View From Black Mountain

Looking eastward toward the horizon are the Smoky Mountains, behind a low bank of clouds. It’s a wonderful view from Black Mountain, located on the Cumberland Plateau in Crab Orchard, Tennessee. Prints available. Hope to see you soon!

Black Mountain

Prints available. Located in Crab Orchard, Tennessee, Black Mountain connects with the Cumberland Trail and provides hikers with both scenic overlooks, as well as a geologic wonderland of massive boulders and cliffs.

Frozen Fence At Cades Cove

Prints available. Obviously, it was below freezing during my recent visit to Cades Cove, a popular tourist attraction in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. This harsh weather, however, kept people away and I was able to enjoy the 11-mile scenic drive at a slow pace, often stopping in the road to take photographs from the comfort of my heated vehicle – as seen here.

Black Mountain

This picturesque view was photographed from the top of Black Mountain. Located in Crab Orchard, Tennessee, its connected to the Cumberland Trail, providing hikers with both scenic overlooks, as well as a geologic wonderland of massive boulders and cliffs. This view faces east. Prints available. Hope to see you soon!

Sunrise Scenes

These photographs were taken from a scenic overlook along Foothills Parkway, near Wears Valley, Tennessee, and feature sunrise scenes over the Smoky Mountains. Prints.

Smoky Mountains Sunrise

A pre-dawn sunrise reflects off a ceiling of clouds over the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, seen here as photographed from the scenic Luftee Overlook. See prints and more at Fine Art America. Thanks!

Mount LeConte

The tallest mountain located entirely within the state of Tennessee – near Gatlinburg – Mount LeConte stands an impressive 6593-feet above sea level and provides hikers with stunning panoramic scenery of the Smoky Mountains.

Clingmans Dome (at 6664-feet, the tallest peak in the Smoky Mountains National Park) and Mount Guyot (6621-feet) each have higher elevations, though both occupy boundaries within Tennessee and North Carolina.

There are five trails to the summit of Mount LeConte. This hike – my second – began at the Alum Cave Trailhead, located approx. 8 miles from the Sugarlands Visitor Center, along Newfound Gap Road. During the initial 1.5 miles, the trail parallels two creeks – Alum Cave Creek & Styx Branch – providing visitors with pleasant background sounds of running water.

Shout Out: I enjoyed conversation at Myrtle Point with two visitors from Maryland (Kathy) & Virginia (Gail), and hiking back down the mountain with a nice woman – Shawnie – from Dayton, TN. Nice to meet you!

One can expect to meet many people along the trail – it’s a popular place to hike, with most folks opting to walk 1/2 the distance, stopping at Alum Cave Bluffs (an area originally mined for deposits of magnesium sulfate & alum in 1838, by the Epsom Salts Manufacturing Company).

Other landmarks include Arch Rock (a long stairway which winds through the mountainside), Inspiration Point, and the Eye of The Needle. This area is also home to Peregrine Falcons – the fastest bird in the world, with a top recorded speed (during descent) of 242 miles per hour. And, the trail is equipped with several different steel cables, affixed to the mountainside for safety.

The Top

Hikers are greeted at the top of the mountain with a series of buildings – LeConte Lodge, cabins, gift shop, fresh water pump & an outhouse.

LeConte Lodge operates via a seasonal airlift of supplies by helicopter in March, restocking throughout the season using alternating teams of pack llamas for several days each week. Cabin availability is limited and reservations should be made one year in advance.

Cliff Tops

Located a short 0.2 miles away from LeConte Lodge, Cliff Tops is one of two primary overlooks enjoyed by visiting hikers. It’s a great place to relax with a snack and take in the view!

My next destination was the eastern most edge on top of Mount LeConte; also known as Myrtle Point. Here are a few photographs taken en route…

Myrtle Point

This is my favorite of the two overlooks. It has a more expansive, panoramic view, and much flatter rock surfaces for comfortable seating. Mountain views include Mount Kephart, Newfound Gap, Charlies Bunion and Clingmans Dome.

Conclusion

Including visits to/from the Cliff Tops & Myrtle Point overlooks, I tallied over 12 miles on the hike along the Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte. It’s the shortest route, but, being the steepest trail, a strenuous endeavor. My advice is to be well-rested, bring appropriate clothing but travel as lightly as practical, take a break if fatigued, stay hydrated, use trekking poles when possible, and watch your step. Oh, and take pictures!

Photography

Fine quality prints are available through my galleries at Fine Art America & Pixels. Select between framed, canvas, art, poster, metal, acrylic, wood and/or tapestry. Customization options, also.

Thanks for stopping by!

Scenic Sunrise

Start your day today and everyday with a print in your home featuring this picturesque sunrise over the Smoky Mountains. I shot this photograph from a scenic overlook along the Foothills Parkway, near Wears Valley, Tennessee. Many print types are available to enjoy!