|Range/Region:||Blue Ridge Mountains|
|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.
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.
Thanks to Travis Sutton Byrd for this description.