We’re already into the second weekend of October, and it looks to be busier than the last. Conditions continue to feel more autumn-like, and the changing of the colors is beginning in the upper reaches of the park. The crisp air around the lodge and the crunching of leaves under foot helps to set the mood. No pumpkin spice up here though, just good old fashioned Mt. LeConte Hot Chocolate!
Some helpful tips as one prepares for an upcoming trip to the lodge...
*Stay hydrated! Even though the heat and humidity have dissipated, and your body doesn’t work up as intense a sweat, it is still important to replenish those electrolytes.
*Bring extra dry/warm layers. Your body temp will rise during the ascent and you will want to shed layers to prevent overheating and moisture buildup. Shortly after you stop being active upon reaching the top, your body will start cooling down and the air temps will intensify the shift. Applying dry/warm layers will keep you comfortable and stave off the threat of hypothermia.
*Ascend and descend early. We’re into the part of the calendar year now where we lose daylight fast. The sun sets around 7:00 PM currently, but in the deep valleys and hollers of these mountains it can get darker much sooner, especially if it’s cloudy. If the thought of hiking in the dark sounds daunting, consider the time it takes you to do a hike of this nature. The average hiker will typically take 3-4 hours to descend the mountain. Allowing yourself enough daylight for the hike down and the drive out of the park means leaving the lodge by mid-afternoon, ideally between 2-3 PM. Starting early means getting to take your time coming up while still having enough time to relax and enjoy the mountain. Our day hiker services begin at NOON, so that leaves one plenty of time to purchase one of our famous “I hiked it” shirts and a no-bake cookie before departing.
It’s a fabulous time of year to enjoy these mountains. It’s our hope that everyone does so safely and responsibly. Have a great weekend!