LeConte Lodge® Employment

LeConte Lodge® is a rustic backcountry hiking lodge located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Accessible only by hiking one of five approach trails, it is the highest overnight lodge east of the Mississippi River. With up to 60 guests per night, it has been a popular destination for hikers for over ninety years. The lodge is supplied once a year by helicopter and three days a week by Llama. There is no electricity or wi-fi. Propane heaters and kerosene lamps are provided in the cabins. Cooking, hot water, and limited refrigeration are made possible by LP gas.

Employment opportunities as Crew are available in-season, from early March to late November. Management, Cook, and Llama Wrangling positions are more rigorous and filled on an as-needed basis. Crew duties include but are not limited to meal service, basic food preparation, dish washing, retail sales, cleaning of cabins and facilities, checking in guests, and all other services related to accommodating our overnight guests. We are in the hospitality business, so the attention given our guests is a top priority. Having a team mentality, a great work ethic, an outgoing personality, and the ability to relate well with the people we serve are important qualifications for the job.

Crew benefits include hourly wages, tips, an end-of-season bonus, eight days off per month (can be consecutive or split), workman’s compensation, area discounts, and sales incentives.  Management and Head Cook positions are salaried, and come with health and disability benefits.

Farm/Wrangling benefits include salary, housing (off-site), health and disability benefits, an end-of-season bonus, workman’s compensation, extended time off during the winter off-season, and area discounts.

LeConte Lodge® is a unique operation with a rich history. If you enjoy hiking, living “off the grid,” and value the opportunity to serve thousands who share a common appreciation for the outdoors, then this is the job for you! If you have the desire to join our team, please click on the link at the bottom of this page to fill out and submit an online application.

Basic Requirements for a Crew Member:

The position of Crew requires some level of physical ability. You will be required to hike to work at least once a month, with the shortest trail being five miles one way. Multiple tasks require that crew members be able to lift objects of varying size and weight (upwards of 25-30 lbs.) consistently, like linens, non-perishable goods, large pots, and mop buckets for example. Regardless of what the weather is doing, we will still work in the sun, rain, and snow.

This is a job that requires one be able to work well with others, function as a team player, and follow a chain of command. You will be provided with living quarters and basic amenities, and in several instances be working in close quarters. You must be willing to talk with each other and work through any problems or misunderstandings.

LeConte Lodge® is a drug-free workplace.

The Crew eats its meals together and has the luxury of eating meals different from what is routinely served to our guests. The Cook can accommodate many different diets, but it is difficult to offer food for a complete raw food or vegan diet. If you have a favorite snack that is difficult to find, we recommend you send up a supply for yourself. The Cook can order snacks to share among the crew, but they have to be economical, so if you want to keep a stash of nuts or healthy munchies, you may want to send them up on the preseason Airlift.

If you are not an early riser, you will need a battery powered alarm clock.

You will need a good flashlight or headlamp.

We have been known to experience very cold temps in the spring and fall, and sometimes the shower is not available for a few days. Be prepared to not have access to a shower or laundry tub during this time.

We have limited ability to charge items such as tablets, cameras, and phones. You may bring these items; just remember solar panels are available for charging and the ability to charge them depends on the amount of sun we receive on a given day.

The lodge is dedicated to bringing the best backcountry lodge experience available to our overnight guests. It is the Crew’s duty to take care of our guests and make sure their stay is the best possible. We are always available to answer visitor questions and are often the first to respond to any problems that may arise.

Each crew member receives 8 days off a month-without pay. If you do not have a car to leave at the trail-head, Gatlinburg is the closest town to the lodge. The shortest trail down the mountain is the 5 mile Alum Cave Trail, followed by a 10 mile drive into town. An alternate trail is 6.7 miles down Rainbow Falls Trail, and then another 2.5 miles down Cherokee Orchard Road into town. If you decide to spend some of your days off atop the mountain, you will be charged Room & Board for those days.

Basic Requirements for Site Management:

The Site Manager supervises and coordinates all on-site activities concerning LeConte Lodge.  He or she is under the general supervision of the Lodge General Manager.  The Site Manager is responsible for overseeing all on-site aspects involving guest services, pertinent inventory levels, timekeeping and retail sales reports, and basic maintenance of the entire facility including buildings, appliances, water, and sewer systems.  He or she is responsible for training, maintaining, and encouraging the crew toward individual and team successes in conjunction with customer satisfaction.

Prior experience in management, backcountry lodging, food handling, public speaking, wilderness first aid is crucial.  Must have strong and outgoing leadership qualities, sufficient math skills, physical strength and stamina, problem solving skills, and handy-man skills are a plus.  Must acquire Food Handlers and ABC (alcohol) certifications in the state of TN, and complete wilderness first aid training.

Basic Requirements for a Farm Hand/Wrangler:

These positions require someone(s) who is driven, highly motivated, an early-riser, enjoys and respects animals, loves hiking, communicates and works well with others, is ready to learn and adapt.  Must possess physical strengths for handling of animals, moving of supplies, and performing all necessary laborous farm tasks in all types of weather.

Prior experience handling and/or medicating large animals is preferred, although not required.  Handyman and carpentry skills are a plus!

Responsibilities as Farm Hand/Wrangler include: daily animal feeding, assessing and treating animal health, scheduling of farm needs such as bush hogging and herbicide spraying, ordering and transporting of supplies, property and grounds maintenance, use of outdoor power equipment, vehicle and trailer maintenance, animal wrangling and training, flagger certification for annual Airlift, keeping all barns and houses clean and organized.

Typical Day for LeConte Lodge® Crew Members

7:40 am – Prep Dining Hall for guest breakfast.
8:00 am – Ring-in guests in for breakfast (ALL Crew serve food and beverages, dish washing done on rotation)
9:30 am – Crew begins camp cleanup after guests depart, which involves bed making, sweeping, putting out cups and washbasins, and making sure the cabins are nice and clean for day’s next arrivals. The cleaning of toilets is done on a rotation. Cleaning the stove and mopping the Dining Hall will take place during this time. Work concludes once a manager completes a camp inspection, in which Crew can enjoy a break before lunch.
11:30 pm – Lunch for Crew
12:00 – 5:00 pm – Office and Kitchen Shift – These shifts are worked by two Crew members and are assigned on a rotating basis. Remaining crew members will have the afternoon off. Kitchen shift tasks include making cookies and beverages, restocking supplies, serving the guests hot drinks and assisting the Cook. Office shift tasks include checking guests into their cabins, selling merchandise, keeping the office tidy, answering questions and providing trail advice to hikers. Both jobs require respectful and attentive people skills. There is a great deal of interaction with our visitors.
5:00 pm – Dinner for Crew
5:30 pm – Prep Dining Hall for guest supper.
6:00 pm – Ring-in guests for supper (same duties as breakfast)
6:00 – 7:30 pm – Cleanup from supper is usually completed during this time. Crew is then finished for the evening.

Click here to apply.