Thankfully, the rain cleared up after new years so we were able to get some hiking in along the Alum Cave Trail.
It was pretty cool to watch the landscape change as we moved up in altitude. The misty, humid environment near the trail head made it feel like we were walking through a rainforest, but the deciduous trees in this region gave way to pine-scented conifers as we hiked up the mountain.
One of my favorite parts was encountering small streams and areas of runoff – Wherever we were, we could hear the sounds of moving water.
Unfortunately, we were unable to reach the summit of Mount Le Conte – The last mile of the trail was covered in ice and we were running out of daylight hours so we decided to turn back a little early. We still hiked the majority of the trail (8 out of 10 miles) and were able to experience some amazing views.