Great Smoky Mountain National Park - Kephart Shelter - Member Hike

Hike Name: Great Smoky Mountain National Park - Kephart Shelter
Country: United States
State: North Carolina
Nearby Town: Cherokee
Rating: 4 stars
Directions: (Great Smoky Mountain National Park) – Several major highways lead to the park. The following routes provide access to the three main entrances. In Tennessee: 1)From I-40 take Exit 407 (Sevierville) to TN Route 66 South, and continue to U.S. 441 South. Follow U.S. 441 to the Park. 2.) From I-40 in Knoxville - Exit 386B U.S. Highway 129 South to Alcoa/Maryville. At Maryville proceed on U.S. 321 North through Townsend. Continue straight on TN Highway 73 into the park. In North Carolina: From I-40, take U.S. Route 19 West through Maggie Valley. Proceed to U.S. 441 North at Cherokee into the park. From Atlanta and points south: follow U.S. 441 and 23 North. U.S. 441 leads to the park.
Total Hike Distance: 4.00 miles
Hike Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Permit Required: No
Hike Type: In and Out, Backtrack Hike
Hike Starts/Ends: US 441
Trails Used: Kephart Prong Trail
Backcountry Campsites: Yes
Backcountry Water Sources: Streams
Management: National Park Service
Contact Information: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
(865) 436-1200
Best Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Users: Hikers, Horses
Road Conditions: Primary Paved Roads, Secondary Paved Roads
Hike Summary: The Great Smoky Mountain National Park encompasses 800 square miles of land and 95 percent of it is forested. The park is world renowned for the diversity of its plant and animal resources and for the beauty of its ancient mountains. Unfortunately, the majority of the people that visit the park never visit the backcountry and see some of the best wilderness in the Southeastern U.S.

This backtrack hike starts at US 441 on the North Carolina side of the part and just north of the Oconoluftee Visitors Center near Cherokee. The trail follows the The Kephart Prong which is a stream that runs down from Kephart Shelter to the Newfound Gap Road (also known as US 441). The shelter sleeps 10-12 and is situated in a valley at the junctions of the Grassy Branch and Sweat Heifer Trails.


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