Alum Cave

Location: Western North Carolina
Trip Starts: US 441 (at Husky Gap Trailhead)
Trip Ends: US 441 (at Alum Cave Trailhead)
Total Distance: 28.6 miles
Hike Type: One-Way, Shuttle Hike
Hike Difficulty: Difficult
Trails Used: Husky Gap, Sugarland Mountain, Appalachian, Boulevard, Alum Cave Trails
Trail Traffic: Moderate to Heavy
Trip Type: Multi-Day Hike
More Information:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
(865) 436-1200


The Great Smoky Mountains get more annual visitors than any other National Park in the U.S., but surprisingly most people never see the backcountry which has some of the most pristine wilderness in the Southeast. On this hike, we started at US 441 and climbed to the Mount Collins Shelter via the Husky Gap and Sugarland Mountain Trails. Once on the ridge, we followed the Appalachian Trail across Newfound Gap and up to the Boulevard Trail which crosses the summit of Mount LeConte at 6593 feet. There is both a shelter and clustering of commercial buildings available for rent on the mountain, and both Myrtle Point and High Top have spectacular views near the summit. The shortest decent from Mount LeConte is via the Alum Caves Trail, and this hike follows the steep but scenic 4.9 mile trail back to US 441 about twelve miles north of the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

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