LeConte Lodge

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DonNewcomb
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LeConte Lodge

Post by DonNewcomb » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:18 am

Monday of last week, my brother and I hiked up to the LeConte Lodge in Smoky Mountains NP, outside of Gatlinburg, TN and stayed a couple of nights. One summer in the early '60s our family had rented horses and ridden up there during a vacation but didn't stay overnight. It was quite treat to be able to hike up the mountain toting a total of 8 pounds and stay two nights.


Midwest Ed
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Re: LeConte Lodge

Post by Midwest Ed » Sat Oct 08, 2016 5:20 pm

That area of the Smokies is a hidden gem. As a kid, we lived in nearby Greeneville TN so every relative put us on their map so they could get a free trip to Gatlinburg. My favorite place we would take them was the very unimproved, one way, motor route circling through the Mt. LeConte area. Not sure what it's called now and I doubt it's the same but back then it was little known, very quiet and out of the way. It was a very secluded and very intimate place to get up close to the Smokies, especially by car.

PS. I just did a Google street view of Cherokee Orchard Rd. It was bumper to bumper cars with cars pulled off in nearly every available spot. Fifty years ago we would spend half a day driving that as a gravel road and not see more than one or two other cars. Plus I'm pretty sure the Mt LeConte Rd back then went at least at far as Grotto Falls.

I'm glad you had a great time. The Lodge looks to be quite a bargin.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

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DonNewcomb
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Re: LeConte Lodge

Post by DonNewcomb » Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:49 am

You wouldn't recognize the area outside the park today. Pigeon Forge is a mess. One continuous strip mall with one cheesy tourist trap after another. It beggars description. Probably all because of Dollywood. Gatlinburg is more controlled, better regulated but still overgrown. When we left for the lodge it was early on a warm day and there was no one on Cherokee Orchard Rd. When we came back down it was the afternoon of the first cool, clear day of fall and everyone and his brother wanted to hike up to Grotto Falls. When we got back down the trailhead parking lot was overflowing and cars were parked along both sides of the one-way road for at least a mile.

Here's an album with a few pictures of the trip.


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Re: LeConte Lodge

Post by thesneakymonkey » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:48 pm

Hi, i have been looking at the leconte lodge for some time and just happened accross your post while planning my Isle Royale trip for this August. I called the leconte lodge a month or so ago but this year (2017) was totally booked. I was put on a wait list for July. She said 2018 reservations couldn't be made until later in the year. Do you know when we can call or reserve for next year? Is it done by phone or online form? She basically hung up before I could get any real information.

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DonNewcomb
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Re: LeConte Lodge

Post by DonNewcomb » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:16 am

LeConte Lodge for many years has had a system like season ticket holders for sports teams, they have a group of guests who have reserved the same dates for over 20 years. There are called "grandfathered" reservations because in 1998 the Park Service said they had to end the program in 20 years. 2018 is the last year they can accept these reservations. I don't know how far in advance they accept reservations for the next year. My brother an I always watch their Twitter feed and jump on cancellations. We jumped on a cancellation for April 6th, which was in the middle of a late snowfall. We were able to extend another night and got an absolutely magical (but cold) experience.

I've added some of the photos to my LeConte album.

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