March is going out like a lion. The wind and rain have started and are expected to last throughout the day. A Wind Advisory is in effect until 1:00 PM today with gusts of 50 mph possible at times. There is also a Flash Flood Watch in effect until 8:00 PM tonight, with the potential for heavy rains and swelling creeks still a bit saturated from our most recent storms. There is a slight chance for ice/snow early Friday, but that will depend on the timing of temperature drops and lingering precip. Guests hiking up today should come prepared with traction devices just in case the trek down on Friday is a slick one. Otherwise, come ready for wet and soggy conditions.
Tuesday was another beautiful day on the mountain, full of sunshine and mild temps reaching the mid 50s. Our overnight low never escaped the mid 40s. By all indications the lodge and national park will be a busy place the remainder of this week and next as spring breakers visit the region. The holiday weekend will start out cool, but with so much sunny weather in the forecast, the crowds are sure to be out on the trails.
Be safe and have a great day.
You’d think someone left the light on last night, but it was just the moon filling the clear starry sky with a brilliant white. And the city lights below seemed to stretch on forever in the valley north to Kentucky and beyond. We’ll be experiencing a roller coaster of weather conditions in the coming days. Yesterday started off frigid cold in the teens, but once the sun rose above High Top, it took little time to get things warmed up as we leaped well into the 40s. Our overnight low dipped back down around freezing, but we are looking at another stunningly sunny day on the mountain once again with slightly warmer day time temps. Wednesday will see the return of rain, and dare we say, snow?
It’s spring break season in the Smokies. Yesterday was the busiest it’s been on the mountain since last autumn, and when you throw such great weather into the mix, there’s little wonder as to why. With the surge in visitation the next couple weeks flanking the Easter holiday, it’s a good time to remind everyone to be sure and pack plenty of patience for your visit to the Park. Traffic jams, full parking lots, bustling trails, and wait times for bathrooms and gift shops can be expected when you’re the most visited national park. Our crew is working hard to keep things moving and grooving up here, in addition to the various health and safety protocols, so your understanding and patience upon arriving at the lodge is greatly appreciated, as always.
Have a great day.
Welcome back winter. It’s a biting chill in the air to kickoff these last few days of March. Once the storms finally subsided yesterday, the temps decided to drop and quickly. We started in the mid 40s but are waking up to the mid teens today. Conditions were cloudy and windy much of Sunday, with another nearly 2” of rainfall coming down over the last two days. Skies began to break open around dusk treating crew and guests to a colorful sunset intermixed with mist and cloud. Now that we have at least a couple days lined up with nothing but sunshine, that should allow creek levels to subside and the ground to dry up some. Temps throughout the week are going to be cooler than what we’ve been enjoying of late, specifically come mid week. Wednesday is calling for rain that could transition over to ice and snow at night. We’ll watch that forecast closely.
We have a lot of cool swag available up here for visitors this season, and several new pieces are sure to draw interest. One of our latest additions is a collector’s series of sorts. Mt. LeConte is home to several outstanding trails that offer something unique and memorable for everyone. At a time when distancing and avoiding crowds is preferred, what better time than now to hit up some new trails to and from the lodge? Made by our same friends at Mountain Graphics who produce our awesome stickers, now you can reward yourself with an exclusive patch to remember your achievement. Hiked then all? Then seal the deal with the patch that says you’ve conquered every footpath on the mountain. Like our famous “I Hiked It” shirts, these beauties are only sold up top.
Have a great day.
It’s shaping up to be another soaker of a day on Mt. LeConte. Yesterday saw a handful of storms pass through in the afternoon and evening, with occasional glimpses of the sun. But today looks like the rain and clouds are going to hang around much longer. Temps ranged from the lower 40s to mid 50s. A Flash Flood Watch is still active until 8:00 PM tonight, and a Wind Advisory now calling for gusts of 50 mph is in effect until 2:00 PM this afternoon. Skies should let up and possibly clear by tonight, but only after dumping a couple more inches of rain and causing nearby creeks to rise. As of now US 441 (Newfound Gap Rd) as well as Cherokee Orchard remain open, but be sure and use caution out there in these conditions and come dressed to keep dry and warm on trail.
Have a great end to the week.
What a pleasant day Friday turned out to be. A few lingering clouds in the morning didn’t hang around too long, giving way to clear skies the rest of the day. The air was calm and temps reached as high as 57°. And it didn’t stop there, as mountain-top residents were treated to one of the better sunsets of the year thus far, colors lasting well past the big orb dropped behind the horizon. Once the last of the oranges faded, the nearly full moon took over, lighting up the night sky and casting long shadows of tall spruces and firs. A walk by moonlight was in order, a scene appreciated even more by refraining from use of a headlamp (not recommended for the not-so-sure footed).
