Hike to Alum Cave

Alum Cave Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Ally Woodall

The hike up to Alum Cave is very popular – and for goodreasons! From the interesting geological features and incredible views, you won’twant to miss this hike.

The Alum Cave trailhead is on Newfound Gap Road in the GreatSmoky Mountains National Park just under 9 miles from the Sugarlands visitorcenter. At the trailhead, there is a decent size parking lot with bathroomfacilities. If you can’t find parking, often people will pull over to the sideof Newfound Gap Road and park there. Planning an early morning hike can help toavoid the crowds.

The trail begins from the parking lot and begins by gentlyfollowing Alum Cave creek, gaining little elevation. At approximately 1.25miles, you’ll reach the first interesting geological feature, a hollow rocktunnel called Arch Rock. Fairly steep stairs will take you through Arch Rockonto the other side.

From here the trail has a more moderate elevation gain andwinds through the mountain forests until you reach Inspiration Point, at about2.0 miles. Stop here and take in the beautiful views of the Smoky Mountains andmaybe even take a few photos.

Finally at 2.3 miles you’ll reach Alum Cave. Don’t be fooledby the name, Alum Cave is not an actual cave. It’s more of a concave cliff, butgives the feel of a cave as it sits on the edge of the mountain and rises about90 feet tall. This is another great picture spot, or perhaps time to stop andenjoy a snack before the hike back down.


4.6 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1120 ft Gain




Photography, Hiking


Nearby Lodging

From $194/night

Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Cherokee / Great Smokies KOA

Cherokee, North Carolina

Pigeon Forge / Gatlinburg KOA

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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