West Prong Trail
ElevationAscent: 975' 297 m
Descent: -385' -118 m
High: 1,984' 605 m
Low: 1,364' 416 m
GradeAvg Grade: 10% (5°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)
Popular runs nearby
Chimney Tops Trail
4.2 mi 6.7 km • Out and Back • 1,420 ft Ascent 432.7 m Ascent
Mount Le Conte Loop
16.0 mi 25.7 km • Loop • 3,960 ft Ascent 1207.09 m Ascent
Andrews Bald Out and Back
3.6 mi 5.8 km • Out and Back • 806 ft Ascent 245.82 m Ascent
Smokies Challenge Adventure Run (SCAR)
73.1 mi 117.6 km • Point to Point • 14,944 ft Ascent 4555.02 m Ascent
Fontana Dam - Shuckstack Fire Tower
9.2 mi 14.7 km • Out and Back • 2,371 ft Ascent 722.77 m Ascent
Fontandango 10 miler, 50k, 50 Miler, and 50k Relay
9.6 mi 15.5 km • Point to Point • 1,479 ft Ascent 450.91 m Ascent
Navigate on-trail with our free app
“A climb to Bote Mountain Trail, with a side trip to the Walk Valley Cemetery.”— David Hitchcock
The trail starts climbing and comes to a fork, where you can follow the trail to the left or take a right to visit a maintained cemetery where many of the families in the area were buried. You'll notice a high number of children buried here, which speaks to the high infant mortality rate in the 1800s and early 1900s. Family names you'll see in the cemetery are Moore, Stinnett, Carlyle, Cook, and McCarter. These families lived in the Tremont area, making a life for themselves living off the land. Once you have looked around, you can go back the way you came to pick up the trail or take a rough path through the woods to rejoin the West Prong a little further up the trail. If you go back to the trail, you'll work your way up the trail and at roughly .25 miles, you'll see a hog trap off to the right, which is used to capture wild boar, an invasive, non-native species that destroys vegetation and native animals.
As the trail climbs Fodderstack Mountain, the West Prong can be heard below the trail and views through the open woods provide opportunities to take in the surrounding hills and creek valleys.
After climbing for about a mile, the trail begins a mile long descent to West Prong where wildflowers can be seen in wet areas beside the trail. An easy rock hop over a side creek leads you to Campsite 18 at mile 2.1. There are several campsites on both sides of the stream for people who want to camp overnight. Once you pass the campsite and cross a foot log, the trail goes to the right and starts climbing again. While not steep, it doesn't level off for the rest of the trail. At 2.7 miles, you reach the Bote Mountain Trail and the end of the West Prong Trail.
You have several options when you get to the junction. You can go back the way you came, or take the Bote Mountain Trail to the right where you end up on Laurel Creek Road. If you continue straight on the Bote Mountain Trail, you'll eventually wind up on the Appalachian Trail at Spence Field.
West Prong also acts as a connector between the Elkmont-Tremont trails and the Cades Cove trails.
Wildflowers can be seen in the spring in the wet areas along the side of the trail. Rhododendron bloom in early summer, and other trees like tuliptree, maples, and chestnuts are seen all along the way.
Run this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Need to Know, Runner Notes
Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow runners know what's here.
Land Manager: NPS - Great Smoky Mountains National Park