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Mt. Le Conte: August Classic Hike of the Smokies

September 9, 2016

  • Classic Hike group - LeConte Lodge - August 2016

by Julie Dodd

Sunset from Cliff Tops

Even if there’s not a clear sunset, the view from Cliff Tops is inspiring. Photos by Marielle DeJong

The August Classic Hike of the Smokies included a special feature — an overnight at LeConte Lodge on Aug. 23.

The adventure started with the 26 hikers leaving their cars in the Alum Cave Trail parking lot and being taken by bus to the Rainbow Falls trailhead for the hike to Mt. Le Conte.

The group, led by master hiker Danny Bernstein, was joined by Jennifer Hale, an interpretive park ranger, who provided insights about the wildflowers and wildlife and Mt. Le Conte.

Once atop Mt. Le Conte, hikers enjoyed dinner in the dining hall and did the short hike to Cliff Tops to see the sunset.

LeConte Lodge dinner table - August 2016

Friends of the Smokies hikers celebrated their hiking success at dinner at LeConte Lodge.

The hike down the next day was via Alum Cave Trail. Tobias Miller and Eric Wood joined the hike and provided commentary on the trail restoration work being completed by the FOTS Trails Forever crew. This is the second year of trail work on Alum Cave.

The mileage for the Classic Hike =

6.7 miles for Rainbow Falls Trail
0.4 mile (roundtrip) on Cliff Tops
1.4 miles (roundtrip) for Myrtle Point
5.0 miles for Alum Cave Trail
for a total of 13.5 miles

Alum Cave Bluff

Alum Cave Bluff is one of the many photo opportunities on the Alum Cave Trail. The group of FOTS hikers in the background are learning about the locust log staircase built by the Trails Forever crew.

For those who have hiked all the 2016 Classic Hikes, their mileage is 52 miles toward the Hike 100 Challenge.

To read more about the hike, visit Danny’s blog.

You can see more photos from the hike on the Friends of the Smokies Facebook page.

Two Classic Hikes are scheduled for September — September 13 to Mt. Cammerer and Sept. 27 the Deep Creek Loop. Register in advance for the hikes at hike.friendsofthesmokies.org

[For those who are wondering — There is a difference is the spacing for Mt. Le Conte and LeConte Lodge.]