The bright and beautiful weekend is upon us! The sun will be shining in its glorious radiance from start to finish these next several days, with only occasional clouds expected. With these summer-like temps settling in over the region, views from the top will be much hazier. Crystal clear skies with detailed definition toward the horizon will be few and far between now through next winter. Temps today are starting in the upper 40s for breakfast, but we’ll easily soar into the mid 60s this afternoon. Sunday should be like hitting the repeat button. Winds today will be active still, with gusts upwards of 20mph possible at times.
With these hotter temps and the summer season nearly here, it’s smart to take that into account when deciding which trails to utilize. Those paths located on Mt. LeConte’s northern and eastern slopes - such as Rainbow Falls, Trillium Gap, and Brushy Mountain - will provide the most shade throughout the day. Bull Head, with several miles of canopy-less trekking, leaves one exposed to the full force of the sun, especially since so much of it faces south and west. Better to descend that trail than attempt the up when the forecast calls for blistering conditions. The Boulevard is hard to beat on a clear sunny day, but just be mindful of its longer distance and not to get caught out in a bad afternoon storm as one traverses the ridge line most of the way. Lastly, Alum Cave, despite navigating the southern slopes, at least offers hikers some reprieve in its shaded river walk down below. Plus it’s the shortest way to access the lodge if you’re all about minimizing the step count.
Several great options for gallivanting. Remember to pack enough water and snacks! Have a great weekend.