Alum Cave Trail
At A Glance
5 mi one-way
Difficulty Rating: 5 (Most Difficult)
Steepness: Climbs Steeply
Tread Condition: Very Rough
This trail is located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park area. For a list of all the trails in that area, see the Great Smoky Mountains National Park trails list page.
Though this trail is the shortest route to the peak of Mount Leconte, it isn't easy. The trail climbs 1200 feet in its shorter distance making it quite steep. Lower sections of the trail are beautiful and heavily traveled, especially up to Arch Rock and Alum Cave Bluffs, a huge, overhanging cliff located about halfway up the trail. There is very little use beyond the Bluffs. Travels through a Northern hardwood forest near the bottom; the upper end is nearly all boreal Spruce-fir forests. Very scenic; passes true knife ridges, landslide scars, and clings to cliffs with wire cables for handrails. Highly recommended - whatever portion you can hike.
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