Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lunch served for day hikers at LeConte Lodge

Last summer, the National Park Service announced that it awarded the current operator of the LeConte Lodge a new 10-year contract. The most interesting aspect of the new contract is that, beginning this season, hikers will be able to purchase snacks, beverages and lunches at the Lodge. Up until the end of last season, only overnight guests were allowed to purchase meals at the lodge.

Beginning on March 23, day hikers, backpackers and horseback riders will have a couple of options for purchasing a lunch at the lodge.

Day hikers can have a sit-down lunch in the lodge dining room by making reservations at least 48 hours in advance. You can call 865-429-5704 to reserve a spot. Lunch will be served from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm Eastern Time.

The lunch menu for the dining room includes soup, chicken salad (cheese or peanut butter and jelly is also available), bagel, baked goods, hot chocolate, coffee and lemonade.

Day hikers have the option of ordering a sack lunch to go, which will contain a bagel, cream cheese packet, beef summer sausage, applesauce, trail mix, cookies and a Gatorade drink packet. The sack lunch to go does not require a reservation.

Both the sit-down lunch and the sack lunch will cost $9.00 each.

Additionally, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm, the lodge will offer hikers hot chocolate, coffee and lemonade for $3.00 each, and assorted baked goods for $1.00 each.

The rustic mountaintop lodge is perched at the 6,593-foot summit of Mount LeConte and is accessible only by trail. The contractor cooks on propane, uses oil lamps for light and packs supplies in and out by llama.


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