Brushy Mountain Trail (Mt. LeConte)Difficult

Porters Creek Trail / Gatlinburg, TN

Difficult
Brushy Mountain Trail (Mt. LeConte)

Distance (One Way)

4.9 miles

Elevation Gain

3,064 feet

Trailhead

Porters Creek Trail

Location

Gatlinburg, TN

Trail Description

Brushy Mountain Trail is a connector trail between Porters Creek and Trillium Gap Trail. The trail itself is a total of 4.9 miles, but the entire hike to LeConte Lodge via this route is 9.1 miles, making it the longest one-way hike to the lodge.

The trail begins one mile into Porters Creek Trail. You will ascend on Brushy Mountain Trail for 4.5 miles before reaching the intersection with Trillium Gap Trail (8.9 miles) and the heath bald Brushy Mountain. For the best views, take a right and continue through the rhododendron tunnels for approximately 0.4 of a mile. To reach LeConte Lodge, take a left at this intersection and continue on Trillium Gap Trail for 3.6 more miles.

Alternatively, you can see the best of Brushy Mountain by hiking up Trillium Gap Trail - a more enjoyable route - and taking a quick left at the intersection onto the heath bald. It's only 0.4 of a mile to reach the spot with the best views. The Brushy Mountain heath bald provides an astounding vantage point for Mount LeConte to the right. Left of LeConte you will find Mount Kephart, the Sawteeth, the Jumpoff, and even a distant Mount Guyot to the left.

#mt leconte
#difficult
#gatlinburg tn

Brushy Mountain Trail (Mt. LeConte) Elevation Profile

Brushy Mountain Trail (Mt. LeConte) Elevation Profile Tom Dunigan's Elevation Profiles

Mt. LeConte Trails

Other ways to reach Mt. LeConte: Alum Cave Trail (Mt. LeConte) (5 m) Boulevard Trail (Mt. LeConte) (5.4 m) Bullhead Trail (Mt. LeConte) (5.9 m) Rainbow Falls Trail (Mt. LeConte) (6.5 m) Trillium Gap Trail (Grotto Falls, Mt. LeConte) (8.9 m)

Mount LeConte's 6 Trails

Alum Cave

Route Info: 1 trail, 5 miles total

Trailhead: Newfound Gap Road [Map]

Starting Elevation: 3878'

Pros: shortest & easiest route, incredible views throughout including Alum Cave Bluffs, Inspiration Point, and a distant Clingman's Dome on a clear day

Pros: the busiest of all 6 trails and one of the most trekked in the entire park

More Info

The Boulevard

Route Info: 2 trails, 8.1 miles total

Trailhead: Newfound Gap [Map]

Starting Elevation: 5039'

Pros: a high starting point makes for the only LeConte hike that isn't a relentlessly steep climb, incredible views throughout

Pros: the first 2.7 miles on the AT are part of the route to Charlie's Bunion, making it fairly crowded

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Bullhead

Route Info: 3 trails, 6.9 miles total

Trailhead: Cherokee Orchard [Map]

Starting Elevation: 2602'

Pros: potential loop hike, The Pulpit, wide open views for most of the trail after the 2016 Gatlinburg fires, least traveled route

Pros: some of the roughest terrain out of the 6 trails, very steep, many consider it very difficult

More Info

Rainbow Falls

Route Info: 1 trail, 6.5 miles total

Trailhead: Cherokee Orchard [Map]

Starting Elevation: 2602'

Pros: waterfall at the 2.7 mile marker, potential loop hike

Pros: the short waterfall hike makes the first portion of this trail a very crowded spot if you don't start early enough

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Trillium Gap

Route Info: 1 trail, 8.9 miles total

Trailhead: Cherokee Orchard [Map]

Starting Elevation: 2602'

Pros: most gentle incline of the 6, potential loop hike, the LeConte llama train, Grotto Falls early on in the trail

Pros: the longest single trail to LeConte, the last 3.6 miles can feel pretty brutal

More Info

Brushy Mountain

Route Info: 3 trails, 9.1 miles total

Trailhead: Greenbrier Cove [Map]

Starting Elevation: 1696'

Pros: the roundabout way of reaching the lodge makes it an unpopular option, beautiful views of Mt LeConte from the trail & summit of Brushy Mountain

Pros: the longest route possible, includes the last 3.6 miles of Trillium Gap; most of the trail gets overgrown in the spring & summer

More Info
(5 m)Arch Rock (1.4 m)Arch RockAlum Cave Bluffs (2.3 m)Alum Cave Bluffs (4.1 m)Vantage PointInspiration Point (2 m)Inspiration PointAppalachian Trail (2.7 m)Boulevard Trail (5.4 m)The Jumpoff (2.8 m)The JumpoffAnakeesta KnobAnakeesta KnobVantage Point (6.9 m)Vantage PointMyrtle Point (7.4 m)Myrtle PointHigh TopHigh TopOld Sugarlands Trail (0.4 m)Bullhead Trail (5.9 m)Rainbow Falls Trail (0.6 m)The PulpitThe PulpitFire Damage (2.1 m)Fire DamageIntersection with Rainbow FallsIntersection with Rainbow FallsRainbow Falls Trail (6.5 m)Rainbow FallsRainbow FallsFire Damage (3.7 m)Fire DamageTrillium Gap Trail (8.9 m)Grotto FallsGrotto FallsBrushy MountainBrushy MountainPorters Creek Trail (1 m)Brushy Mountain Trail (4.5 m)Trillium Gap Trail (3.6 m)Summit of Brushy MountainSummit of Brushy Mountain12345678925003500450055006500

Trail Difficulty Scales Explained

Elevation Grade

12%

Very Steep

Paul Petzoldt Scale

11

Strenuous

5

10

15

Shenandoah Scale

173

Strenuous

50

100

150

Photo Gallery (12)

Trail Map

More Hikes

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 caroline@pigeonforge.com.

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