The North Face of Mount LeConte is well known for the peaceful ascents to the mountain’s summit. Bullhead, Rainbow Falls, and Trillium Gap Trails excite with waterfalls and vistas that draw thousands of tourists to see and play. Venturing off these beaten paths and ascending the mountain off-trail shows a very different side of LeConte. This route offers an exploration of the rough and foreboding terrain that is only glimpsed from the trails. The upper region of the North Face of LeConte is steep and barricaded with high cliffs that include huge waterfall upon waterfall. The route for this excursion has been used by Smokies explorers and the Hiking Club for many decades. We will pass through the doorway into the wilderness through Grotto Falls by way of Trillium Gap Trail. Rock-hopping and scrambling will be the mode of transportation in the lower stretches of Roaring Fork until the terrain gives-way to cascades, cliffs, and waterfalls. Massive walls, large waterfalls, and a club favorite Dome Falls will serve as superior backdrops for the climb. As the waterfalls transition into the more gentle slopes of the summit we will arrive at Basin Spring and LeConte Lodge. The return will be by Trillium Gap Trail. Total trip: off-trail 1.4 mile, on-trail 8.1 mile, 9 hours, drive 100 miles RT. This off-trail trip is rated difficult.
Leader: Greg Harrell
To register, contact Greg Harrell directly via email. You can find his contact information in the August 2022 newsletter writeup for this hike.
Smoky Mountains Hiking Club
PO Box 51592
Knoxville, TN 37950-1592