Discover Clingmans Dome
Finding a great time in Gatlinburg is easy. but at least once you have to venture into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. However, the park is rather large and that often means you have plenty of natural beauty to take in. Some of the beauty you get to take in come from the mountains, but some of it is man made like the historic structures in Cades Cove. One of the places that has a combination of the natural beauty and the man made beauty is Clingmans Dome, which offers you the chance to go to the highest point in Tennessee, but also a chance to see for miles if you hike up the easy and paved trail to the tower.
Why Go To Clingmans Dome
Going to Clingmans Dome may not be on the must do list of a lot of people, but it should be. Going to the top of Clingmans Dome allows you to experience some of the best views in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Yes, it can be crowded and at times difficult to find a parking spot, but it is worth going to the top to get to seethe amazing view. On a clear day it is reported that you can see for several miles. Each of those miles tends to allow you to see quite a few features in the distance.
At the same time, though, you have a chance to see what has made this part of Tennessee such a special spot. That is the mountain tops that are present and definitely something you are sure to fall in love with. In fact, I remember quiet clearly sitting in the parking lot and watching the road ways in the distance and seeing how they meandered through the mountains guiding travelers to their next stop.
How Long Should You Set Aside?
The time to set aside for your trip up to Clingmans Dome really depends on how long you plan on staying at the dome itself. Now, I will tell you the stop is becoming quite popular and that leads to the drive being quite a bit longer than what you may expect. I would estimate it takes about 45 minutes to drive from Gatlinburg to reach the Clingmans Dome parking lot, but it could take longer depending on traffic and if you take your time to see the mountains.
As for going to Clingmans Dome itself, the hike is a very easy walk up a paved path to the top of the tower. Once at the top you can spend some time looking at the different views around the tower as it does afford you a 360 degree view. Honestly, the amount of time you spend here will vary depending on how crowded it is and what you are wanting to see.
With the hike up to the top of Clingmans Dome it will take anywhere from a few minutes to a half hour. The reason this is such a major concern is the walk is uphill and it really depends on your activity level as to how long it takes you to reach the top. As for the total time to go to Clingmans Dome and back I would estimate that it would take about 3 to 4 hours depending on how quick the drive is and the amount of time you spend at the top of the tower.
Our Final Thoughts On Clingmans Dome
For me Clingmans Dome is always on my list of must see places. Granted, the hike is not easy for my husband who has to use a cane to walk, but with the breaks we take and the kids encouragement it keeps him going up the path. Now, the views you get from Clingmans Dome coupled with the sheer beauty of the mountains and it is easy to see why this place is on our must check out list. Overall, if you want to experience the beauty of the mountains and a chance to see over 100 miles, then Clingmans Dome is a must stop for you.
Images From Clingmans Dome
How Far Is Gatlinburg From Clingmans Dome
The trip according to Google Maps is 23 miles, but estimates it can take 45 minutes to an hour to reach.
Does It Cost Money To Go To Clingmans Dome?
As part of the National Park this is a free attraction that is family-friendly.
How Long Does The Clingmans Dome Hike Take?
The hike to the top depends on your physical ability. Some people can do the hike in a short time period, but others can take fifteen to twenty minutes.
What Do I Need To Bring For ClingmansDome?
Your camera for pictures, a jacket or long sleeve shirt, and possibly pants. Remember it will be colder than it is in Gatlinburg and in some cases may have snow on the ground still.
Is Clingmans Dome Open Year Round?
Clingmans Dome is a seasonal attraction and can end up inundated with snow during the winter months.