This weekend appears to be a wet one, as the clouds return and the breezes along with them. Later this morning thunderstorms are expected to fire up, producing heavy rainfall at times with wind gusts getting as high as 45 mph. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect from 8:00 AM today through 8:00 PM Sunday, especially since the ground is still decently saturated from our most recent storm. Again, use caution on trail as trees sway and rivers swell. For the moment, US 441 (Newfound Gap Rd) remains open.
Be safe and a have great weekend.
The wind and rain hounded the mountain all day and all night yesterday, delivering some hefty blows at times. The rain was almost a constant presence, ranging anywhere from a light mist to a gully washer producing 3” total. The wind gusts were more of a one-two punch, strongest in the morning hours, and then surging once again in the evening. The clouds seemed like they were rocketing over the mountain top all day, and it’s likely we got every bit of the predicted 70+ mph gusts. The occasional booms of thunder certainly made it feel more like spring than winter. Temps hung around the lower 40s all day.
The rain has stopped, there are still some strong breezes, but conditions appear to be improving as we witness sunrise. Today should turn out to be a beautiful day across East Tennessee. As of now, US 441 (Newfound Gap Rd) is still closed, so hikers eager for an early start will need to hit up Cherokee Orchard. Be sure to make note of any trail hazards like downed trees so that we can promptly report them to the NPS. We were made aware of at least on tree down on Alum higher up. Thunderstorms are expected to return Saturday, so it’s looking like a wet weekend is in store.
Have a great day.
The weather is proving most challenging when it comes to trying to post today. A simultaneous High Wind Warning and Flash Flood Watch are currently in effect, expected to last into Friday morning. Wind gusts upwards of 70 mph are anticipated, especially across the higher elevations. An accruement of heavy rain could also lead to swelling streams causing localized flash flooding.
US 441 (Newfound Gap Rd) is now temporarily closed on account of the deteriorating weather conditions, and will likely not reopen until the warnings have expired and the road assessed. Cherokee Orchard remains open, and the northern side of the mountain will be slightly more sheltered from the strong winds pushing up from the south. Reminder that the crossing of LeConte Creek along Rainbow Falls can be dangerous when the water runs high, so that trail is inadvisable until the storm has passed. Although any and all unbridged creek crossings along the mountain's trails could be manageable now, they will become much rougher as the day progresses. Anyone starting up the trail this late should use great caution.
US 441 (Newfound Gap Rd) is temporarily closed because of the current storm. A High Wind Warning and Flash Flood Watch are both in effect through today and into Friday morning. Wind gusts up to 70 mph are anticipated along with heavy rain that could cause streams to swell as the day progresses. Guests looking to get an early start on the trail Friday morning may have to use one of the trails out of Cherokee Orchard, as US 441 likely will not reopen until GSMNP has had a chance to assess the roadway for hazards.
The boys are back in town! First llama trip of the season in the books, and our llamas and courageous wranglers had a wonderful summit. Good to see our favorite fuzzy friends getting back into the grind along with us. The day started out cloudy and misty, but by about the time the llamas left the lodge, skies began to clear and warm the air. Currently above 50° for the first time in a while. Feels marvelous to be out working in the sun.
We have a High Wind Warning that kicks off tonight and is expected to last all day Thursday. Gusts with the potential for 70mph like we witnessed about a week ago. Also the chance for showers and thunderstorms. The park may elect to close US 441 due to the threat of falling trees over its many paved miles, so hikers should have an alternate route to the lodge in mind.
Time to get back at it. The smell of delicious chocolate chip cookies are filling the air, or at least around the kitchen anyways.
It was a beautiful first day of the season, with nothing but sunshine blanketing the mountain. Turned out to be one of the warmer days up here in a while, a sign that perhaps spring is indeed on the way. (Although there’s still potential for snow these next couple months). Our daytime high temp came in at 47° while our overnight low skirted just above freezing. The city lights are twinkling below to kickstart this Tuesday, but the forecast is calling for an increase in cloud activity these next couple days. Closer to the weekend we could see the return of some rain.
A decent amount of melt finally happened yesterday, but there will still be some icy patches on trail. Now that we are seeing a jump in visitor traffic, we’re getting more intel
on the various trails accessing the mountain. We can confirm that Alum Cave, Rainbow Falls, and Trillium Gap are clear of debris and obstructions. As always, if you come across anything hazardous en route to the lodge, please let our crew know so we can report it to the NPS.
Have a great day.
Welcome to the official blog of LeConte Lodge. We hope you find the information provided here both helpful and enjoyable. Thank you for visiting the site, and we hope to see you on the mountain!