Located in the middle of the half-million acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park, LeConte Lodge is the only place where a visitor can sleep overnight on a mountaintop in a snug, permanent structure with hot and hearty meals on tap. The Lodge has a capacity of sixty guests per night. Seven rough-hewn cabins or 3 group sleeping lodges are also available. The cozy one-room cabins are furnished with upper and lower double bunk beds, making them ideal for two couples or a family of four. Three of the cabins also have a single bed to accommodate parties of five persons. One of the lodges has 2 bedrooms with double bunk beds in each bedroom, and two of the lodges have three bedrooms with double bunk beds in each bedroom. All lodges have a "common room" with two single beds. Appropriate for a getaway from the high tech world a mile below, there is no electricity. The mellow glow of kerosene lamps lights your accommodations, and propane heaters warm the lodges and cabins. Not too long ago an up-to-date privy building with flush toilets was a welcome innovation to the mountaintop retreat; however, there are no showers. Basins are standard in all lodging. Nighttime temperatures take a radical dip, even at the height of summer. The fleecy virgin wool blankets on the beds rate high with lodge guests. Outdoor activity creates healthy appetites, and hosts at LeConte Lodge recognize this. From the coffee or hot chocolate that awaits you upon arrival to the family-style meals served in the lodge dining room, you will be able to eat your fill of tasty and nourishing dishes which appease hunger and restore energy. Lunch is also served to guests staying for more than one night. You live by the sun on Mount LeConte--early to bed, relaxed by your climb, and early to rise to enjoy a renowned Myrtle Point sunrise. Televisions aren't missed. For leisure activities, the lodge office provides reading material, games and comfortable chairs. Sitting on the deck in rocking chairs, soaking up the view of the mountain tops and distant valleys, is a favorite activity. For your LeConte adventure, choose sturdy shoes (read: already broken in). Include more than one change of socks to keep dry. Layered, lightweight clothing gives you flexibility to add or subtract as temperatures fluctuate. A warm sweater or jacket is advisable anytime and a lightweight raincoat or poncho is a must. Nature shows no mercy for those unprepared for her whimsical changes in weather. Spring and summer nights can dip to forty-degree readings; fall nights can drop to the teens with snow. A light backpack should be adequate for your necessities. When packing, include a snack for the trail and a canteen of water (drinking from streams is discouraged for health reasons). Bring a towel, wash cloth and a flashlight.
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