Clingmans Dome, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

4.8
#2 of 37 in Things to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Mountain Nature / Park
At an elevation of 2,025 m (6,643 ft or 1.25 mi), Clingmans Dome is both the tallest mountain of the Great Smokies and the highest point along the Appalachian Trail. Park your car near the summit and embark on 0.8 km (0.5 mi) walk to the observation tower atop the mountain. Note that while the trail is short and paved, it is very steep. Benches along the way provide a place to rest and catch your breath. The tower's observation platform provides panoramic views of the surrounding area, and handy signs help you identify points of interest. Bring a jacket with you; cold temperatures and rain are common here. Use our Great Smoky Mountains National Park holiday planner to visit Clingmans Dome on your trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
2,211 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • This is an easy walking path, that leads you to the highest point in the smoky mountains. We picked a rainy day, so the amazing views were not available. Still a fun walk, with a side trail that is pa...  more »
  • The walk up to the clingmans dome is steep. We did it and stopped at a few benches. The views are beautiful!! Coming down was much easier. There is a small gift shop on the way up. The views from park...  more »
  • We hit this trail and the observation tower about 9:30 on a Monday morning in August. At that time, there were only a handful of people up in the observation tower. And, there was plenty of parking. S...  more »
Google
  • Absolutely spectacular views for miles!!! Not a terribly long hike as some trails in the area are. A lot of it, if not all is paved. It is however a fairly steep climb in grade over a relatively short distance. Allow enough time for many rest stops on the way up and you will be greatly rewarded once you reach the top.
  • You think "it's only a half a mile to the top, nob problem." Problem! Very steep. At least it's paved and the view is amazing. Don't feel bad if all you make it to is the parking lot and the gift store. Still an amazing view from the parking lot and the store is small and quaint.
  • Oh. My. God. This was NOTHING what I expected. We got there very early in the morning and it was packed still. It was AMAZING, probably the most amazing experience I've ever had in my life..it was my husband, and our 4 kids. The views are so out of this world. You're so high, you're literally above the clouds. The hike up was KILLER, and I think I almost died a few times, but we made it and it was so worth it. It was the most amazing view. I literally dream about going back. I look at the pictures and it still takes my breath away.
  • Its amazing!! I can see so far away!! Beautiful on a clear day. Hiking trails to balds. Even a helicopter wreck
  • The views are spectacular and breathtaking. It's a nice workout to climb up to the top.But it's well worth it.The climate keeps changing and it's very windy up there. Wear a comfortable walking shoes and carry a jacket.

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Best things to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Where to stay in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park, choose between developed campgrounds where you can pitch your tent by your car and access restrooms and showers, or more primitive vehicle-accessed campgrounds. The park also offers accommodations in a permanent structure at LeConte Lodge, which is accessible via five different hiking trails. (There is no car access; you must hike in to use this lodge.) For a wider array of lodging options, stay in Gatlinburg. Serving primarily as a resort gateway to the park, the town offers various styles of accommodation, from national chain hotels to mountain lodges to small inns. Most places lie within 8 km (5 mi) of the park's entrance.
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