Yesterday evening, Congress passed a stopgap bill to continue funding the federal government through November 17th and avoid an immediate shutdown. That development means GSMNP, and thus LeConte Lodge, will remain open and operating as normal for the time being. We are grateful to continue to welcoming visitors up top!
It’s going to be a mostly sunny Sunday atop the mountain today, with these delightful early autumn temps continuing to range from upper 40s to lower 60s. Any winds zipping over the peaks will be light. With such superb weather and the favorable news that the park will remain open this first day of October, expect traffic congestion on roads and trails to be just as dense as it was yesterday.
If you have plans of visiting Mt. LeConte this autumn, perhaps for the first time, please keep in mind that all weekends now through Veterans Day are historically the busiest for the lodge, and in turn the Smokies, out of the entire year. And with the addition of the parking tag requirements at all trailheads, expect the reduced number of permissible spots to be at quite the premium. Be planning those routes and times accordingly, even more so since weather conditions will gradually have a greater impact on roads and trails with each passing day.
Bookings for the 2024 season will kickoff tomorrow at 8:00 AM Eastern, when phone calls will be processed simultaneously with those thousands of written requests received prior to last week. The annual booking process is highly competitive, as the number of available cabins during our eight months of operation is quite small compared to the vast volume of requests received, many for the same popular dates or weekends. Please note that our reservations office does not accept walk-ins. If you submitted a written request prior to last week, sit back and relax or carry on with your day, but be sure and check your email spam folders for potential reservation confirmations this week, as some domains filter emails from the lodge differently than others. If you did not submit a written request on time and are relying solely on trying to get through via phone, understand that this process is highly competitive and can result in long wait times as we are a small operation.
Have a great day.