I’ve gone hiking before but never up a mountain. Nothing anybody could have said would have prepared me for my journey ahead. Five and a half miles didn’t seem too bad but I was use to flat terrain and not trekking up a mountain! If you havent seen my last post, I went to the Smoky Mountains with my Girl Scout troop. The day before we went white water rafting and paddle boarding.
There are a few different choices of hikes. Some are the 5.5 mile and a 7 mile one. The 5.5 is the more strenuous one compared to the 7 mile one! We did the 5.5 mile one called the Alum Trail.
We started our ascent around 12:00 and eventually got up by 4:30. A third of the way we found rocks that we could sit and eat our lunch on. Each of us divided up a little bit of food between the 21 of us. We gave away the rest of our food to hikers that were coming down the mountain!
The whole hike was so pretty but it was kinda strenuous for some beginning hikers. If you ever take this hike the key is to be slow and steady, taking water breaks when ever your tired.
When I got to the top of the mountain, I wanted to cry tears of joy! I was so happy to have finally reached the top after all my hard work!
At the top there are cabins you can stay in. Leconte Lodge is the only place you can spend the night within the National Park. We got two cabins that each held thirteen people! You can also get ones that hold 2-4. There are probably only 20 cabins to stay in so If you want one you have to book in advance! We booked last August 2016!
Our cabin was huge with three bedrooms and a main room. There is NO electricity so you use oil lamps! Make sure to bring a portable charger if you want to charge your phone for pictures. In each room there was a double bunk bed from the 1800s. It’s a little haven up there!
People actually live and work up there in the cabins from March-October. Wouldn’t that be cool?!
They provide you with great home cooked breakfast and dinner! You can also get bagged lunches if you are staying the afternoon or for 2 nights. The food is amazing! Since there is no electricity that means no refrigerator so none of the food is massed produced and all gourmet!
You might be wondering what you would do up there. There are smaller hikes you can take and a lodge with a fire and games. Just sit outside and enjoy the view!
If you want to see the sunset, take a .3 mile walk to the cliff tops and watch it on the rocks. Unfortunately, since it is the Smoky Mountains, sometimes it’s smoky. It was so smoky you couldn’t see anything! But it was a great opportunity for some funny pictures!
We got up really early the next day, try 5:00! And hiked to watch the sunset. Make sure you know where your going before you leave because you’ll end up like me and be going on random trails hoping that’s the one. Luckly our 2nd try at our trail was the right one! We were sprinting to see the sunrise and we got there with less than 10 seconds to spare! I sat up there for a good 45 minutes until I felt that my fingers would fall off from the cold.
Breakfast was served and it was so good! I got some souvenirs from the shop and began our descent downwards.