An EPIC Hiking Adventure up Mt Le Conte


My husband Cullen and I recently took a  trip to the Smokey Mountains. Our goal was to do some serious hiking. Well, we achieved that goal!


  • Today’s Blog highlights our hike up to the Mt Le Conte Summit. Elevation 6593. Click here for info Mt Le Conte  6.7 miles up and 6.7 miles back down.  At the summit there is a place known as, Mt Le Conte Lodge.  Click here Mt Le Conte Lodge for info.  Most hikers hike up one day spend night and come back down the next day.
  • We started our hike at the Trillium Gap Trail entrance at about 10:00AM and we exited the mountain at 8:06PM. We were really not sure whether we would make it out before dark. But we made just as the sun was setting.


  • Highlights of our hike was ofcourse the scenery along the way.  We had to walk under a waterfall that was part of the trail. Beautiful trees and intricate winding tree roots and mountain greenery. We met other hikers and exchanged stories of our hikes. 


  • The trail is considered “moderate ” but it is loaded with a lot of rocks that makes it difficult to have a steady firm step as the rocks were loose and moved as you stepped on them. 
  • Any hiker will tell you that the last mile of any long hike is the hardest and this one lived up to that claim – you get to the point where you just want to get there and get off the trail and be finished. However once you reach the summit you somehow forget all that you just went throught to get there because the view is SPECTACULAR- BREATHTAKING and just truly beautiful!!!


  • We explored the Mt Le Conte Lodge for a while, met some of the other hikers and spoke to several of the Lodge employees.  We were hoping to see the Llamas that come up the mountain with supplies for the lodge but they changed the day, so we didn’t get to see them. Read more about the “Llama Train” on the Mt Le Conte website.
  • After we rested and ate a late lunch we bought several of the kitchens, No Bake Cookies (a hiker we met on the trail up said to be sure to try them) So good!!
  • It was getting late so we packed up and headed back down the mountain. We thought it would take us less time to hike down but with the trail so rocky it was pretty hard and we did not make any better time.  We began to notice a lot of bear poop right smack dab on the trail as we descended. Not cool as the evening hours began to creep in on us. Then, about half way down we spotted a deer on the trail just a bit ahead of us. He would stop and nibble and look around and when we got a bit too close he would take off a little bit stop and repeat his nibbling. This went on for a while until he found a spot to disappear into. It was awesome to experience this as it kept our minds off our soar feet at this point.
  • What a great accomplishment we felt as we made it down and off the mountain. I would highly recommend this hike! But I would try to get lodging up on Mt Le Conte that way you can take your time hiking up- spend the night – then hike down the next day.  If you are hiking up and back in one day as we did …….. Start much earlier than 10:00AM !!!


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