The clouds are getting real friendly up here today, keeping things cool and grey. Showers finally rolled through last night and left us with 0.42" of liquid precipitation. It's been calm on that front this morning, but the radar shows some more rain and possible thunderstorms heading the Smokies' direction. Yesterday's high temperature was 60 degrees, and our low was a mild 50. These clouds are keeping us in the 50's currently.
Tomorrow is calling for more rain chances, but the winds are expected to play an increased role. Use caution on the trails if you intend to summit during these conditions. Things should clear up in time for the holiday.
I'd like to thank long time lodge friend, Mr. Buzz Tatham, for sharing the photograph seen below. It's always a treat to come across scenes and depictions of this mountain and famous backcountry experience way back when. Below is a view of the Dining Hall and Kitchen from circa 1966, back when our on-site office was located in the same building. There have been several modifications since that time, most notably to the windows, stair case, and turnover in area vegetation. There is more growing up around this particular building now, but it's staggering to look at such tall Frasier Firs towering in the background before succumbing to the Balsam Woolly Adelgid. Enjoy this blast from the past! Maybe this will inspire some of you who have been coming for decades to look back at your own photographs and reminisce.
Take care and have a great day.
The clouds have been getting thicker and thicker by the hour. It would appear the rain associated with Hurricane Harvey will make its way to Mt. LeConte early this evening. High rain chances, thunderstorms, and strong winds are expected to persist for the next couple days. Please use caution if you have plans for climbing the mountain before things clear off this weekend. Waterproof layers will serve you well, as well as dry bags for your belongings and protective covers for your packs.
Tuesday was a mostly sunny day, and folks were treated to an enjoyable sunset. Our high temperature came out to be 66 degrees, and our low was from the previous morning, reaching 47. We've been in the 50's much of today, and these mild temperatures feel fabulous. We're hoping this rain holds off a little longer so Alan and the llamas can call it day without getting saturated. We'll see how it all shakes out before the holiday weekend.
Have a great rest of the day.
We remain in a mostly cloudy rut, with temps feeling slightly cooler today. There were two instances of rain showers yesterday, and they only managed to squeeze out a laughable 0.03" of liquid precipitation. It looks like things will continue to be on the dry side in the coming days. It's possible that the mess hovering over Texas could eventually find its way up through Tennessee, but meteorologists won't definitively know that for a while yet. Our high temperature on Sunday came in at 61 degrees, and our low dipped to an autumn-like 48.
And now on to the news so many of you have been patiently waiting for. After careful consideration of all the llama names submitted here on this site and our Facebook page, our wranglers unanimously settled on a fitting name for our newest recruit. Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that we introduce...WILEY! To be honest, we were all blown away by the response we received from our fans, garnering over 1,000 (!!!) submissions for this soon-to-be packer.
We appreciate the creativity and thoughtfulness that everyone put into helping us find this young llama an identity. Several suggestions were in fact of llamas already in the rotation, or those who have been load luggers in seasons past. There were multiple suggestions for the name Wiley, so a big congratulations to all of you who offered up such a great choice that interestingly enough has vast local historical significance. A certain Wiley Oakley, a famous mountaineer in these parts, was born at the base of this very mountain in 1885. He went on to be a humble and incredible ambassador for the Smokies and an inspiring citizen of Gatlinburg.
Wiley will begin training next year, so you'll have to wait to see him in action on Trillium Gap Trail. We'll be sure and let you know once he gets into the swing of things with our wranglers. Until then, a huge thank you to everyone who participated.
Have a great start to the week!
It's a subdued Sunday on the mountain, as the clouds continue to cling to us, and a recent sprinkle has made good on the rain prediction. We're expecting a big crowd tonight, but so far the day hiker traffic has been minimal. Yesterday's high temperature came in at 62 degrees, and our overnight low was a mild 50. We're in the upper 50's currently. Excellent sleeping weather, combined with the effects from a fantastic feast prepared for the crew by Heather. Yums!
The scene around the mountain is beginning to take on the mood that summer is on its way out. Temperatures have of course been relatively steady for weeks now, but many of the wildflowers that began to pop in July have mostly gone to seed. There's still plenty of vivid color around camp to garner your attention, but already the leaves on some Mountain Ash trees are changing. It's a mixture of light greens, a few yellows, but mostly brown at this point. We won't really begin to see a dramatic shift for several more weeks yet.
That's right. Autumn leaf chasing season is coming quick! The 2017 season now has fewer than three months remaining, so hopefully you can squeeze a visit into your schedule if you haven't yet been able to this year. Alum Cave, The Boulevard, Brushy Mountain, and Trillium Gap are of course open to hikers 24/7. Rainbow Falls is closed during the week (Monday-Thursday) for its trail rehabilitation work, and of course Bull Head remains closed indefinitely due to fire and storm damage.
Enjoy the remainder of your weekend!
