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What Is Clingmans Dome In Tennessee?

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Do you ever wonder what Clingmans Dome is in Tennessee? In this Tennessee vacation guide, we’ll share why Clingmans Dome is a popular attraction in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee and why you should visit when you’re in the area.

Located in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), this iconic spot draws visitors from all over to experience its breathtaking 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains and sparkling streams below.

Clingmans Dome in Tennessee
What is Clingmans Dome in Tennessee

At an elevation of 6,643 feet, you’ll be able to see some of the most stunning views in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On a clear day, you can even see into North Carolina and Georgia as well!

Be sure to keep reading to know more about what Clingmans Dome in Tennessee is.

What is Clingmans Dome in Tennessee?

Clingmans Dome is an incredible natural wonder located on the Tennessee-North Carolina state line in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

It was named after Thomas Lanier Clingman, a Confederate brigadier general and U.S. Congressman from North Carolina. Clingman was an advocate for the creation of the National Park Service and played a role in its establishment.

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It is known to be the highest point in Tennessee, as well as the third highest peak east of the Mississippi River.

So what makes this mountain so unique? Read on to discover how visiting Clingmans Dome can be an unforgettable adventure for your whole family!

How Long Is The Walk Up To Clingmans Dome?

One way to get to the top of Clingmans Dome is by hiking. It’s a 1.3-mile out-and-back trail which is a moderately difficult trail because of the steep incline that would take approximately 40 minutes to finish.

Be sure to stay hydrated and wear the best hiking shoes for a safe and comfortable hike.

Bicycles and pets are prohibited on the paved trail to the observation tower. However, there is a designated bike rack at the beginning of the paved trail where you can park your bikes.

Wheelchairs and strollers are also not permitted because the trail is very steep and might cause accidents.

Can You Drive To The Top Of Clingman’s Dome?

Visitors can take a scenic drive to get up to the top of Clingmans Dome. The drive is about 7 miles long and takes you through a beautiful forest and past several scenic vistas.

Clingmans Dome in Tennessee
What is Clingmans Dome in Tennessee

The road is open from April to November (weather permitting), so be sure to check the dates and weather conditions before you visit. You may visit NPS website for daily trail advisories on road and facility closures.

Once you reach the top, there are amazing views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On clear days, you can see up to 100 miles in any direction!

The temperature at Clingmans Dome is generally 10-20 degrees cooler compared to lower elevations, making it the perfect spot to escape the warmer temperatures in the summer.

In cooler months, wear extra thick clothes or layer them to keep yourself warm, and bring a jacket even in the summer. It is best to come prepared to ensure a good visit.

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View from Clingmans Dome

With the spectacular view you get to experience, you’ll be surprised to know that admission to Clingmans Dome is absolutely free of charge.

Whether you’re an avid hiker or just someone looking to get away from everyday life for a bit, Clingmans Dome has something special to offer everyone.

Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary

I understand how difficult it can be to plan a trip, especially if it’s your first time going. That’s why I created this 7-day itinerary for the Smoky Mountains. It outlines all of the best places to go in the area and comes with insider tips that will save you a lot of stress–trust me, they saved me when I was planning my own trip!

  • Our 7-day itinerary takes you to the best places in the Smoky Mountains.
  • You’ll get to see all the best sights and attractions with driving directions
  • The itinerary is designed to show you the most scenic routes.
  • Packing Checklist for every season.
  • You’ll have everything you need to make the most of your trip.
  • Insider Tips!

Here’s a quick overview of our Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary.

  • Day 1: Cades Cove Loop
  • Day 2: Rich Mountain Road
  • Day 3: Cataloochee Valley
  • Day 4: Newfound Gap Road
  • Day 5: Roaring Fork Motor Trail
  • Day 6: Little River Road
  • Day6: Foothills Parkway

Download This FREE Smoky Mountain Checklist

Related Smoky Mountains Resources


Amazing scenery deserves to be photographed. Be sure you have the perfect camera when you go on a trip to the Smoky Mountains. Check out these photography gear for hiking recommendations from PhotoJeepers for the best results.

Bringing your kids to hike for the first time? We’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best Smoky Mountains hikes for kids you might want to check out.

Don’t Miss All Of Our Smoky Mountain Web Stories

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