More From West Point
The rain has settled in again, so I thought I would share another photo from Chris's excursion to West Point. For those of you who asked, West Point is the fourth peak on Mt. LeConte. There is a short bushwack from Alum Cave trail that will take you about an hour, give or take a few minutes, depending on what time of year it is. The four peaks that make up Mt. LeConte are Myrtle Point, High Top, Cliff Top, and West Point. There is a a trail leading to the first three.
As I stated earlier, the rain is here. We are currently socked in. The high yesterday was 54º with a low of 44º. Today is not looking so good either. I believe the forecast is calling for rain all day. Hopefully it will move out
5/11/2013 12:12:16 am
If it makes you feel any better, the weather here in the foothills is not looking much better. Enjoy your day, those of you lucky enough to be "heading up". The weather is looking better once this front moves through. Looking forward to more great pics. Thanks.
5/11/2013 12:43:40 am
IT. LOOKS LIKE IT COuld be a good day later on been watching weather. so we are going to head. up Alum Cave way and pray by the time we get up their the sun will shine if nit we have rain coats and we need to get sine mountain. time anyway live hiking up there over 20 times now or more
5/11/2013 01:19:57 am
Can anyone please give their opinions on Rainbow, Bullhead, and Trillium Gap trails? We have taken several day hikes only on Alum, because we live on the North Carolina side and it is the shortest for us. We will be spending the night in a couple weeks and would like to try another trail. I have read that Trillium Gap has beautiful wildflower displays this time of year. Is one more difficult than the other or all about the same? We took our son who was visiting up Alum on Wednesday for the day, we loved it as always, but want to explore something new... any input would be greatly appreciated!
5/11/2013 01:28:47 am
We took Rainbow up to LeConte last year and found it to be VERY rocky and tough on the feet. We took Trilliam back down and after a bit of a rocky start, it was much better and smoother. This year we'll be trying Alum. Have a great hike!
5/11/2013 02:09:18 pm
We have recently came in the Boulevard via the AT from New Found gap. Really enjoyed it. It is a bit longer than most but really scenic.
5/11/2013 01:59:23 am
After several years of hiking Alum, my husband & I took Trillium last August for our annual hike up. We enjoyed it very much, but it is a little longer & seemed to be straight up every step of the way. I felt like we were in a beautiful lush green peaceful tunnel, going up, up, up. We encountered FAR FEWER hikers on Trillium than Alum, which enhanced the experience of solitude. The wildflowers will vary depending on the time of year. On Trillium you don't get the panoramic views that you get on Alum, and Alum has some interesting highlights along the way (Arch Rock, the cliffs, etc.). On Trillium we saw a bear, heard more birds, identified more trees, & of course, Grotto Falls are nice & encountering the llamas was so fun! So its a great hike either way. We really enjoyed trying a different trail.
5/11/2013 02:15:42 am
Donna its just a few more miles into town. I would suggest going up trillium and coming down Bullhead. Rainbow is much easier in the winter time when the snow covers the rocks. Happy Hiking!!!
5/11/2013 04:24:11 am
Donna, the Trillium is a great trail, long and somewhat rocky, but beautiful, and yes, the solitude is much greater there than on Alum. And as has been said, Grotto is a plus, and the llamas. The Rainbow is relentless, always steep, always rocky, few great views. For me, the Bullhead is the best of all of them. You will rarely if ever see anyone on it, as it is probably the least used, and the wildflowers are great; a ranger told me once that for seeing wildflowers, the Bullhead is the best, and I agree with him. The Bullhead has variety, and even flat sections, if you can imagine. I would recommend the Bullhead up and down, or for a loop hike, take the Rainbow up, and the Bullhead down. Since both trails start at the same parking lot, you don't have to worry about shuttle problems.
5/11/2013 05:41:55 am
Trail question! We are coming up in a few weeks and had decided to come up Rainbow and back down Bullhead. We have never hiked Rainbow and after reading the previous post about how rocky Rainbow trail is, now I'm having my doubts as to what trail to take. We don't want to do Alum because of the crowds. We have not hiked Bullhead or the Boulevard either. We prefer less crowds, less rocks as described on Rainbow, but would love views. I read that the Boulevard is really a longer hike with more ups and downs. I think I could take longer verses tons of rocks. Would appreciate any advice and comments comparing the trails. Don't know if I want to deal with a lot of rocks. Thanks to anyone who responds!
tomk in SC
5/11/2013 06:24:08 am
I have been hiking LeConte for a quarter of a century and all the trails have something to offer. Our group hikes the trails in pairs:
5/11/2013 02:40:09 pm
Debnfl. I just posted about boulevard. I loved it. Found out it is not rocky at all, and you like views it has them. Also if you can do 12 miles in a day you can sneak in Charles Bouion going in. Then we come out Alum. Park at alum and catch a ride to New Found gap. Found it to be really fun way to go in! It is a little harder but way cool.
5/11/2013 05:52:52 am
Donna, just to throw in my two cents worth, it is all in the eyes of the beholder, I have hiked all the mentioned trails at least five times. If your going for variety I suggest going up rainbow and down Bullhead. If your doing a round trip I suggest Trillium Gap, in my personal opinion it is the least difficult of the three.
5/11/2013 09:07:20 am
Thanks everyone for all your suggestions regarding the trails. I am leaning towards Trillium up and back for this trip, but then again by the time May 24th comes along, we may just change our minds and go up Rainbow and down Bullhead....decisions, decisions..so hard when each trail has its' own beautiful qualities! Can't wait!
5/11/2013 06:15:20 am
Debnfl, the first 2.7 miles on the A.T. to reach the Boulevard is very rocky, after that it is not bad at all. If your doing a day hike I would suggest going down Alum if possible. The Boulevard has some fantastic views but whichever direction you hike you will encounter a long steep climb near the end of the trail. Happy Hiking!
5/11/2013 09:56:42 am
What days do Llamas trek up Trillium? My oldest daughter and I plan to come up mon or tues. I do this ever year with each of my daughters. Usually ACB Trail. This summer Trillium. Thanks for all you and your team do for SO many!!
West Point is an easy bushwhack. If you look at a topo map you will see exactly where to leave Alum Cave trail. If you don't have a topo map, well, maybe you shouldn't do this hike. My request: DON'T tie surveyor's tape around trees on the way out. No need to do that.It's just pink or orange litter. Just stay on the ridgecrest and work around a few small rock outcrops. I'll be up there tomorrow from Bear Pen Hollow. Any surveyor's tape I see I'll take down.
5/11/2013 01:27:50 pm
Whatever trail you do Donna, have a great time. I love Alum, crowds aren't that bad. Of course if there's going to be a crowd I will find out July 4th. That's when I think one of the busiest days would be. 95% of the people you meet along the way are happy because there hiking. So its all good.
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