...an ordinary person
Mt. LeConte via The Boulevard Trail
- The Boulevard Trail is longest route to the summit of Mount Le Conte (elev. 6,593 ft (2,010 m); 2,010 m)
- The path follows the Appalachian Trail for 2.7 miles (4.3 km), between Newfound Gap and Charlie’s Bunion
- Never during the hike does the trail dip below 5,000 feet (1,500 m)
- The trailhead is located at Newfound Gap, off U.S. Highway 441 (Newfound Gap Road), between Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Cherokee, North Carolina, on either end of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Plan on 1.5 miles per hour in good conditions for the average hiker Plan on 1 mile per hour for new hikers or in bad conditions
- Distance: 8.1 miles One Way
- Cumulative Elevation Gain: 2552′
- Difficulty: mild to strenuous
The 8 mile Boulevard Trail has a lot of up and downs making this trail a bit more strenuous than it may appear. The trail begins at Newfound Gap and runs in conjunction with the AT for the first 2.7 miles, then forks left away from the AT running the main crest of the Smokies.
The trail continues approximately a mile past the Jumpoff (scenic lookout) and then descends Mt. Kephart about 500 feet in elevation to the gap before ascending again on the eastern side of Mt. LeConte.
Around 6.5 – 7 miles in, the trail traverses a scar created by a storm in the 1990’s. Cables are fixed into the mountain for safety when traversing the scar. In icy conditions, this section can be very dangerous. Leaving the scar the trail ascends sharply and narrows to a rocky and wet (most of the time) section.
Taking the right fork at junction at 7.5 miles leads past the Shelter to the summit of Mt. LeConte marked by a cairn to the left of the trail. The Mt. LeConte Lodge is 1/2 mile further down the trail from the summit.