Who is Mount LeConte?

Famous Smoky Mountain view of Mount Leconte covered in snow in early springLocated in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Mount LeConte is indeed an East Tennessee treasure. The third highest peak in the park, Mount LeConte, features an elevation high enough, at nearly 6,600 feet, to attract experienced climbers and beginners who wish to go hiking in the Smokies.

Though Mount LeConte is a beautiful Smoky Mountain destination, the story of how Mount LeConte received its name is a mystery to everyone. The ultimate question: “Which brother, Joseph or John, was responsible for giving Mount LeConte its name?”

Some sources note that the mountain was named after Joseph Le Conte, a famous geologist. However, the authors of a contemporary book titled A Natural History of Mount Le Conte have made their own suggestion. Their research suggests that the beautiful Mount Le Conte was actually named after Joseph Le Conte’s less famous, older brother, John. John Le Conte was a South Carolina physicist. According to the book, Mount LeConte was so named by Samuel Buckley, a noted geologist, botanist and naturalist. Apparently, he named the mountain after John Le Conte to honor him for a good deed. Still, today, no one knows which brother is responsible for the name of the mountain.

Even though Mount LeConte was measured in the mid-19th century, it wasn’t actively explored until Paul Adams became a member of the Great Smoky Mountain Conservation Association in the 1920s. The group’s goal was to make the region a national park. To that end, Adams began an expedition. He wanted them to see the exquisite beauty and rugged splendor the Smoky Mountains held.

Today, Mount LeConte gets a lot more attention from avid hikers. If you are planning a trip up the mountain to Mount LeConte, stay with Timber Tops Luxury Cabin Rentals in one of our beautiful Gatlinburg cabins. All of the cabins are fully-equipped and will be a great place to relax after hiking in the Smokies.