Spring Break day 4 - Great Smoky Mountain National Park - Clingmans Dome

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Travel Blog

 › entry 802 of 1090 › view all entries
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower

Clingmans Dome is the highest mountain within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With 2025 meters (6,643 ft) it is the third highest mountain of the east coast, only 12 resp. 1 meter(s) shorter than the numbers one and two.

The mountain has several interesting features. It is e.g. located on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee and can be easily accessed since the National Park Service has constructed an access road that leads to a point at about 100 meters (300 ft) below the summit. The Appalachian Trail, so often mentioned in this blog, passes here too. Actually Clingmans Dome is the highest point of the trail.

Finally, in order to make the viewing experience for the visitors extra worthwhile a nice tower has been constructed. It adds another 14 meters (45 ft) to the altitude.

View from Clingmans Dome Observation Tower
The current, concrete "art deco" like tower replaced its wooden predecessor in 1960. There is no elevator, no stairs, a huge circular ramp allows the visitors to climb it.

This observation tower was on my today's list too. I had had some climbs today but I bravely started hiking the steep asphalt access trail. The views from the tower can be foggy, but today I was lucky and had a very decent view, I could even see Mount Mitchell, with 2037 meters / 6684 ft the number one of the east coast.

On my way back down I of course visited the Appalachian Trail. Although I had not hiked it here I still wanted to visit the highest point, especially since I have been on the lowest point (in Bear Mountain Zoo, NY) so many times.

The black bear next to the trail
Walking back to the car I saw many people standing on the Clingmans Dome trail, staring into the bushes. It appeared that two black bears were roaming around. I had already seen about four bears while driving in Shenandoah but now I could take the time to watch them. Later on, on my way to Maryville I had to break for a crossing bear.

I continued my journey to the State of Tennessee. I had set foot in the state briefly, since the tower's ramp entrance is in Tennessee, but at the Newfound Gap I officially crossed the border. 

More pictures below! Deze fake-tekst heb ik toegevoegd om net iets meer regels te genereren zodat deze rare website toestaat dat de bijgesloten foto ook vertoond wordt. Deze fake-tekst heb ik toegevoegd om net iets meer regels te genereren 

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower
View from Clingmans Dome Observati…
View from Clingmans Dome Observat…
The black bear next to the trail
The black bear next to the trail
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower
View form Clingmans Dome Observati…
View form Clingmans Dome Observat…
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower
The highest point of the Appalachi…
The highest point of the Appalach…
The black bear next to the trail
The black bear next to the trail
View from Newfound Gap
View from Newfound Gap
Stateline at Newfound Gap
Stateline at Newfound Gap
More Smoky views
More Smoky views
457,535 km (284,299 miles) traveled
Sponsored Links
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
photo by: tj1777