Clingmans Dome

Posted by David  
Filed under Hiking, Sightseeing

Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains is one of the most popular tourist spots in the entire park. What attracts so many visitors to Clingmans Dome is the fact that at an elevation of 6,643 feet, it is the highest mountain in the Great Smokies. The views from the mountain top are spectacular – provided it isn’t too smoky :-)

clingmans dome view

Clingmans Dome is very accessible. Clingmans Dome Road begins just past Newfound Gap and leads up the mountain to the Forney Ridge Parking Area. Check our Great Smoky Mountains Map for further details.
Please plan your visit carefully. Clingmans Dome is often closed in the winter from December 1 through March 31 due to potential icy roads.

From the parking lot, it is just a short 1/2 mile hike up the trail to the observation tower at the top of the mountain. The observation tower gives visitors a 360 degree view of the entire Smoky Mountain park. It is truly amazing, especially if you’re lucky enough to visit on a clear day.

clingmans dome observation tower

One thing hiking enthusiasts will enjoy is the Appalachian Trail crosses Clingmans Dome, passing immediately north of the observation tower. If you hang around long enough you will see several thru-hikers pass by as they travel through the backcountry.

If you’re planning a trip to the Great Smokies, you must make Clingmans Dome part of your visit.