Alum Cave Trail
Alum Cave Trail
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One of the most popular hikes in the park, it is the quick route to Mt. LeConte Lodge.
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  • rockinredhead
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must see in the Smokey Mountains
    Gorgeous hike on a beautiful day. Arrived at the trailhead parking lot at 10am on Memorial Day and it was already full but we found a spot quickly. This is a 4.6mile round trip hike that took about 1.5 hours to reach the cave and about an hour back. Moderate level hike especially after Arch Rock. Take your time as there is a lot to see and plenty of places to stop and enjoy the creek and then the gorgeous views. There are many bridges on the trail as it crisscrosses over the creek. Three bridges are wide and four others are narrow with a single handrail so this is a hike for well-behaved kids and pets.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 1 June 2023
  • Michelle
    34 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful
    We hiked to Alum Cave in early June with our 12 and 9 year old. It was a Wednesday at 9:30 and we had to park almost a mile away from the trailhead. We really enjoyed the variety of scenery - streams, bridges, rhododendrons in full bloom, the arch, sweeping views and ending with the cave. We stopped several times along the way for pictures on the way up. Once we reached the “cave” I was leery of the loose dirt and incline so we didn’t venture to much farther along. We really enjoyed the hike.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 9 June 2023
  • Dara S
    6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the Hike up the Mountain!
    This is not for Everyone, but we loved it!! It was our first stop on our trip because we didn't have anything planned for that day and we a day ahead. Glad we decided to do a day of hiking! Beautiful trail with lots of scenery and Breath taking views. The Arch, Inspiration Pointe and The Alum Cave are as far as we could make it, but there is more past the Cave. It took us 4 plus hours to do it what we did, but we stopped often in the beginning to take pictures. When you think you can't do more... you can. Just keep going!! Bring water and a snack with you!!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 20 July 2023
  • JoeGetIt
    Hinckley, Ohio46 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hike this for Fun but Don't Stop Here, Keep Going
    This is one of the must-hike trails in the Gatlinburg area. The trail is a constant climb up and the scenery is amazing! We went on a foggy day but by the time we submitted Mount LeConte, we had a very unique experience with standing in the clouds and having the rain be eye-to-eye with you instead of falling down. The hike to the cave itself isn't as bad as it sounds, but don't stop there! Go all the way to the top and experience what few people have.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 22 July 2023
  • Chris S
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin107 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best hike in the Smokys
    Our favorite hike in the park! First, you hike for about a mile along 2 rivers (plenty of spots to jump on rocks), then you hike through Arch rock, across unique bridges, and quite a bit of elevation. There are some tricky spots with steep drop-offs, so although you don't need to be a pro-hiker, you should be confident and have some stamina. The "cave" (a very large overhang 2+ miles up the trail) is a great place for lunch and to hang out for awhile before heading carefully back down the mountain. This is a popular trail, so arrive early. Many people use this trail to get all the way up to Mt. LaConte lodge.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 9 August 2023
  • GoVols79
    Chattanooga, Tennessee2,910 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Alum Cave Trail
    I hiked the Alum Cave Trail to the Mt LeConte Lodge on a weekday in July. I was worried about parking so I arrived about 6 am. There were a few open spots in the lot closest to the trail but they were filling up fast. It was still dark at this time so I had to start with a flashlight but it wasn’t bad. It took me about 2 hours and 15 minutes to get to the lodge but I move pretty fast. There were plenty of people on the trail taking their time to get up the mountain and there were also large groups of people running up the mountain so do whatever works best for you. Starting early was great as the weather got cooler the higher I went. After waking around the lodge for a bit I went to the Cliff Tops area which gave a great view of the valley when the clouds parted. It took about two hours to go down but the trail was much more crowded by this time. Many of the rocks are wet and can be slippery so good shoes are a must. I had a great time on this trail and would recommend it to anyone visiting the Smokies. If you just walk to Arch Rock it is still a fun and scenic hike.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 19 August 2023
  • LisaMNUSA
    Saint Paul, Minnesota990 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    My favorite trail in smoky
    We couldn't find parking near the trailhead, had to park about 1.5 miles away. The trail is along a creek in the beginning section, it was very pleasant walking along the creek, hearing the water flow and many small water falls. We passed some bridges, a couple of them are narrow with railing on one side, it was very interesting to walk on those bridges, then we arrived the arch. We continued to the cave. The fall colors were beautiful there. We took a break there, then head back.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 28 October 2023
  • Sue S
    Lafayette, Indiana53 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Scenic hike
    This is a beautiful trail! All ages could enjoy this, but it does involve an elevation change of 1200 feet, so take your time and be ready to climb. Get there early. We arrived around 9:30 am and had to park almost a mile away from the trail head. Take snacks and drinks to enjoy when you reach the bluff.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 2 April 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles468 reviews
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Average
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Sue S
Lafayette, IN53 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
This is a beautiful trail! All ages could enjoy this, but it does involve an elevation change of 1200 feet, so take your time and be ready to climb. Get there early. We arrived around 9:30 am and had to park almost a mile away from the trail head. Take snacks and drinks to enjoy when you reach the bluff.
