Date of Visit: August 2009
How we got there: Drove from Chicago to Gatlinburg, 9 hours
Lodging: River Terrace Hotel, Gatlinburg
- Mt. LeConte summit via Alum Cave Trail: 11-mile out-and-back hike with 2,763 ft elevation gain.
- Hike to Grotto Falls via Trillium Gap Trail: At mile 2.6 the trail goes behind a 25-foot waterfall. 585 ft elevation gain to that point.
- Clingmans Dome: Short walk up a paved trail and a spiraling observation tower at the highest point in the park and the state of Tennessee, elevation 6,643ft.
Tips: One end of the famous Blue Ridge Parkway begins right outside the southern Entrance in North Carolina along Highway 441.
Next time: Visit Cades Cove. Stay overnight on top of Mt. LeConte at the LeConte Lodge.