For the Observationist—Clingmans Dome
Location: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Elevation: 6,643 ft.
At a measly sub-7,000 feet, Clingmans Dome doesn’t hold a candle to the rest of these peaks in elevation. But what it lacks in height, it makes up for in views. An observation tower on the summit offers a gorgeous 360-degree scenic panorama of the Smoky Mountains. On a clear day, you can see up to 100 miles. (For the record, it is the tallest point on the Appalachian Trail.) Get there by driving the seven-mile Clingmans Dome Road near the AT’s Newfound Gap. From the large parking lot, climb the steep half-mile up to the tower. Don’t miss the AT, which cuts across the summit and has several hikeable offshoot trails to higher-elevation ridges and grassy meadows.
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