- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
At a Glance
- unique setting high on Mt. LeConte
- a true escape from civilization
- a special experience available only to a few
- books up far in advance
- hike-in access only
- simplest of accommodations with few modern conveniences
Check Rates from our Partners
LeConte Lodge Review
Set at 6,360 feet near the summit of Mt. LeConte, this hike-in lodge is remote, rustic, and remarkable; it is not, however, luxurious. Seven small, rough-hewn wood cabins and three group sleeping cabins have bunk beds and propane heaters. Maximum capacity at the lodge is 60. Lighting is by kerosene lamps. There are privies with flush toilets but no showers. You can take a sponge bath in a washbasin or a bucket—bring your own hand towel and washcloth. Hot water is available from a spigot near the dining room. The appeal of LeConte Lodge is in the mountaintop setting, taking in the views from your deck rocking chair, and stargazing at night—you can see the Milky Way, meteor showers, and, starting in early fall, the northern lights. At times, however, clouds obscure the views. At this elevation, the temperature has only once reached 80°F (in summer 2012), mornings can be frosty even in June, and spring and fall snows are not uncommon. A hearty breakfast and dinner, served family-style in a rustic dining room, are included in the $126 per person rate. A sit-down or bag lunch is available to guests and to day hikers at $9 per person (lunch is included for guests staying more than one night.) Wine with dinner—a bottomless glass—is available for $10 per person. There is no road access to the lodge; the only way in is by foot, up one of five trails, none of which is short or easy. The 6.5-mi Trillium Gap Trail is probably the easiest trail to the lodge as it is not as steep as the other trails. The Alum Cave Bluffs Trail is the shortest trail to the lodge, but it is fairly steep. If you're in good condition, you may be able to do the Alum Cave Bluffs Trail in four hours. Other trails take up to six hours or longer, so get an early start. You can prove you've been to the lodge by purchasing a LeConte Lodge T-shirt, sold only at the lodge. Lodge supplies are brought in three times a week by llama, up the Trillium Gap Trail, and once a year by helicopter. Pack your backpack lightly and remember a flashlight, rain gear, layered clothing, sturdy shoes, snacks, water for your hike, and personal items. The lodge typically begins booking reservations in a lottery for the following year's season (late March to late November) on October 1 of the year before.
- Address: Mt. LeConte, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
- Phone: 865/429–5704
- Website: www.lecontelodge.com
- Location: Tennessee Side
- 7 cabins, 3 group sleeping cabins, all with shared bath.
- Rate includes some meals, all meals.
- Credit cards accepted.
- Closed late Nov.– late Mar.
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
So this was my first trip to the USA. Read more
Our 2nd annual ladies' longish weekend trip was a success, but getting from Vancouver, B.C. and Calgary, Alberta to Memphis took a lot of time. We Vancouverites drove down to Seattle a day early and shopped Read more
I am seeking activity suggestions for Gatlinsburg TN for March 2014. Read more
· News & Features
After the recent debut of his Grand Cayman-inspired novel The Forever Girl, author Alexander McCall... Read more
When's the best time to go?... Read more
The world's northernmost capital is a charming destination in all seasons.... Read more