Good Afternoon and Happy Sunny Saturday!
Despite the possibility of late day showers, the sun has been king the last two days on the mountain. We've had some toasty temps rolling through the valley earlier this week, so use the mountain as your reprieve from the heat. We've been basking in the 60's the last few days and the occasional breeze makes it feel glorious. Our high temperature yesterday topped out at 66 degrees, while our overnight low was an incredibly mild 52. The rain struggled to get established, leaving us with a sad 0.02" of precipitation over the period.
The mountain continues to come alive as the greenery slowly makes its ascent. The Mountain Myrtle are in peak bloom at Inspiration Point, while the Catawba Rhododendron are just beginning to open up there. Several of the mid to upper elevation trees you might see in bloom would be the Fire Cherry or Service Berry trees. Regarding what's closer to the ground, Painted Trillium, Thyme-Leaved Bluets, and Yellow Bead Lily are starting to come out in force. The famous displays of Myrtle that call Cliff Tops and Myrtle Point home are still several days out from peak bloom.
We have had increased bear activity in camp and around the backcountry shelter recently. Effective since last night, the LeConte Shelter is officially closed until the NPS deems it safe to reopen for overnight visitors. All questions and reservations pertaining to the shelter are of course handled by the NPS, not the lodge. As we regularly advise our guests, please be responsible with your belongings and behaviors around bears. Don't leave doors to unoccupied buildings open, keep your belongings that carry scents inside, and don't entice the animals with your packs or food. Stay in groups, make noise, stand on higher ground, and alert a crew member should you see one.
The photograph you see above is that of the Rufus Morgan Shelter located along the Appalachian Trail, taken this past week while ascending Wesser Bald. It resides about 1.0 mile south of the iconic Nantahala River crossing at the NOC on Hwy 19. Rev. Rufus Morgan has interesting ties to Mt. LeConte, having hiked the mountain 172 times well into his 90s, even with deteriorating eye sight. He made lasting contributions to this mountainous region, and one that is unique to this lodge is that his preferred table of choice is currently named in his honor. Morgan Table sits closest to our Dining Hall's propane heater, while most others' names are in reference to cardinal directions, size, or shape. If you've ever had the pleasure of feasting on one of our famous meals at this table, now you know a bit more about its special history.
We have been really lucking out with these sunsets!
68/50 were our temps and it looks like, from up here anyway, that we will be getting some rain today! There is a good chance of it so pack accordingly.
We have llamas today and Monday.
Everyone have a fantastic weekend!
We were socked in this morning! No sunrise, just greys. It has burned off over the course of the day but there is a 30% chance of rain today and 50% tomorrow and Saturday, so pack accordingly!
67/49 were the temps with an almost chilly breeze in the late afternoon.
We can already see masses of coneflowers and monkshood appearing, won't be long before camp is covered in blossoms!
We also have had a spike in insect activity. Besides the usual bees, yellow jackets, and flies various type of beetles and millipedes have been spotted about, and as usual, while one is without a camera.
Take pictures of what you find around camp!
Well, it's official.
70 was our high yesterday!
A pleasant 48 was the low, giving way to an amazing sunrise.
It sounds like we're in for quite a bit of rain the next few days so check your radars before coming up! Bring raingear just in case, it might not be raining at the trailhead but we can never tell what will happen up here.
Llamas on Friday!
It is almost too sunny up here. Hazey views into the valley, blue skies, slight breeze- truly beautiful weather.
64/43 were our temps and it got pretty warm today (70)! Bring water while hiking up, guys, and don't rush, nothing's worse than burning yourself out before you get up here!
The crew has been pretty active lately redecorating porches, making camping tarps, and even reparing llama troughs. Future projects include recaning chairs, building bookshelves, and maybe even a footstool.
Mr. Davis hung out around camp yesterday and whittled some really cool pieces- something new to try out in the future!
We had a beautiful Mother's Day up here. 60/38 temps and clear skies all around.
Hike on up and work on your tan!
This beast of a tree slid down on Trillium the other day blocking the entire trail and making it near impossible for hikers, making it impossible for our llama friends.
Luckily for us the trail crew is starting work on it today, thanks you guys!
If you ever find trees across or blocking the path please let us know! The sooner we know the sooner it can be removed. Specs of the tree, like placement and width, are fantastic to have, pictures even more so!
Especially on Trillium Gap trail; our llamas are smart but they can't wield chainsaws!
What a weird couple days!
It got pretty cold yesterday, all clouds until sunset and then the fog glowed with the various colors, spectacular!
49 quickly turned 34 and we had .35” of rain over the course of the day. Now it's sunshine, blue skies, and a bit on the windy side.
Rainbow Falls trail will be closed Mon-Thurs for the next several months so the fantastic team that improved Alum can get started on busting up rocks and other fun things.
Bullhead is still closed and will be for a while.
Trillium is open and will be all year but please, PLEASE be considerate of our llama truck and trailer and the llamas themselves in both the parking lot and on trail.
We have some boys in training so giving them space is greatly appreciated, follow the directions of the wranglers!
If you do have to park up the road and not in the parking lot please ensure that there is enough room for their trailer to get through.
After a hot day of hiking nothing's worse for llamas than a traffic jam!
They'll be up Mon/Wed/Fri this week.
Yesterday was odd. We were expecting storms all day but nothing happened until 4:00pm, just after all of the guests arrived!
Then we ended up with .62” of rain.
It's been nice with 62/44 temps and most of the crew are running around in shorts and sandals.
The past few days we've been spotting interesting animals and plants. Chickadees have taken up residence just outside of camp. Mama deer and teenager wander through camp bumping into people, salamanders scurry along after dark, snails covering every surface in the dawn and dusk.
We just saw our first pseudo scorpion. How bizarre.
Let us know what you spot during your time at LeConte!
After a glorious 64 day were were treated to a warm 47 overnight temperature.
We watched thunderstorms from our porches last night but mysteriously didn't receive much of anything ourselves.
It started sprinkling this morning with a promise of thunderstorms so please pack raingear!
You never know how fast the weather will turn.
Spring is fascinating inside of the park. Everything is budding and blooming and with the warmer temps you tend to see adorable baby animals poking around and stretching their new legs.
Please do not attempt to pet, hold, catch, or feed any animals, especially babies, if you come across them.
Any physical contact you have will negatively effect their chances of developing their survival instincts. You never know where their mother may be so please be respectful of their boundaries.
Instead watch them quietly from a good distance and take pictures!
Please leave room for the llamas and their wranglers!
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!