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A Natural History of Mount LeConte by Kenneth Wise and Ron Petersen

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From the Valley below on the Tennessee side, the three peaks of Mt. LeConte present the high-point along the Great Smoky Mountains' highest ridge. Even many elementary school students point Mt. LeConte out as they ride along in the Valley. From the North Carolina side, Le Conte takes a more seasoned viewer to be discerned. The greatest feature of this book is the map in a pocket in the back that identifies for the hiker the other mountains that can be seen at strategic points along the five trails that lead up to the summit. This book does a great job of covering both the natural history and the human history of this iconic mountain whose lodge at the top has served generations of hikers. Historic and contemporary photos make the text even more compelling. The book's chapters feature the six trails to the summit, and the summit itself, but each is enjoyable to those who never aspire to hike them because of what they reveal about the mountain itself. The co-authors are Kenneth Wise, a librarian at the University of Tennessee, and Ron Peterson, a botany professor there.

Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1998. 137 pages with an index, Further Readings, figures, maps, and photos.