Mount Le Conte (or LeConte) is a mountain in Sevier County, Tennessee located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At 6,593 ft (2,010 m) it is the third highest peak in the national park, behind Clingmans Dome (6,643 ft, 2,024 m) and Mount Guyot (6,621 ft, 2,018 m). It is also the highest peak that is completely within Tennessee. However, from its immediate base to its summit, Mount Le Conte is one of the highest peaks in the Appalachian Mountains rising 5,301 ft (1,616 m) from its base, near Gatlinburg, Tennessee (1,292 ft/394 m).
There are four subpeaks above 6,000 ft on the mountain (referred to as the LeConte massif): West Point (6,344 ft/1,934 m), High Top (6,593 ft/2,010 m), Cliff Tops (6,555 ft/1,998 m), and Myrtle Point (6,200 ft/1,890 m). In addition, Balsam Point (5,840+ ft/1,780+ m) serves as the dramatic west end of the massif. Additionally, the mountain is notable for having the highest inn providing lodging for visitors in the Eastern United States.
Numerous routes & FKTs have been discussed:
Dave Worth (3/13/2013):
I don't know if this is necessarily an FKT, but I did LeConte last summer. I went up Rainbow Falls to the summit (not the lodge), and came down Bull Head Trail back to the parking lot.
Total time was 4:42:13
TH to summit via Rainbow Falls: 2:54:08
Summit to TH via Bull Head: 01:48:05
Total Elevation Gain: 4783'
Total Distance RT: 14.07 mi
Device used: Garmin Forerunner 305 and Garmin c60x(?)
I wasn't flying, I stopped to take in the views and get some pics on the way up and down. Awesome trail, and some amazing scenes on the way up and down. Too bad that the summit is not open to view the surroundings, but at least there's some good views along the way!
Evan Hone (6/29/2013):
I am out here in on vacation from Cali and have run Leconte a few times this past week. This morning I started at the Rainbow Falls parking lot and ran up to the Leconte lodge and back down to the Rainbow Falls parking lot in 2 hours and 17 minutes. It was super muddy from all the rain this past week and I was not in a racing mindset. Anyways I think this time is super soft and think I could get it around the 2 hour mark if conditions were better and I decided to go for it. I also did not bring any food or water with me this morning. This is a beautiful trail and wish I had more time to explore the amazing TN mountains.
Alex Garcia (3/24/2017):
New FKT up/down 1:27 [via Alum Cave Trail]