Mount Kephart

Located on the main crest of the Great Smoky Mountains, Mt. Kephart is but another bump on an undulating ridgeline. It is well known, however, as the site of the famous Jump-off, a sheer face visible from Charlie's Bunion and the AT. Mt. Kephart was named for Horace Sauers Kephart, author of OUR SOUTHERN HIGHLANDERS, CAMPING AND WOODCRAFT, and innumerable magazine articles. Kep, as he was called by his friends, was also an early conservationist and-- along with Col. Davis Chapman-- one of the founding fathers of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He and Chapman were first people ever honored by the USGS with official placenames bestowed during their lifetimes; the naming of Mt. Kephart, however, caused some furor on the Tennessee side of the Smokies-- a brouhaha which is barely remembered today, but which was something to behold back in the early 1930s. For further information on the nomenclature controversy or on Horace Kephart's life, contact me. Or to connect with the ghost of Kephart, visit the cemetery in Bryson City or hike a quart of white liqour to his namesake peak and pour a libation over the lip of the Jump-off.

Elevation (feet): 6,150
Elevation (meters): 1,875
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: Blue Ridge Mountains
State: North Carolina
Latitude: 35.630832
Longitude: -83.389657
Difficulty: Walk up
Best months for climbing: May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
Year first climbed: 1858(?)
First successful climber(s): Albert Guyot (?)
Nearest major airport: Asheville, NC (AVL)
Convenient Center: Gatlinburg, TN or Cherokee, NC

Thanks to Travis Sutton Byrd for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 4 trip reports for Mount Kephart.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #21765 - by Libby Kephart Hargrave on Sep 07, 2009
    Horace Kephart's "lost" novel, SMOKY MOUNTAIN MAGIC, will be available late September 2009, published by the Great Smoky Mountains Associaton, foreword by Libby Kephart Hargrave (great-granddaughter)...
  • Log #21608 - by Libby Kephart Hargrave on Feb 27, 2009
    FYI: Bryson City, NC, is holding a Horace Kephart Day on May 1, 2009. The event starts at the cemetery and concludes at the Calhoun. There will be several guest speakers, presentations, etc. HK was...
  • Log #13238 - by Libby Kephart Hargrave on May 21, 2003
    Horace Kephart was my Great Grandfather. Linda Coons is my sister. He was a man who loved the woods. He was a man who loved writing.
  • Log #13239 - by Linda Kephart Coons on Nov 20, 2002
    Horace Kephart was my Great Grandfather. My sisters and I were not told much about him when we were growing up...he had deserted his wife and 6 children. As we got older, we learned more about the...