I lucked out ! I’ve come up to GSMNP many times and have never been able to hike the Alum Cave trail only for not being able to find parking. I Was told I’d need to be there at 6 AM to be able to find a parking spot. Well , I was on my way to do a different hike but as I passed the trailhead for Alum Cave at 830 I saw an empty spot just waiting for me ! I got too excited. This hike was so beautiful! The first mile is next to a beautiful stream with lush rhododendrons tunnel on both sides. Paradise. Then you go through this little cave called Arch Rock. Then you climb up to Alum Cave Bluffs with the water dripping off the rocks. Pink flowers blooming on all sides. This is truly one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever been on. It is 4.4 miles round trip.
Entering arch rock
Leaving arch rock
Beautiful pink rhododendrons border the Trail
Alum cave bluffs. Sit here to have a snack and enjoy the view , or continue up to Mount Leconte
Beautiful view just before reaching the bluffs
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