Mount LeConte

Photo of Mount LeConte
Photo uploaded by St├ęphane Brice

This is the third highest peak within the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, and the highest that is accessible only on foot. There is a very rustic lodge at the summit, but reservations are required months (sometimes years) in advance to stay there. There are also crew quarters with the lodge, and supplies must either be helicoptered in or carried up via lama. There are several trails leading to the summit; the most heavily traveled begins at a marked trailhead on Newfound Gap Road and ascends via Alum Cave Bluffs. The bluffs are a large cavernous area dug into the mountain by the Confederate Army to obtain alum for gunpowder. This trail is five miles in length from Newfound Gap Road to the summit, and during that five miles, the gain in altitude is approximately one mile.

Elevation (feet): 6,593
Elevation (meters): 2,010
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: Blue Ridge Mountains
State: Tennessee
Latitude: 35.6543
Longitude: -83.4368
Difficulty: Walk up
Best months for climbing: May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
Nearest major airport: Knoxville, TN
Convenient Center: Gatlinburg, TN

Thanks to Jim Bardin for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

There are 25 trip reports for Mount LeConte.

  • Log #9710 - by joseph Caulkins on Aug 23, 20043.00 stars
    What a beautiful hike all the way up!
  • Log #9711 - by Russ Mawn on Mar 23, 20043.00 stars
    Wonderful hike, it snowed lightly, just enough to make it magic and not enough to make it tragic. See our pictures at
  • Log #9712 - by juhani bohjanen on Feb 24, 20043.00 stars
    completed all main tourist trails within a few weeks of working on crew at the lodge....from there i hiked off trail,,,bear pin hollow,lowes creek,big and little duck hawk,the old telephone lines,my...
  • Log #9713 - by Bo and Brandy Rowe on Aug 21, 20033.00 stars
    My wife and I love MT. Leconte, and we planned to climb again this year on our wedding anniversary, but due to a heavy storm, we could not. We are planning to go again this fall. We climbed to the...
  • Log #9714 - by an anonymous user on Aug 20, 20033.00 stars
    I visited Leconte for the 2nd time in a week and this time used the Alum Cave Bluff Trail. Made the ascent in a little under 2 hours and came back down in an hour and a half. Couldn't believe how...
  • Log #9715 - by Steve Mowry on Aug 01, 20033.00 stars
    Don't make this mistake!! I and my three sons started off via Alum trail to Summit at noon. Having made the Summit and enjoyed views, cookies, exploration started down. Half way down it was dark as...
  • Log #9716 - by Nick Deal on July 31, 20033.00 stars
    I hiked to LeConte for the first time on Sunday July 27, 2003. I took the Rainbow Falls - Bullhead route. I made it to the top in a suprisingly fast time of less than 3 hours. It was by no means a...
  • Log #9717 - by Ed Jones on July 22, 20033.00 stars
    Mt Leconte is my favorite destination and I have climbed the mountain 269 times as of June 28, 2003. I highly recommend hiking the mountain any season if you're properly prepaired. Winter hikes offer...
  • Log #9718 - by Dresden Simmons on July 04, 20033.00 stars
    Going to the top of Mt LeConte has been a dream for me and this October 2003 I am planning on calling non stop to get reservations for me and my family. Any tips to get reservations would be great....
  • Log #9719 - by Chris Noel on July 01, 20033.00 stars
    A very nice day hike going up by Alum Cave. If you want to stay the night, it is a lot cheaper and a lot less hassle to stay in a shelter than to stay at the ritzy Lodge. If you're in the Smokies,...
  • Log #9720 - by Kent on June 27, 20033.00 stars
    I have reservations for sale at LeCOnte Lodge for the nights of July 20 and July 21, 2003. If anyone would be interested please contact me-- Thanks, Kent
  • Log #9721 - by Rusty & Chris Scott on June 26, 20033.00 stars
    4 1/2 hours of bunrning legs via Rainbow Falls Trail to the summit. 3 hours down Bulls Head Trail realizing all along how hard it was on the way up. ~14 1/2 miles round trip. For out of shape first...
  • Log #9722 - by Larry Mergentime on Aug 23, 20023.00 stars
    Gorgeous climb. Very easy trail with fantastic views. Lots of people on the trails. Stayed overnight at the shelter.
  • Log #9723 - by Dave Thomas on July 17, 20023.00 stars
    My first trip up since moving to the flatlands in 1997. It's amazing how you think you're inshape on flat terrain, but through in a 3000' climb and you discover you're not! Ascended via Alum Cave...
  • Log #9724 - by Gene and Linda Jankowski on Apr 20, 20023.00 stars
    We are returning for the 2nd year this May. We have begun our physical conditioning and looking so forward to spending the night on this captivating mountain. We are joining our best friends, Bob and...
  • Log #9725 - by Bryan Spears on Mar 09, 20023.00 stars
    This was my 2nd hike ever and it was absolutely fantastic. The trail is wonderful with narrow pathways and overhanging rock crests. I went during the off-season and stayed in a nice 2-room motel for...
  • Log #9726 - by michael nunn on Jan 24, 20023.00 stars
    We hiked from Newfound Gap to Ice water shelter then down to leconte. we climed it in really good time. The shelters are in great shape. Their is a beautiful view from the top.
  • Log #9727 - by Chris Dover on Dec 30, 20013.00 stars
    THE WINTER MONTHS ARE THE BEST!!!!! Have traveled all the official trials and 2 unofficial, by far the unofficial are the best. No trail, no signs of anything human, and greatest of all it's more...
  • Log #9728 - by Cyd Read on Nov 06, 20013.00 stars
    We summitted this peak via the boulevard trail and it was amazing. The views are incredible and the sunset from Cliff Tops was breathtaking. The air was brisk and a dusting of snow lined the trail,...
  • Log #9729 - by Matthew Tarver on Mar 13, 20013.00 stars
    Summited this mountain once from the Alum Cave Trail when hiking to the lodge, and once from the Boulevard Trail staying in the shelter on top. Next on the list is summiting from the Rainbow Falls...
  • Log #9730 - by Keith Ladd Moses on Dec 22, 20003.00 stars
    I hav been to the top of many mountains in many places, but not much can match the beauty of the great smoky mountains. Mount leconte was one of the first mountains i climbed--i found it to be just...
  • Log #9731 - by Travis Sutton Byrd on Dec 07, 20003.00 stars
    As a former crew member, and one who was married at the top of LeConte (the llamas carried the champagne), I highly recommend the boulevard trail both for its varied ascents and descents, as well as...
  • Log #9732 - by Travis Sutton Byrd on Dec 07, 20003.00 stars
    Being from the Gatlinburg area, I grew up with LeConte as my backyard. Tim and Lisa Line, the general managers of Wilderness Hospitality are longtime friends, as are John and Donna Mansfield, the...
  • Log #9733 - by Patsy Lovedahl on July 13, 20003.00 stars
    Could not make my annual trip this year, really did miss the hike, I hope to be able to get reservation the fall. If you have reservation and can not keep them please e-mail me. If you don't pick up...
  • Log #9734 - by Jim Bardin on June 07, 19993.00 stars
    The view from the top of this mountain is stunning...especially when the Smokies are decorated in their fall colors. Alum Cave Bluffs is an amazing site to see. I was able to ascend and descend the...