Albeit the popular Alum Cave Trail is an arduous hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, it equally satiates you with several astonishing views spread across the trail.
May 31, 2019
The ascent of the Alum cave trail leads to Mount Le Conte and is the 6th highest mountain east of the Mississippi River. It moves past numerous magnificent landmarks, like Arch Rock, the Duck hawk Peaks, Inspiration Point and Cliff Top, prior connecting to Boulevard Trail.
The trail starts at an elevation of 3,830 feet. While you cross the cascading streams and amazing bridges, this part of the trail comes across as tree-laden. The trail's topography changes dramatically at every sight. But don't worry, the trail is simplified without any bemusing splits and turns as it is frequently used.
Exquisite landmarks on the trail
As soon as you cross the stream, what follows is the Arch Rock, a stairway directing towards a hollow tunnel. It is one of the most distinguished landmarks you'll come across on the trail. It is a huge densification of black slate forming an arch shape in a natural way. Hiking here can be done via stairs or with the aid of cable handrails.
After overpassing the Arch Rock, a halt at the spectacular Inspiration Point is a must. Remember at this point one has reached at an altitude of 4,700 ft and the phenomenal spectacle from this height is staggering enough to captivate your mind and soul.
Eye of the Needle
From hereon the trail’s beauty starts multiplying. If you are lucky enough to visit on a clear day, then a bonus sight called ‘Eye of the Needle’ i.e. a tiny hole in a rock above the Duck Hawk Ridge, is what you are recompensed with.
Within a hike of about 2 miles after another beautiful stream, i.e. Styx Branch Crossing you reach the Peregrine Peak. This part of the hike is heavily forested with greenery spread out all over and ample of creek crossings too.
Alum Cave Bluff
Further comes the renowned wall, the Alum Cave Bluff. It happens to be one of the most amazing sights that you’ll encounter while detouring the trail. Its special element is the rugged overhang that can be useful in the monsoons as a cozy refuge.
The Alum Cave Trail is 4.6 mile (round trip distance) and this hike can be rated as a moderately difficult one. The last part of the trail leaves you with a 200-degree awe-inspiring landscape view of the Smoky Mountains. Here you can rest, soak up the sun and enjoy an appetizing meal. The trail dead-ends into another beautiful trail i.e. the Boulevard Trail.