Alright, the super heat wave is here. Today and tomorrow will see full unabated sunshine blazing down on East TN and the Smokies. Temps in the lowlands could reach the upper 90s, with a heat index in the triple digits. What that means for us is 80s at trailheads and lower 70s at the summit. And when they aren’t calling for much wind in the forecast, that heat and humidity just makes the air feel hot and heavy on the chest. So again, take care of your bodies and take your time hiking in this stuff. Trails with plenty of shade, like Rainbow Falls and Trillium Gap, are recommended for afternoon hiking since they’re on the northern slopes. Alum Cave at least affords hikers some time by the creeks and is the shortest option. Bull Head, with its southern exposure and miles of canopy-less trail, should be avoided for the time being, especially as an ascent. Keeping your bodies fueled with electrolytes and calories is essential, and there’s no shame in taking a lot of breaks along to the way.
Have a great day and safe trekking.