Beginning today, Great Smoky Mountains National Park embarks on a phased reopening of areas inside the park. This means roads, trails, and facilities all across the Smokies will be made accessible to the public at different times, LeConte Lodge among them. The lodge remains closed at this time, with the intent of reopening its doors to guests and providing visitor services on Monday, May 18th. Please understand that lodge grounds will be closed to the public while our team works to prepare a clean and safe environment for our upcoming guests.
The NPS trail crews are in the process of clearing Mt. LeConte’s approach trails. Anyone with hopes of reaching the summit on a day hike can expect hazards in the way of downed trees, as not all trails have been cleared yet. Due to the phased reopening of the park, not all trails are accessible or from their typical starting points. Here’s a helpful list of what will be accessible to day hikers beginning sometime today:
Rainbow Falls - 6.7 miles
Bull Head - 6.9 miles
Trillium Gap - 8.9 miles
The Boulevard - 8.1 miles
Winter continues to get the last laugh, not unusual for Mt. LeConte, even in mid May. Yesterday’s high temp barely reached 35°, and our low plummeted to 14° as precipitation danced between rain, sleet, hail, and snow throughout the night. Blustery winds made it that much more unpleasant to be out working at times. By reporting time the mix of snow and ice on the ground amounted to 1” of new snow, total accumulation of 2”. With sunny skies and gradually warming temps expected in the coming days, it shouldn’t hang around too long. Trail conditions are sure to be a slog though.
Safe travels to those flocking to the Smokies this weekend, and please remember to practice safe social distancing while visiting our beloved park. For more information regarding the park’s phased reopening plan, visit https://www.nps.gov/grsm. Thank you.
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!