It's a bit chillier on the mountain today than it has been in quite some time. Once the skies opened up to the sun yesterday afternoon, we managed to reach a high temperature of 52 degrees. Our rainfall totaled 0.9" for the day. Last night's low dipped to 31 degrees, our first reading below freezing for the first time in 23 days. We expect to see that happen a couple more times this week as some cold air pushes down to the region from the north. We are currently under another Wind Advisory until 5 PM today, but not much is happening up here. When precipitation returns by week's end, these continuing low temperatures could see the white fluffy stuff fly yet again. We'll keep you posted on such conditions so that everyone can visit the mountain prepared.
The following is pertinent information regarding the upcoming closure of Rainbow Falls Trail, beginning May 8th, coming directly from the National Park Service...
"Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that a 2-year trail rehabilitation project will begin next week on the popular Rainbow Falls Trail. The trail will be closed May 8, 2017 through November 16, 2017 on Monday mornings at 7:00 a.m. through Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. weekly. Due to the construction process on the narrow trail, a full closure is necessary for the safety of both the crew and visitors. The trail will be fully open each week on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and on federal holidays.
The parking lot at the Rainbow Falls trailhead area will be closed May 8 through June 15, Monday through Thursday, to facilitate heavy re-construction of the trailhead area where several trails intersect. After June 15, the parking lot will be open so users can access the Old Sugarlands Trail and the Trillium Gap Trail connector trail."
Visitors and overnight guests can continue to utilize the other four trails that lead to the top of the mountain during the days Rainbow Falls is closed. Even after yesterday's windstorm, Alum Cave, The Boulevard, Trillium Gap, and Brushy Mountain are all ready to host avid hikers. Bull Head remains closed indefinitely.
It sounds like the Mountain Myrtle has started to bloom around Inspiration Point along the Alum Cave Trail. The populations of this special plant are still budding around Cliff Tops and Myrtle Point, typically reaching peak bloom around the middle of this month.
Thanks for stopping by the site and have a great day!