Mt. LeConte

  • Alum Cave Trail — 4.9 mi (7.9 km); Alum Cave Creek, Arch Rock, Alum Cave Bluff and views into Huggins Hell decorate the trail; it is both the most scenic and often used trail.
  • The Boulevard Trail — 5.4 mi (8.7 km) (8.0 mi or 12.9 km from Newfound Gap); Begins on the crest of the Great Smoky Mountains 2.7 miles east of Newfound Gap on the Appalachian Trail; it never dips below 5,500 ft (1,676 m).
  • Bullhead Trail — 6.9 mi (11.1 km); The least traveled path, it offers the most solitude.
  • Rainbow Falls Trail — 6.6 mi (10.6 km); LeConte Creek runs alongside the trail until Rainbow Falls, the single highest drop of water in the national park.
  • Trillium Gap Trail — 8.9 mi (14.3 km); The trail passes behind Grotto Falls, the only opportunity to walk behind a waterfall in the park; Trillium Gap offers spring wildflowers and a short spur hike to Brushy Mountain; the only horse trail on the mountain; the llama trains that supply the lodge use this trail. Starting the Trillium Gap Trail at the Trillium Gap parking lot shortens the climb by 2.4 miles making this a 6.5 mile trail.

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