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The Top 5 Highest Point in the Smoky Mountains

by Millie

There is no shortage of breathtaking mountain peaks in East Tennessee! The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to some of the most spectacular landscapes in the Southeast. The crest of the Smokies extends in an unbroken chain of summits that rise higher than 5,000 feet for more than 36 miles.

Have you ever wondered what the highest point in the Smoky Mountains is? Here are the top five highest peaks in the national park.

1. Clingmans Dome

At an elevation of 6,643 feet, it is the highest mountain in the Smokies, the highest point in the state of Tennessee, and the highest point along the 2,174-mile Appalachian Trail. It is also the third highest point in all of Eastern North America, after the nearby Mount Mitchell (6,684 feet or 2,037 metres) and Mount Craig (6,647 feet or 2,026 metres).

Clingmans Dome has two subpeaks: 6,560-foot Mount Buckley to the west and 6,400-foot Mount Love to the east. The headwaters of several substantial streams are located on the slopes of Clingmans Dome, namely Little River on the north slope, and Forney Creek and Noland Creek (both tributaries of the Tuckasegee River) on the south slope. The mountain is located entirely within the Tennessee River watershed.

2. Mount Guyot

Mount Guyot is a mountain in the eastern Great Smoky Mountains, located in the southeastern United States. At 6,621 feet above sea level, Guyot is the fourth-highest summit in the eastern U.S., and the second-highest in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While the mountain is remote, the Appalachian Trail crosses its south slope, passing to within 1,000 feet of the summit.

Mount Guyot lies on the Tennessee-North Carolina border, between Sevier County and Haywood County. There are two peaks atop the mountain, appx. one-half mile apart, with the southwestern peak being the true summit. The mountain rises 3,600 feet (1,100 m) above its eastern base near Walnut Bottom [2] and 4,000 feet (1,200 m) above its western base near Greenbrier Cove. Ramsey Cascades, one of the park’s most spectacular waterfalls, spills down a sandstone cliff near the bottom of Guyot’s western slope.

3. Mount LeConte

Mount Le Conte (or LeConte) is a mountain in Sevier County, Tennessee located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At 6,593 ft 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). It is also the highest peak that is completely within Tennessee. However, from its immediate base to its summit, Mount Le Conte is one of the highest peaks in the Appalachian Mountains rising 5,301 ft 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.

4. Mount Buckley

Mount Buckley has the distinction of being the closest named peak to Clingmans Dome, the highest point in Tennessee, and is located on the same ridgeline within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. However, despite this distinction, Mount Buckley is typically unnoticed by nearly all visitors to Clingmans Dome. However, those hiking the Appalachian Trail between Clingmans Dome and Silers Bald will pass right over the summit of Mount Buckley, so the mountain is not without its share of visitors.

The peak’s top is not thickly covered by dense forests, but enough trees are along the ridgeline to yield mostly obstructed views. Still, views do exist of the surrounding mountains and terrain. The summit area is not a well-defined peaktop, and a 40-Foot Closed Contour makes the true elevation estimates range between 6560′ to 6600′ elevation.

5. Mount Love

At 6,420 feet, Mount Love is the fifth highest point in the Smoky Mountains. Like Mount Buckley, Mount Love is located near Clingmans Dome. Hikers along the Appalachian Trail pass through the summit of Mount Love when they make their way from Clingmans Dome to Mount Collins. The peak of Mount Love is densely forested, so there are only a few spots with unobstructed views.

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