My first Smokies hike of 2015! I packed my stuff last night and hit the road early this morning. I would drive through Gatlinburg (early morning is the best time to do that) and up over Newfound Gap to arrive at the Kephart Prong Trailhead by 8:45.
After just a short walk I came to the first attraction of the day, the site of an old Civilian Conservation Corps camp. There's a little bit of the camp still left including an old sign board,
From the cistern the trail crossed the cascading Kephart Prong
Before reaching the Appalachian Trail I had seen some patches of snow and ice here and there. Once I reached the AT however, the snow and ice became a nearly constant companion.
After my break I got back on the trail. The section north of Icewater Springs was a veritable luge run.
When I reached the Dry Sluice Gap Trail