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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.



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Trail coming up on the right, going up to Rainbow Falls on the left
Trail coming up on the right, going up to Rainbow Falls on the left
Snow visible across the valley
Snow visible across the valley
The trail narrows a bit around mile 2 as most people give up on their trek to Rainbow Falls
The trail narrows a bit around mile 2 as most people give up on their trek to Rainbow Falls
Blowdowns along the Rainbow Falls trail
Blowdowns along the Rainbow Falls trail
Logs along the trail
Logs along the trail
Big stump
Big stump
Due to recent rains, there were several small runoff creeks to cross
Due to recent rains, there were several small runoff creeks to cross
t1%2f67%2f753667%2f4%2f92510712.Gb781z4y.jpg
Skiffs of snow on the northwest side of Bullhead
Skiffs of snow on the northwest side of Bullhead
LeConte Creek
LeConte Creek
Big trees along the Rainbow Falls trail
Big trees along the Rainbow Falls trail
If I were an owl, this is where I'd live
If I were an owl, this is where I'd live
We saw several new blowdowns along the trail, some very large
We saw several new blowdowns along the trail, some very large
t1%2f67%2f753667%2f4%2f92510718.8ae9HBat.jpg t1%2f67%2f753667%2f4%2f92510719.F1XJWQ1h.jpg Partridge berry
Partridge berry
IMG_2245.jpg
IMG_2245.jpg
First snow spotted along the trail just before Rainbow Falls
First snow spotted along the trail just before Rainbow Falls
Nearing the first footbridge about 1.7 miles from the trailhead
Nearing the first footbridge about 1.7 miles from the trailhead
First footbridge across LeConte Creek
First footbridge across LeConte Creek
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