Clingmans Dome

Breathtaking Views From Clingman’s Dome

Clingman’s Dome is the highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with an elevation of 6,643 feet. It ranks as the highest mountain point in the state of Tennessee. There are only two other mountain peaks east of the Mississippi, both of which are located in Mt. Mitchell State Park in North Carolina, that boast a taller point. As one of the best tourist attractions in the region, Clingman’s Dome offers an incredible 360 degrees view of the Smoky Mountains.

When Should I Visit?

Clingmans Dome obsefvation tower at sunsetClingman’s Dome is open all year long, although the road that leads to it is closed between December 1 through March 31. Of course, weather conditions also dictate when it is open or closed. Driving to the Dome is 25 miles from Cherokee and 23 miles from Gatlinburg. To get there, turn off Gap Road 0.1 mile south of Newfound Gap, then follow Clingman’s Dome Road for seven miles until reaching the parking lot at its end.

What Should I Expect?

On a clear day, a trek up Clingman’s Dome offers a beautiful view that can span more than 100 miles. However, pollution limits the view to a considerable amount to less than 20 miles. Some things to expect while hiking up the dome include clouds, rain and colder temperatures. At the top of Clingman’s Dome, temperatures can be approximately 10 to 20 degrees cooler than at lower points. These cool, moist conditions nourish the coniferous rainforest within the area. Even when visiting during the summer, it is important to dress appropriately, which means in layers. It is also wise to bring a jacket due to the drastic temperature changes.

Within the seven miles to the end of Clingman’s Dome Road, there are plenty of scenic areas. At the end of the road and beyond the parking area, there is a half mile long trail leading to the summit. The trail is steep and leads to the observation tower. There are several additional trails beside the one leading to the summit that offer beautiful views from Georgia to Maine.

If you’re planning a trip to Clingman’s Dome, Aunt Bug’s cabins are the most convenient places to stay. Located minutes away from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, our cabins are fully furnished with hot tubs, game rooms, fireplaces and jacuzzis. Visit our Specials page to find out about our latest deals and promotions!