It's an enjoyable day to be on the mountain, and although we can usually count on Saturday's to be the busiest day of the week, today's Post-Eclipse / Pre-Labor Day weekend crowd isn't overwhelming. It's a mild 60 degrees up top currently, and we just can't seem to shake the clouds long enough to really soak up some sunshine. Friday's high temperature came in at 64 degrees, with another low of 51. This second half of August has been a little drier than how we started, so a rain shower in the near future wouldn't be a bad sight. If the forecast holds, tomorrow will be that day, so dress accordingly if a summit of LeConte is on your docket.
Have a wonderful weekend.
It's gotten chilly up here the past couple days, fall is on the way!
66/46 have been our temps the past two days and you can definitely tell that school is back in session.
Weve been having really random rain showers the past few days so bring umbrellas and layers.
The nights have been pretty clear allowing for fantastic stargazing so if you're an astronomy buff you'll have a blast.
Llamas are coming up today and next Monday.
Have a great weekend!
We are still going through all of our eclipse pictures. The one above was taken off the back porch during the event. It was so amazing.
The temps have been floating around 71/52 the past few days but the humidity is hanging on. The past 4 days have been wonderfully sunny but today started with a show stopper.
Clouds, mist, and rain will be the theme of the day, hopefully the llamas don't get too wet!
The deer have been out in full force the past few days. Check it out!
What an interesting day we've had up here.A clear morning turned to partially cloudy but still bright and cool. After a slight influx of early hikers we all hung out around camp, Myrtle Point, and Cliff Tops waiting for the eclipse to start.
Our 71 day yesterday dropped to 48 and it was 55 at this mornings 6:15am observation.
Camp gradually became darker, the temperature dropped 5 degrees, we saw Venus and a few stars out, and then back to normal. The valley was purple and blue for a few seconds and it seemed as though we were looking though a bubble to a different world.
The Diamond ring was beautiful as it offset the slivered sun.
We have llamas Wednesday and Friday.
Stay tuned for more pictures from today's celestial anomaly!
Good afternoon everyone,
The sunshine has been on at full blast since yesterday giving way to a beautiful sunset and radiant sunrise. The weather on the mountain has been lovely and cool, yesterday's high being 74 and this mornings low 47; bring a jacket if you're staying overnight with us.
Eclipse is tomorrow!
All of us at the lodge are anticipating tomorrow's eclipse but are a little thrown that today's afternoon cloud cover might put a bit of a damper on things. The forecast still calls for 20% chance of rain but that could mean anything in the Smokies.
We do not provide the eclipse viewing glasses up at the lodge so please make sure you bring some with you. Getting to the trails early is strongly recommended.
Our overnight guests on Sunday are welcome to stay and hang out around camp, Cliff Tops, and Myrtle Point until the eclipse at 2:30pm but please keep in mind our check out time (9:30am). Those staying the night of the 21st are welcome to hike up anytime during the day but we will not be able to start checking guests in until 12:00pm. That also goes for our gift shoppe located in the office.
We are looking forward to everyone coming to view this celestial event and strongly encourage bringing enough water and snacks for the day.
We anticipate having a very busy day on the mountain, and we greatly appreciate everyone's patience in advance as we strive to cater to all of our visitors' needs during this rare solar event. Folks curious about staying at the shelter will need to confer with the NPS Backcountry Office. If the shelter is full, there is no other camping permitted on the mountain.
Happy eclipse preparation!
We were treated to sun, rain, and clouds yesterday. Sporadic showers pelted hikers and crew members alike who were enjoying the sunshine moments earlier. The rain amounted to .10” over the course of the day and we expect to see much more today.
It is noticeably humid up here on the mountain with 71 degrees during the day and an even more humid 56 over the course of the night. We expect rain most of today.
Llamas are coming up today and Sunday, so keep your eyes out for them and listen to the wrangler’s instructions if you happen to chance upon them on the trail.
As of tomorrow morning we should have a nice, sunny, weekend that will carry over into Monday. There is a 20% chance of rain, which, if you're familiar with the Smokies weather, means anything could happen. To those overnight guests staying with us on Sunday the 20th, please know that you are welcome to stay on the mountain as long as you desire, since the Eclipse will take place in the middle of the afternoon. On the other hand, you won't be able to occupy the guest cabins past the usual morning checkout time (camp cleanup starts at 9:30 AM), as the crew will still have to ready them for Monday's next arrivals as normal.
On the flip side of that, even though we and the NPS are encouraging folks to get to the trailheads as early as possible to beat traffic congestion, please understand that this won't mean overnight guests on Monday the 21st will be able to check-in to their cabins earlier than normal (before noon). We anticipate having a very busy day on the mountain, and we greatly appreciate everyone's patience in advance as we strive to cater to all of our visitors' needs during this rare solar event. Folks curious about staying at the shelter will need to confer with the NPS Backcountry Office. If the shelter is full, there is no other camping permitted on the mountain.
Have a a wonderful Friday!
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!