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Smoky Mountains

Hiking Club

Bullhead Trail to Mt. Le Conte, return via Rainbow Falls

  • 08/19/2023
  • 7:30 AM
  • Rainbow Falls parking lot


  • For member hike registrations
  • For non-member hike registrations

Registration is closed

This version of a classic summer hike starts with ~0.4 mile on Old Sugarlands Trail, from the Rainbow Falls parking lot to Bullhead Trail. From there we head south, up Mt. Le Conte through a few switchbacks, past a stone cairn (the "Pulpit," at mile 2.5), and up to the junction with Rainbow Falls Trail. Then we climb another 0.6 mile to Mt. Le Conte Lodge (~6,320 ft. elevation) and nearby picnic tables for lunch (it may be cool enough for a jacket). We return via Rainbow Falls Trail the whole way, past the Bullhead junction, past the falls, and through switchbacks down to the trailhead at Cherokee Orchard Road. Total, ~13.6 miles with ~3,800 ft. climb, rated difficult. For carpooling, meet at Cracker Barrel off I-40 at Exit 398 (1510 Cracker Barrel Lane, parking lot, southeast corner), at 6:15 am (74 miles RT @10 cents = $7.40), or at the Rainbow Falls parking lot on Cherokee Orchard Road, by the trailhead (our point of return), ready to hike at 7:30 am.Register at

Leader: Eric Sundstrom, 

Leader contact information is included under Additional Information in the email you receive after registration.

For information about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visit the NPS website or call the information line at (865) 436-1200.

Smoky Mountains Hiking Club

PO Box 51592

Knoxville, TN 37950-1592

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