Mt. LeConte Lodge
Great Smoky Mountains State Park
You could call this lodge a magical place in my book. It should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list. I am sure a lot of other folks would agree with us. There is something that draws you to the whole area. This year, 2015 was our 9th trip to hike up to the lodge and spend the night.
If you are lucky and have great weather please make it a point to hike out to the Cliff Tops to see the sunset. Also please hike to Myrtle Point early in the morning to see the sunrise. Usually there is a group of people that you can follow the short distance to both. In the nine times we have hiked up there we have only gotten to see a really good sunset and sunrise on one occasion.
The only way up to the lodge is to hike via 5 different trails. Alum Cave is the most popular, but the steepest at 4.9 miles. The Boulevard is 8.0 miles from New Found Gap parking lot. Bullhead is 6.9 miles, Rainbow falls is 6.6 miles and it runs parallel to Bullhead. Trillium Gap is 8.9 miles and this trail is the trail used by the llamas to haul supplies to the lodge.
If you go we recommend that you get a real early start up the mountain. You will want to get there early enough to enjoy the whole place. There is a lot to explore and a lot of scenery to see.
People started hiking and climbing the mountain in the early 20th century. Mostly for the challenge and to see the awesome views. Around 1925 a man named Paul Adams established a camp on top of LeConte west of Basin Springs. This was so the Conservation Association guests and hikers would have a place to sleep and food to eat for a fee. That winter Paul Adams built a small cabin. The next year in 1926 Jack Huff took over and started LeConte Lodge. The National Park Service now has control over the area and the lodge is operated as a park concession thru LeConte Lodge LTD Partnership.
It is extremely difficult to get a Reservation, most are booked a year in advance. The telephone number is 865-222-2222. You may also want to check out www.highonleconte.com to see their daily post and awesome pictures of the area surrounding the lodge.
In the winter the lodge is closed for business but there is a fulltime live in caretaker who makes almost daily posts on the life up there.
Additional Photos at: Mt. LeConte Photos