Climb to new heights
Clingmans Dome is the best place to go for panoramic views from the highest elevation in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (elevation 6,643 feet). A half mile uphill hike on a paved trail leads to the observation tower (pictured) where you can enjoy 360° views of the Smoky Mountains. Going on a day with clear skies will allow you to see the furthest.
We particularly like to visit Clingmans Dome on super hot days, because the temperature is 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than in Pigeon Forge. Make sure to prepare for the change in temperature when visiting Clingmans Dome. You may need a jacket or hoodie there even if the temperature is warm in Pigeon Forge. Because of the cooler temps, the road to Clingmans Dome is closed from December 1 through March 31.
Due to the strenuous hike and thinner air at the high elevation, we have found that our family and friends that suffer from asthma have a difficult time hiking to the tower. If you don’t want to (or are unable to) make the hike, the views from the parking lot area alone are worth the trip!