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Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
Trail type
1.20 mi (1.93 km)
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Incredible views.


Crowds. Traffic congestion.

Trailhead Elevation

6,300.00 ft (1,920.24 m)

Net Elevation Gain

340.00 ft (103.63 m)


Clingmans Dome Trail
Bryson City, NC 28713
United States


Big vistas

Typically multi-day



Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


Photos from sunrise at Clingmans Dome on July 1, 2018.
The observation tower is now closed as of 8-24 for the remainder of the 2017 season for repairs. Got there the day before.
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