While the entire trail is technically nine miles, most hikers choose to drive roughly two miles in and park at the Grotto Falls parking area. Mount LeConte rewards eager hikers with impressive views of the surrounding mountains and National Park that can only be seen at higher elevations. Cliff Top has 180° views and Myrtle has 270° views. The mountain is crossed by several trails, many of which intersect each other at various junctions. The ridge lines were really cool and reminded me of mountain vertebrae. We got our backcountry permits and camped at the Mt. Just prior to reaching the junction you will have passed the LeConte Lodge on your right. LeConte summit was a pile of rocks on the right. From the #8 traffic light, follow along Airport Road and begin traveling out of Gatlinburg toward the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Officially, the U.S. Geological Survey recognizes Joseph LeConte as its namesake, a famous geologist and founding member of the Sierra Club. Route: Rainbow Falls Trail to LeConte Lodge and down Bullhead Trail. Leconte. The waterfall is located about 2.7 miles from the trailhead. The Rainbow Falls Trail to Mount LeConte is a challenging 13.8 mile hike with a total elevation gain of 3,993 feet. The Lodge serves as a grandstand for the entire Park and commands spectacular views of the Smokies. From here the Rainbow Falls trail is just under 14 miles to the summit of Mount Leconte. LeConte you'll still have to walk another three-tenths of a mile. LeConte. For the majority of hikers, the falls are the reward of the hike, and serve as the turnaround point. It has a total elevation gain from trailhead to summit of nearly 4,000 feet and covers a whopping 13.8 miles roundtrip. Awesome experience!Took us 9 hrs but worth it ! Allow an hour and a half to Rainbow Falls and four hours to Mt LeConte. After walking another four-tenths of a mile you'll reach the Alum Cave Trail, which branches off to the right. my knees were screaming & felt lucky to have reached the parking lot. The trailhead can be found just shortly in on the Rainbow Falls Trailhead. © 2020 AllTrails, Inc. Tous droits réservés. LeConte. The Rainbow Falls Trail is fairly challenging if completed all the way to Mt LeConte. If you plan to reach the peak, we recommend starting your hike early in the day to allow plenty of time to return before dark. made it as far as the lodge, but after talking to other hikers, they said it was another 400-500 feet up. Bring a water filter though since there is still a lot of animal activity in the area. The spur trail was very narrow and difficult to see over the vegetation. Note that there is additional parking 0.1 miles past the primary lot. The entire trail is actually 8.9 miles when starting at Cherokee Orchard (sharing a trailhead with Rainbow Falls) but the popular starting place is just off Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, with the summit only 6.7 miles away. We went up Rainbow Falls and down Bullhead, while stopping at Mt LeConte at the top. After driving 0.7 miles veer right onto Cherokee Orchard Road, upon … LeConte. Beautiful weather. The trail opens along a fairly rocky and rooty traverse overlooking Leconte Creek. I really was not prepared. LeConte, you have to strike out with some intention, some resolve, and at least some sense of adventure. Highlights from a beautiful fall hike to Mt LeConte via Rainbow Falls Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To reach the summit, which can be found approximately 4 miles past Rainbow Falls, you will also hike a small part of the Bull Head Trail and Alum Cave Trail. I had a sincere emotional reaction at the top. 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