Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is the highest point in Tennessee, and the third-highest mountain east of the Mississippi. The observation tower on the summit of Clingmans Dome offers spectacular 360° views of the Smokies and beyond for visitors willing to climb the steep half-mile walk to the tower at the top.
The walk up to the dome itself is steep, though paved and easy. There is a connecting point to the AT along the way. Coming down the peak we were wrapped in a cooling mist, and distancing ourselves from the other hikers, we found the experience truly magical...setting sun, mist, nature sounds...the lasting impact of such a moment cannot be oversold. Parking at the top as not bad. Its a half mile from the parking lot to the dome. Its a steep uphill walk, but its a paved path with many benches and rocks to stop and sit on. Lots of amazing flowers, birds, and humming birds to stop and look at on the way up. Once at the top, the view is incredible. A very nice family nature experience. Take bottled water with you, and use the bathrooms down at the visitor's center. The bathrooms at the top are glorified porta-potties with a harsh chemical smell. We had my mother-in-law with us, who is 70+ and she had no problems making the hike up the hill.
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