7 Things to Know About Clingmans Dome Before Your Hike


Clingmans Dome, the highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains, offers stunning views, challenging hikes, and unpredictable weather at its 6,643 ft summit.

Before you hike to Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the park, read these 7 helpful tips to make the most of your experience and the view

Standing at 6,643 feet, the observation tower is the highest point in the national park. 

It’s the highest point in the national park


The Clingmans Dome trail is paved unlike most trails in the park. This avoids rocks and roots, but the trail is steep. It can be hard for beginners, kids, and seniors. 

The trek to the top is paved.


Clingmans Dome Road closes for cars in late autumn and reopens in April. Tower stays open! Skiers use road in winter, hike up in snow, ski down.

Clingmans Dome Road closes during winter.


The tower is the park’s highest point. Amazing views from top. On clear day, see over 100 miles! On smoky day, can’t see far.

See up to 100 miles away on the deck.


The elevation at Clingmans Dome is high. The temperature is 20 degrees lower than the bottom. Bring a jacket for the cold climb!

This area is 20 degrees colder than the rest of the park.


Most of the park has no restrooms. Clingmans Dome has some, but they are like port-a-potties. You can use them if you need to!

There are restrooms at the trailhead.


The tower trek is steep. High elevations can tire you. You can stop and rest on benches. You may see more things if you do.

Take breaks when needed.


Next: 11 Hidden Gems in the Great Smoky Mountains You Need to Explore

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