Video July3-5th GSMNP Hike

Video of the various water crossings and other highlights from the 3 days of hiking in the Smokies

3 Days of Hiking in the Smokies- GSMNP July 4-6

I needed some time off, so I headed to the Smokies to do some day hikes with Christine as she wanted to take the holiday weekend off as well.  The weather didn't look ideal, but hiking in the rain in the Smokies is better than a sunny day at work anytime.

Day 1 
Cades Cove area-
Abrams Falls Trail- Hatcher Mtn Trail-Copper Rd Trail. this was a 14 miles loop. We had intended to do Rabbit Creek Trail, but wanted to avoid the river crossing as the water was very high and fast in all the creeks and rivers.
 Cades Cove area (above) was beautiful and we were one of the first people on the loop road in the morning, so it was well worth the early hour to see all the animals, but no bears!

 Abrahms Falls (above) was really roaring with all the extra water from the weeks of rain

The day was cloudy and cool, the trail was a bit of a roller coaster of ups and downs, but it was a very good start to the trip.

Day 2:
Trillium Trail up to Mt.LeConte and back the same way. 14 miles with 7 miles straight up and 7 miles back down. This was not nearly as bad as I had thought it would be and it is the best of the trails up to Mt.LeConte. By the time we reached the top of Mt. Leconte it was 58 degrees and raining (well we were in the clouds, so just the mist of the mountain)

 the main water feature of the Trillium Trail is Grotto Falls. When we arrived early in the morning we had the entire area to ourselves (it would not be like that when we returned later in the afternoon)

Christine said she couldn't remember when she had ever seen this much water in the falls, it had to be some kind of record- I am glad I got to see it!

 The day was raining and always uphill but the grade wasn't too steep and there was lots of beauty on the way up.

Mt LeConte lodge uses lama's to transport material up and down the mountain as the lama's have less impact on the trail system. there was a pack of 10 lama's on the trail today 


We had lunch at the top of the mountain before heading back down

Day 3:
Clingman's Dome to Elkmont- 14 miles. This day was meant to be all down hill. We would start at Clingman's dome and leave a car at Elkmont and then hike the 14 miles all down hill off of Mt. Buckley.
The Appallachian Trail - Goshen Prong Trail - Little River Trail into Elkmont. However below campsite 23 on the Goshen Prong Trail the river was too high and too fast to cross and we were turned back! we had come 7 miles, now we had to turn around and hike 7 miles straight back up Mt Buckley to Clingman's Dome Parking lot. 

A cold and wet morning to start
It was good to be back on the AT for while and follow the white blazes

A bear den for sure 

 there was water everywhere during out hikes

This is the first of the two sections of the river that we did cross- in fact we had to cross this twice as the next ford was impossible for us to get across, so we had to come back this way.

It was quite the adventure and I am truly glad I got to do it.

3 days of hiking, 42 miles and a great time
Recommended Restaurants:
Thai Basil- Sevierville, TN
Mellow Mushroom- Pigeon Forge, TN
Lemon Grass, Maryville, TN

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