Boulevard Trail (Mt. LeConte)Difficult

Newfound Gap, A.T. / Gatlinburg, TN

Boulevard Trail (Mt. LeConte)

Distance (One Way)

5.4 miles

Elevation Gain

1,544 feet


Newfound Gap, A.T.


Gatlinburg, TN

Trail Description Written by Caroline Sullivan

The Boulevard Trail is one of the more difficult of the 6 trail options for a hike to Mt. LeConte. The trail itself is 5.4 miles long from the AT to LeConte Lodge, but hikers must start at the Newfound Gap parking lot and hike the Appalachian trail for about 2.7 miles to reach it, making the total one way distance to LeConte Lodge 8.1 miles

From the Newfound Gap parking area, head up the steps on the Appalachian Trail just to the right of the Rockefeller Monument, where the national park was dedicated by FDR in 1940. This is also the route to reach Charlies Bunion. Like most popular trails in the Smokies, this area can get quite crowded, so it is best to get an early start.

The trail does not dip below 5,000 feet for the entire hike. From Newfound Gap to the highest point of Mount LeConte the total elevation gain is 1,544 feet. The Boulevard Trail and AT junction is just above 6,000 feet in elevation.

You'll reach the Boulevard at 2.7 miles and take a left at the intersection. Just a tenth of a mile in is the spur trail to The Jump Off, a popular vantage point about a half a mile off the main trail. After this point you will descend for almost a mile and lose about 500 feet of elevation.

The Boulevard provides some of the most beautiful views of surrounding mountains of any LeConte trail. There are countless open areas on the way up for hikers to pause and look out.

For the next mile and a half you will gradually ascend before meeting a switchback at the high point of Anakeesta Knob, a peak that you will later be able to look back at from Myrtle Point. From here you descend again. No matter which way you're traveling on the Boulevard, Anakeesta Knob is a welcome sight to all hikers; it's a marker that you're about to head downhill again.

Anakeesta Knob is 2.3 miles from Myrtle Point's spur trail. For the first mile and a half of this distance, hikers will enjoy only a moderate incline with ups and downs along the way. You will then reach a large, open area with the best views on the trail. From here you can see several of the Smokies Sixers (peaks over 6000 feet in elevation) including Old Black, Mount Guyot, Tricorner Knob, Mount Chapman, Luftee Knob, and more.

From here you will begin to climb again on the steepest part of the trail. It's only about a half mile to the Myrtle Point spur trail, so your efforts will soon be worth it. Take a left at the sign and travel just 0.2 of a mile before seeing the 360 degree views from Myrtle Point, the easternmost peak of Mount LeConte.

From the sign at the spur trail, LeConte Lodge is just 0.7 of a mile away. Half of this portion is quite the climb as you will be heading directly for High Top, the highest point of the mountain at 6,593 feet, marked by a large stone cairn. Then you'll head downhill once more until you reach the lodge.

"Many people assume that because this hike begins at such a high elevation that this must be the easiest trail to the summit of Mt. LeConte. Don't be fooled. This is a very tough hike. The trail rises and falls many times as it crosses the ridgeline between Mt. LeConte and the main crest of the Smokies." - Hiking In The Smokies

Because of the unique elevation profile of this trail, its difficulty shows on the way back to Newfound Gap. You won't get the constant relief of 100% downhill like the other LeConte trails. The final climb at the end before reaching the Jump Off is the most brutal part of the hike.

The round trip mileage of this hike is 16.2 miles (AT + the Boulevard). If you add on all 3 spur trails (The Jump Off, Myrtle Point, Cliff Tops) you'll end up at an even 18 miles.

#appalachian trail
#mt leconte
#gatlinburg tn

Boulevard Trail (Mt. LeConte) Elevation Profile

Boulevard Trail (Mt. LeConte) Elevation Profile

Trail Difficulty Scales Explained

Elevation Grade


Gentle Slope

Paul Petzoldt Scale






Shenandoah Scale


Moderately Strenuous




Hiker Tips & Trivia

  • The platform-like protrusion Myrtle Point was burned by an accidental fire sometime in the 20th century. Before then, it was thickly matted with Huber's sand myrtle - which is how it gets its name. Harvey Broome, a conservationist who played a huge part in the establishment of the GSMNP, one said that the growth was so dense you could "perform flying somersaults" onto the myrtle without fear of injury.
  • "The Boulevard, which never falls below 5,700 feet, is one of the crookedest and most precipitous ridges in the mountains." - Paul J. Adams, 1966
  • What can you see from Myrtle Point? Sixty miles in the distance are the Black Mountains of western North Carolina. At a closer distance are the more familiar peaks of Mount Sterling, Mount Guyot, Mount Kephart, and the Sawteeth north of Charlie's Bunion. Turn to the west and you'll see the bare summit of Brushy Mountain just below where you stand. Look down into the surrounding valleys to see Huggins Hell. You'll find the distinct twin peaks of the Chimney Tops in the shadow of Sugarland Mountain, beyond which is Clingmans Dome, Thunderhead Mountain, and Silers Bald.
  • High Top (6,593 ft) is the tallest peak of LeConte. It is marked by a large pile of rocks. In Carson Brewer's trail narrative (Hiking In The Smokies), he claims that the pile was left by boosters who wanted to make the mountain taller than Clingmans Dome. In the 1998 book A Natural History Of Mount Le Conte, authors Kenneth Wise and Ron Peterson state: "Tradition has it that hikers are to toss a stone onto the pile in deference to an old Cherokee custom of offering a rock to appease the evil spirits."

Trail Map

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The above list of hiking trails in the Smokies is incomplete and constantly being updated. If you have information or photos you would like to contribute, please contact [email protected].

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