Written 2 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Smittywall
Bad Axe, MI74 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Beautiful drive to trailhead. Not sure if it was because road was closed the day before or week before Easter but no way to park anywhere near trailhead. Park had closed off a few parking areas as well for no obvious reason making matters worse. After going back and forth, gave up and drove out to Tremont only to find road out there closed (yes could have checked site, although they bury the info on twitter page). Seems like a sign at visitor center with list of road closings would be efficient.
Written 29 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LisaMNUSA
Saint Paul, MN990 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
We couldn't find parking near the trailhead, had to park about 1.5 miles away.
The trail is along a creek in the beginning section, it was very pleasant walking along the creek, hearing the water flow and many small water falls. We passed some bridges, a couple of them are narrow with railing on one side, it was very interesting to walk on those bridges, then we arrived the arch. We continued to the cave. The fall colors were beautiful there. We took a break there, then head back.
Written 28 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PattyMcC7
Landisville, PA244 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
Great hike along the bolder-filled creek. Quiet, with just the water sounds and mini waterfalls every now and then. Sturdy bridges too. The parking lot was jammed at 8 am on a Monday with people parking offsite and walking to trailhead. We came back at 3 PM and there were plenty of spots in the lot. We only went to the cave (2.7 one way) so it worked for us.
Written 26 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GoVols79
Chattanooga, TN2,910 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Solo
I hiked the Alum Cave Trail to the Mt LeConte Lodge on a weekday in July. I was worried about parking so I arrived about 6 am. There were a few open spots in the lot closest to the trail but they were filling up fast. It was still dark at this time so I had to start with a flashlight but it wasn’t bad. It took me about 2 hours and 15 minutes to get to the lodge but I move pretty fast. There were plenty of people on the trail taking their time to get up the mountain and there were also large groups of people running up the mountain so do whatever works best for you. Starting early was great as the weather got cooler the higher I went. After waking around the lodge for a bit I went to the Cliff Tops area which gave a great view of the valley when the clouds parted.

It took about two hours to go down but the trail was much more crowded by this time. Many of the rocks are wet and can be slippery so good shoes are a must. I had a great time on this trail and would recommend it to anyone visiting the Smokies. If you just walk to Arch Rock it is still a fun and scenic hike.
Written 19 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carlene
196 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023
Parking is very limited, but if you can snag a spot (anywhere near the trail!) the hike is well worth it. Lots of bridges to cross, and the arch rock is like a secret hideaway.
Written 13 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris S
Milwaukee, WI107 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
Our favorite hike in the park! First, you hike for about a mile along 2 rivers (plenty of spots to jump on rocks), then you hike through Arch rock, across unique bridges, and quite a bit of elevation. There are some tricky spots with steep drop-offs, so although you don't need to be a pro-hiker, you should be confident and have some stamina. The "cave" (a very large overhang 2+ miles up the trail) is a great place for lunch and to hang out for awhile before heading carefully back down the mountain. This is a popular trail, so arrive early. Many people use this trail to get all the way up to Mt. LaConte lodge.
Written 9 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JoeGetIt
Hinckley, OH46 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023
This is one of the must-hike trails in the Gatlinburg area. The trail is a constant climb up and the scenery is amazing! We went on a foggy day but by the time we submitted Mount LeConte, we had a very unique experience with standing in the clouds and having the rain be eye-to-eye with you instead of falling down. The hike to the cave itself isn't as bad as it sounds, but don't stop there! Go all the way to the top and experience what few people have.
Written 22 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dara S
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
This is not for Everyone, but we loved it!! It was our first stop on our trip because we didn't have anything planned for that day and we a day ahead. Glad we decided to do a day of hiking! Beautiful trail with lots of scenery and Breath taking views. The Arch, Inspiration Pointe and The Alum Cave are as far as we could make it, but there is more past the Cave. It took us 4 plus hours to do it what we did, but we stopped often in the beginning to take pictures. When you think you can't do more... you can. Just keep going!! Bring water and a snack with you!!
Written 20 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michelle
34 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Family
We hiked to Alum Cave in early June with our 12 and 9 year old. It was a Wednesday at 9:30 and we had to park almost a mile away from the trailhead. We really enjoyed the variety of scenery - streams, bridges, rhododendrons in full bloom, the arch, sweeping views and ending with the cave. We stopped several times along the way for pictures on the way up. Once we reached the “cave” I was leery of the loose dirt and incline so we didn’t venture to much farther along. We really enjoyed the hike.
Written 9 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Alum Cave Trail - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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