At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The short paved trail to the summit is a popular tourist stop for good reason: Fantastic 360-degree views are to be found from the observation tower.
To get to Clingmans Dome, exit Newfound Gap Road and follow Clingmans Dome Road for approximately 7 miles. You will be greeted with stellar views to the south and down into the Forney Creek valley as you arrive in the parking lot. There is a visitor center located near the start of the trail where rangers can answer any questions you may have.
The trail proceeds for a half mile up to the observation tower at the summit of Clingmans Dome. The tower was built in 1959 and offers views that can stretch for up to 100 miles on a clear day. Just below the summit you will find a short spur trail that connects up with the Appalachian Trail. Jumping on the AT from Clingmans Dome is a great choice for many, and it offers a chance to escape the crowds and experience more backcountry in Smokies.
Please note that Clingmans Dome Road is closed from December 1 through March 31.