It’s officially opening day for the 2021 season, and our crew is excited to welcome folks back and get things started. It should be a mostly sunny Monday although still a bit chilly with temps bouncing between the 20s and 30s. We received a light rainfall late yesterday afternoon, but not enough worth shaking a stick at. Continue to watch for icy patches along the trails.
Here’s a quick rundown of what visitors can expect when coming to the lodge...
*Pursuant to federal law, masks are required in all public buildings (Gift Shop and Dining Hall) and outside where six foot distancing cannot be maintained. Thank you for respecting our staff as they too abide by the law.
*Overnight guests will still be served meals in their respective cabins.
*Hot beverages are only available to overnight guests at select times. There are no beverage services for day hikers at this time.
*Occupancy limits in the public buildings (Gift Shop and Dining Hall) remain in effect. All services are “to-go,” meaning no inside dining or lounging.
*Lunches and snacks are currently being sold from the Gift Shop during the hours posted.
Interested parties wanting to learn more about visiting or staying at the Lodge should visit our official website www.lecontelodge.com or call our reservations office for details. Do not submit inquiries through this blog if you are desiring a prompt response, as its primary focus is providing daily weather and trail information.
As is our Opening Day tradition, it’s time to unveil the ever famous “I Hiked It” shirt design for 2021. Simplistic and cozy feeling, a great callback to enjoyable evenings snuggled up by lamp light. As the name implies, it’s only available up top, so make the climb and earn your next badge of honor!
Have a great start to the week.
It’s another stunning gorgeous day across East Tennessee. Despite a short-lived cap cloud hovering over the summit this morning, we’ve been basking in clear skies. Visitors to the mountain have been afforded grand views from all of our famous vistas. Temps have been hanging around the 30s, somewhat pleasant in the sunshine while cool in the shade. There is still plenty of ice on the ground and trees refusing to let go, so continue to come prepared with traction devices for those sketchy places.
Monday marks Opening Day for the 2021 season. Our crew has been working expeditiously to put the finishing touches on the lodge in anticipation of our first arrivals. The gift shop opens at noon, and supper for overnight guests will kickoff at the usual 6:00 PM Eastern. We’re essentially picking up right where we left off last year in terms of COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Visitors can find all the pertinent information in advance of their stay on our official website www.lecontelodge.com. And there will plenty of helpful instructional signage around lodge grounds keeping visitors informed and safe.
Have a great end of the weekend.
It’s still a bit of an icy winter wonderland up here. Thankfully the skies cleared overnight giving way to a beautiful Saturday sunrise. The next several days will be cooler than earlier in the week, but the sunshine should persist as we get closer to our opening day on Monday. We barely reached the freezing mark yesterday afternoon and are beginning today around 20°. Trace amounts of ice and snow are present around the top of the mountain, and the upper portions of trails are sure to be slick.
The weather conditions yesterday were interesting to observe yesterday. The thermometer read cold, but it felt mild out in the open air. The clouds produced a fine mist, the ground was soft and squishy, and the dripping of snow melt could be heard from rooftops. All while ice continued to form thicker and thicker on spruce and fir tree branches, causing them to sag lower and lower. An odd phenomenon of simultaneous freeze and thaw here at the lodge. The sun will surely take care of the remaining white stuff today and bring back the sense of an impending spring.
The crew is still chipping away at getting the lodge ready for hosting guests. Even though our airlift resupply is complete, we do not provide any services until Monday, March 22nd. Despite the sunny weather expected, all visitors need to come prepared for the cold conditions and tote plenty of food/water.
Have a great weekend.
We know better than to think winter was over up here, and one can always count on March to be that not-so-subtle reminder. After another 1.5” of rainfall (and some hail) yesterday, temps began to plummet after sunset. We got well into the 20s, and in the middle of the night our precip transitioned over from rain to ice then snow. Total accumulation is about an inch, but it has coated everything and will surely create innumerable slick places. It’s possible we’ll get above the freezing mark today, but not by much if we do.
US 441 (Newfound Gap Rd) is currently open, so it’s likely that the iciest spots have been relegated to the higher elevations. Please use caution and consider traction devices for traversing the mountain today and probably tomorrow until the sunshine works its magic. Conditions up top should remain cloudy until late this evening when skies will clear, with lingering light snow or mist possible. The weekend is forecast to be sunny and beautiful, and with spring breaks ramping up it could be a busy time in the Smokies.
Have a great day.
St. Patrick’s Day brought plenty of good luck to the top of Mt. LeConte yesterday. Clear skies, comfortable temps, and no wind made for impeccable flying conditions. Our team was able to knock the last loads of our annual resupply by lunch. It wasn’t long after the clouds rolled in, then started falling down, and the winds ramped up. And boy did they ramp up. Gusts of 70mph were forecast, and if the mountain didn’t get that high, it sure got close. It was still pouring plenty at recording time, at which point we had already rallied 2.12” of rain. Temps ranged from 53° to 38°, and we’ve been in the 40s much of the day. Skies are clearing for the afternoon, but more rain is anticipated for most of Friday. Could we see chillier temps and whiter precip? Stay tuned!
