The hike to Kephart Shelter is 2.0 miles in each direction. Kephart Prong Trail parallels the Kephart Prong of the Oconaluftee River and is a nice place to enjoy the sites and sounds of the river. In addition, quite a few historical remnants remain from early 20th century buildings.
Wildflowers are in abundance at the trailhead and along the first two miles of the trail. Some say that a spring hike on Porters Creek Trail is unequaled in the Smokies. The best time to see wildflowers is from April to May, although the trail is open year round.