It was a little chilly when I got up this morning for breakfast festivities, 28 degrees to be exact. Buried in heavy cloud coverage this morning we are not getting and warm sunshine so temperatures have actually dropped as we are currently at 42 degrees. Fingers crossed that the forecast for the day holds true and we get some sun later this afternoon. Expect icy patches on the trails at higher elevations and then in shady spots.
It was a quiet morning from the crew as today is our last full day of the season. Today we will be open for overnight guests and day hikers alike but will be closed tomorrow. I seem to be at a loss of words to describe the feeling of the end of the season. Myself and all of crew send out a huge thank you to all the folks that got to experience LeConte Lodge this season. Wether you were a guest, day hiker or avid blog reader, thank you so much for making the 2018 season unforgettable. Last minute touches to prepare camp for the winter are underway. Most of the crew are all packed for their descent tomorrow. If the 2018 season was this wonderful I can’t wait to see what 2019 season has in store for us....stay tuned.
Good morning all,
Another beautiful morning on LeConte today as crew preps the lodge for shut down. While currently at 37 degrees, we are expecting mid 40s into the early afternoon hours and might see some rain in the late afternoon. Yesterday, our high was 48 while our overnight low was a chilly 30. Have a fantastic start to your week and we hope to see you at the top!
Yet another beautiful day here at the lodge. Sunny skies with clear views. Warm sunlight making its way through the trees. Couldn’t ask for a better day. We are currently at 41 degrees and still on the rise. Night time lows still keep us chilly with last nights low at 29 degrees. Looking to get some clouds rolling in tomorrow afternoon which will probably keep those temperatures low.
Today we celebrated “mountain thanksgiving” with a marvelous feast prepared by our amazing cooks. With extra full bellies I predict a lot of mid day naps from a happy crew.
Good Afternoon All,
Today is a very unusually hot day for us at the top. We are currently just shy of 50 degrees outside! When I woke to prepare breakfast this morning we were at 29 degrees so it certainly has been a dramatic weather day for us. Though temperatures in the sunlight are nice and warm, once in the shade it feels much more like a typical cold winter day. Looking at the forecast ahead it seems this warm weather will not last long as tonight we are expecting to be back into the lower 30s.
With such wonderful weather we think its a perfect day to be on the mountain and it seems we are not alone in thinking so. As the afternoon continues the crowds still grow. Day hikers and overnight guests are filling up camp fast as everyone takes advantage of the current weather. The kitchen has their hands full today as we kick it up a notch to keep that hot chocolate and coffee flowing.
US 441 (Newfound Gap Road) is temporarily closed due to the rapid drop in temperatures and chances for snow and ice. No timetable for when it will reopen.
The system is expected to clear out tonight and conditions should improve for the remainder of the weekend. Guests with reservations can still utilize the Rainbow Falls, Bull Head, and Trillium Gap Trails at this time. We will let you know if anything changes. Safe travels!
Good morning all,
While yesterday’s high was 41 and the low overnight was 34, we are currently sitting at an icy 29 degrees! Some snow flurries softly fell to the ground about an hour ago. It didn’t accumulate at all however wooden steps and rocks around camp are icy. Yesterday, we received 1.45 inches of rain and will continue to have a rain/ snow mix throughout the day today. Remember those warm/ waterproof layers and traction devices are advised. Be careful out there!!
Rainbow Falls Trail is open; rehabilitation work complete!
Park Celebrates Rainbow Falls Trail Project Completion
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials celebrated the completion of a two-year trail rehabilitation project on Rainbow Falls Trail on Wednesday, November 14. The six-mile Rainbow Falls Trail is one of the most popular trails in the park leading hikers to Rainbow Falls and Mt. Le Conte. The trail was reopened, on schedule, following work completed by the park trail crew, American Conservation Experience youth crews, and volunteers.
The park trail crew rehabilitated targeted segments along the trail to improve visitor safety, stabilize eroding trail sections, and repair trail tread damaged by high winds and fire during the November 2016 wildfires. The crew installed over 350 steps through steep, narrow corridors, created nearly 600 feet of elevated trail surfaces, installed nearly 400 drainage elements, and placed over 1,000 native stones along the trail to create a durable, sustainable trail corridor. The much-needed rehabilitation also eliminated numerous, visitor-created side trails totaling over one mile in length that had resulted in eroded, off-trail paths creating confusion for hikers.
“The craftsmanship exhibited by the park trail crew is extraordinary,” said Deputy Superintendent Clay Jordan. “They create durable, functional trail corridors that support the high-volume hiker use of the Smokies in a manner that also reflects and protects the natural landscape.”
Numerous individuals partnered with the park trail crew to aid in rehabilitation efforts. Over the course of the two-year project, 44 American Conservation Experience youth interns contributed over 41,360 hours of service and 162 Volunteers contributed 1,576 hours of service.
Trails Forever is a partnership program between Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Friends of the Smokies. The Friends have donated over $1,500,000 to support the program, in part through the generosity of the Knoxville based Aslan Foundation. The Trails Forever program provides the opportunity for a highly skilled trail crew to focus reconstruction efforts on high use and high priority trails in the park including the recently restored Rainbow Falls Trail, Alum Cave Trail, Chimney Tops Trail, and Forney Ridge Trail. The program also provides a mechanism for volunteers to work alongside the trail crew on these complex trail projects to assist in making lasting improvements to preserve the trails for future generations.
In 2019, the Trail Forever crew will begin a 2-year rehabilitation project on the popular Trillium Gap Trail among other critical trail work across the park on trails such as the Deep Creek Trail, Rough Fork Trail, Smokemont Trail, and Noah Bud Ogle Trail. Due to the rehabilitation process on Trillium Gap Trail, a full closure will be necessary for the safety of both the crew and visitors. The Trillium Gap Trail and associated parking area (Roaring Fork trailhead, NOT Cherokee Orchard) will be closed May 6, 2019 through November 14, 2019, excluding federal holidays, on Monday mornings at 7:00 a.m. through Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. weekly. The trail will be fully open each week on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Yesterday and overnight, we received 2.8 inches of rain! We have noticed some erosion on top of the mountain and day hikers have reported higher water on creek crossings. We are expecting the rain to continue throughout the day today with freezing temps overnight causing possible freezing on trails again into the early morning hours. Yesterday, our high was 44 and overnight low was 31 and currently at a warm 40 degrees. Remember that rain gear if you plan on hiking today or tomorrow. While the temps may not be bad down below, as the chilly rain hits you’ll get pretty cold! Have a fantastic day.
Crew having fun with glow sticks left by overnight guests!
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!