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Ron P. Metcalfe | profile | all galleries >> Mt. LeConte >> February 2008 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

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February 2008

Richard Adams and Ron Metcalfe hiked Mt. LeConte on February 3, 2008. We ascended via Rainbow Falls trail and descended via Bullhead Trail. There was 1" to 4" of snow on the trail for about the last 1 1/2 miles of Rainbow, and about the same amount of snow down the first mile of Bullhead.

It was sunny for the first hour or so going up Rainbow, then became overcast for the rest of the day. Recent rains made for a good flow of water over Rainbow Falls and recent snows were still visible along much of the trail. Total snow cover varied, but was mostly confined to the northwest slopes which receive little (if any) winter sun.

The Bullhead trail is pretty incredible, although it gets very little use compared to Alum Cave Bluff, Rainbow Falls, and Trillium Gap. There aren't any water crossings or falls, but this trail affords many more views than either Rainbow or Trillium Gap. Many areas are level or gently sloping, although it seemed that the steepest parts were nearer the bottom. In other words, on Bullhead, it seems like you pay your dues early and do alot of climbing quickly, but you're rewarded as you reach the top with fantastic views and gentle trails.

I think Alum Cave Bluff is still my favorite for ascent, but in the future, if I go down a different trail, I guarantee I'll choose Bullhead. A very nice trail.



CLICK HERE to visit Ed Wright's website with more stories and images from Mt. LeConte and LeConte Lodge

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Mt. LeConte
Mt. LeConte
Getting ready for the hike at Rainbow Falls Trailhead
Getting ready for the hike at Rainbow Falls Trailhead
Ron P. Metcalfe at trailhead
Ron P. Metcalfe at trailhead
Rainbow Falls trailhead
Rainbow Falls trailhead
LeConte Creek next to Rainbow Falls Trail
LeConte Creek next to Rainbow Falls Trail
Rainbow Falls trail
Rainbow Falls trail
Shedding layers as we warm up
Shedding layers as we warm up
Large rocks called erratics are found all over the Smokies
Large rocks called "erratics" are found all over the Smokies
Rainbow Falls trail paralells LeConte Creek for the first mile or so
Rainbow Falls trail paralells LeConte Creek for the first mile or so
Old rock wall built by th CCC
Old rock wall built by th CCC
Tree growing from another tree
Tree growing from another tree
Turtle Rock
Turtle Rock
t1%2f67%2f753667%2f4%2f92510696.XLe80sWP.jpg t1%2f67%2f753667%2f4%2f92510697.FgXZNTUF.jpg t1%2f67%2f753667%2f4%2f92510698.oTE6caRR.jpg t1%2f67%2f753667%2f4%2f92510699.v2x0LAza.jpg
More CCC work
More CCC work
t1%2f67%2f753667%2f4%2f92510701.bLuKKpLa.jpg Bullhead.  The trail comes down the far side.
Bullhead. The trail comes down the far side.
Development around Gatlinburg's ridges
Development around Gatlinburg's ridges
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