Hike the Kephart Prong Trail, Great Smoky Mountains NP



3.92 miles

Elevation Gain

850 ft

Route Type


Added by Joshua Contois

Cross multiple rivers on five different foot bridges along this scenic 4-mile hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Kephart Prong is a pretty easy hike in close proximity to the Visitor Center on the North Carolina Side of GSMNP. 2 miles up the trail, you'll arrive at Kephart Shelter, where you can rest and enjoy vies of the Kephart Prong. Once you've had your fill, head back down the way you came. 

During the rainy months, you'll see small streams form near the trail that flow into the Kephart Prong. You may even get a chance to see a few small waterfalls. 

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Known for

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Food Nearby



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Our Southern Highlanders

After reading Kephart’s book, Our Southern Highlanders, I had to hike this trail, which is a steady uphill walk to the Kephart shelter. If you’re hiking midsummer as we did, take bug spray, a cap, and a handkerchief as it is quite humid. Lovely walk in the woods with multiple trail access and four footbridge stream crossings.

Stayed in The Kephart Shelter

Stayed overnight in the shelter, would and will do it again! Beautiful, yet simple hike to take on.

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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