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Mount Leconte: 6-Routes 3-Summits

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 4.8 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Experience ALL of Leconte in a single hike!


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Map Key

50.2

Miles

80.7

KM

Point to Point

6,583' 2,007 m

High

1,899' 579 m

Low

11,352' 3,460 m

Up

12,068' 3,678 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

42%

Max Grade (23°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Be sure to check current conditions before heading out.

Overview

Mount Leconte is the third highest point in Tennessee behind Mount Guyot, and the second highest point in TN that does not have a paved road to the top (looking at you Clingmans Dome...). Leconte drawing tens of thousands of hikers each year, who generally pick one of the 6 main routes to the summits.

You really can't go wrong when picking a route on Leconte, but what if you picked all 6 routes, would this make you more right?

Need to Know

Access:
No fees to entering the park or for day use of the trails. Overnight camping is permitted/fee-based.

All trailheads on this route (with the exception of Porters Creek) can become crowded, parking may be hard to find.

Facilities:
Pit toilets are located at each trailhead (with the exception of Porters Creek) and are generally unlocked. Pit toilets are seasonally open at the Lodge on Leconte and a privy is located behind the Leconte Shelter.

Water:
Water is petty much available year-round at the Lodge on Leconte either from a potable tap or a spring. Streams and creeks intersect most trail sections as you reach lower elevations. All spring, stream, and creek water should be treated.

Weather:
You'll cover elevations between 1,800 feet and 6,500', the weather can vary greatly across these elevations in the Smokies.

Description

Route description from the FKT website.

Start at Rainbow Falls Trail and complete the first ascent to the lodge, then descend via Trillium Gap to the Rainbow Falls Trail. Then take Bull Head Trail and complete the second ascent, but cut off just shy of the lodge to descend Alum Cave Trail. Travers from Alum Cave Trail (HWY441) to Newfound Gap by car. Then begin the third ascent via the Northbound AT to the Boulevard Trail over the summit of Leconte to the lodge. Descend again the Trillium Gap Trail and then down Brushy Mountain and finally Porter's Creek Trail. Finish at the gate at the Porter's Creek Trailhead. I think this is probably the easiest way to complete all six trails anyway, but I thought it would be helpful to clarify the route.

fastestknowntime.com/route/…

lecontelog.blogspot.com/201…

Flora & Fauna

Visit the NPS website for more information.

History & Background

Visit the NPS website for more information.

Contacts

Shared By:

Anthony Groft with improvements by Ben Roberts

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 4 votes

#4

in Roaring Fork

#1993

Overall
  4.8 from 4 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#4

in Roaring Fork

#1,993

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1,323 Since Mar 17, 2020
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Photos

Stream in the Smoky Mtns.
Sep 3, 2015 near Gatlinburg, TN
Resting the legs after a long hike up. This view from atop Mt. Leconte is known as Cliff Top.
Mar 31, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Leave Only Your Footprints. The scene from Grotto Falls after a February morning snow fall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From Dec. to mid-March, the trail begins at the Rainbow Falls Trailhead (6 miles r/t). Rest of the year, you can begin at Trillium Gap Trailhead for a 2.6-mile hike.
Apr 7, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Rainbow Falls
Sep 4, 2015 near Gatlinburg, TN
Grotto Falls
Sep 4, 2015 near Gatlinburg, TN
Alum Cave in the fog
Dec 30, 2015 near Gatlinburg, TN

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Oct 12, 2020
David Zacher
10mi — 7h 30m