Mount Le Conte (or LeConte) is a mountain in Sevier County, Tennessee located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At 6,593 ft (2,010 m) 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 (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.
Mount Le Conte lies in the Appalachian Blue Ridge geologic and physiographic province. It is made up of Late Proterozoic rocks; mostly metamorphosed sandstone, siltstone, shale, and conglomerate formed over 800–450 million years ago. Millions of years of weathering has caused significant erosion, giving the mountains in the region, including Le Conte, a distinctive, gentle sloping feature. A dense stand of Southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest, a remnant of the last Ice Age, coats the mountain's peaks and upper slopes.
Mount Le Conte has a climate similar to that of Southern Canada, giving it cool summers, and cold, snowy winters. Annual snowfall averages 39.43 inches near the base to 71.82 inches on the highest peak. The climate is much cooler and somewhat wetter than the lower elevations. The lowest temperature ever recorded was -32F, on January 13, 1986. The highest temperature ever recorded at the lodge was 81.5F by NOAA coop volunteers/lodge staff employees)