A special thank you to the outstanding men and women who contributed to our resupply effort these past several days. Your passion and commitment to our mission makes what we do possible. From slinging boxes, to wrapping pallets, driving flatbeds, regulating traffic patterns, and collecting trash, all roles big and small yet equally crucial to getting our season kickstarted.
Now that all of the goods are here, well that just means there’s more work to be done! Rain or shine, our team is charging hard toward Opening Day.
We were dealt a winning hand yesterday when it came to kicking off our annual airlift. Despite the dreary forecast, conditions across the peaks remained favorable enough for flying. Hats off to the courageous pilots for slinging the loads safely in the gusty winds.
Even though Monday was a sunup to sundown work day, there is still more supplies to bring in, so lodge grounds remain closed to public access. Although it looked promising for getting in some flight time today, the clouds at our staging area refuse to let go. So it’s on to the next task!
Temps got as low as 34° last night, but quickly shot back up into the 40s, and that’s where we’re at still. No time
for musings, there’s work to be done to get this place ready for guests!
Have a great rest of the day.
Well the clouds have taken hold of the summit for the time being, despite producing little rain over the last day and a half. In fact, there have been numerous moments where the lodge can look out between cloud layers. Winds remain calm and temps mild in the 40s. The forecast has turned more favorable than was originally portrayed, with Monday looking partly cloudy and the rain waiting til the evening. That’s all fine and dandy, but only if the clouds decide to let up. We have supplies to fly!
Today the lodge goes into “submarine mode,” as our airlift personnel work diligently to prep outgoing loads, tackle maintenance projects, and the crew cleans with gusto. Lodge grounds will remain closed until the completion of our resupply for both the safety of our team and of course hikers to the mountain. The pit privies remain open, and signs are posted directing hikers to the natural spring water source.
A special shout out to our staging team at Luftee, gathering and assembling our air-destined loads this weekend. They work hard and efficiently to help bring us so many of the goods and services we provide up here.
Have a great end to the week.
The streak of sunshine officially ended yesterday afternoon, but not until after our crew rolled safely into the lodge. The mountain received 0.65” of rainfall, with temps ranging from 47-41°. Winds have actually calmed since the evening, and the mountain keeps dancing between cloud layers. Trail conditions will be wet for the first time in a while, so mind your steps if you’re visiting the area.
Commence epic cleaning! The crew will get their annual indoctrination of preseason life on LeConte, which means lots of elbow grease and deep scrubbing. The forecast appears less than ideal for quick flying, so our resupply
process could last a little longer this go round. That won’t stop us from doing what we can to get ready for lodge opening.
No time to wish away the clouds. Work to be done! Have a great weekend.
Slowly but surely the clouds begin to encroach skies over the Smoky Mountains. One can still see the city lights of the valley quite clearly, and the stars were keeping us company much of the night, but a grey veil is forming overhead. Breezes have calmed for the time being, although that is not expected to last, with the weekend forecast looking quite blustery. Temps remain mild fortunately, making all the necessary outdoor trekking comfortable. Yesterday’s high temp reached 55° and our low was only 40°.
The incoming rain has been delayed slightly, so today might end up just being cloudy and gloomy. One can count on the LeConte Corps of Engineers taking full advantage expeditiously marching through outdoor tasks. A postponement of rain also means more accommodating weather conditions for our new crew making their first ascent of the season today. This weekend the cleaning and organizing of the lodge resumes in earnest. The excitement and optimism is soaring, regardless of what the weather throws our way.
It’s up before the sun with lots to do! Have a great day.
It’s looking like today could be our last completely dry day on the mountain for a while. Hitting the ole refresh button on the forecast hoping for a change doesn’t quite seem to be working out. Winds picked up overnight and will be sticking around for a couple days, slowly blowing out the clear skies and bringing in the clouds and rain. So much of what we do up here is dictated by the weather. We’ve got one more solid day of tinkering with outdoor projects, then we’ll have to get creative with indoor tasks once the conditions sour.
Wednesday was a delightful day to be on the mountain, and a great number of day hikers thought so too. A sunny day in early March with a high temp in the mid 50s? We’ll take it! The evening’s low temp scraped the upper 30s, which in these breezes can have a bit of a bite. Best to have those layers if a summit of the mountain is in your plans today.
As we normally do during our airlift resupply, lodge grounds will be closed to the public to ensure the safety of our personnel and those visitors intent on coming to the mountain. Hikers will have access to the pit privies at the extreme west end of camp, but no other building or part of the premises. Hikers will need to bring enough water for the duration of their trip, or come prepared to treat/boil water from a nearby natural spring. And since we know the forecast shows plenty of wet weather potential, it is the responsibility of each individual hiker to come dressed appropriately for the conditions, as there will be no shelter available at the lodge until the resupply is complete. Visitors to the mountain can of course check out Cliff Tops or Myrtle Point, as those are well enough away from the lodge. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
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!