Clingmans Dome might be one of most famous landmarks on the Appalachian Trail in the region of the Great Smoky Mountains and is the highest point along the entire length of the AT. At a towering 6,643 feet, it is the highest peak in the Smokies and the third highest peak east of the Mississippi.
What you need to know for a visit to Clingmans Dome…
Make sure you’ve eaten your Wheaties for breakfast and you’ll be ready to climb the steep half-mile walk to the Dome’s observation tower. At 54-feet tall, the observation tower will give you a 360-degree panorama view of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you’re an early riser, plan to arrive at sunrise for one of the most spectacular shows Mother Nature can offer, when visibility on a clear day can be up to 100 miles distant. Or, head over in the late afternoon and take in the sunset, equally beautiful. You’ll find a terrific visitors center as well as restrooms in the parking lot area. Note that the trail to the tower is too steep to be wheelchair accessible. Pets and bicycles are not permitted on this or any other trails in the area. Opening day in 2019 is Saturday, March 30, weather permitting.
The road to Clingmans Dome is normally closed from December 1 until April 1. Opening day in 2019 is Saturday, March 30, weather permitting.
If you’re lucky, you might even get the thrill of an up-close-and-personal experience with some of the Park’s residents!