Mount Le Conte (Tennessee)

Mount Le Conte (Tennessee)

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Mount Le Conte (Tennessee)

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Description:
Mount Le Conte (or LeConte) is a mountain in Sevier County, Tennessee located within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At 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). However, from its immediate base to its highest peak, Mount Le Conte is the tallest mountain in Tennessee, 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.

History

There is considerable controversy over just which member of the Le Conte family the mountain was named for. The United States Geological Survey lists Joseph Le Conte, famous geologist, as the man for whom the mountain was named, supposedly by Swiss explorer Arnold Guyot . However, in recent years this claim has been challenged by local authorities (including the authors of A Natural History of Mount Le Conte), who in turn believe that the mountain derives its name from Joseph's older — and less...
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