This highpoint straddles the border of Tennessee and North Carolina in
the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Had it been only
42 feet higher it would have been the highpoint of both states!
I've visited this highpoint twice, driving up both times. There is a
large parking lot with a short paved trail that leads to one of the most
inappropriate structures located on any highpoint -- an observation
tower that looks like something out of Star Trek.
Don't expect solitude. The Great Smokey Mountains is one of the most
visited national parks and Clingman's Dome is one of the most visited
Don't expect cloudless blue skies either. This may be the eastern U.S.
but these mountains are high enough to create their own weather
patterns with over 80 inches of precipitation a year. On both of my
visits there were patches of blue sky punctuated by the sudden
appearance of ominous black clouds.
Great Smokey Mountains National Park has over 800 miles of trails --
more trail per square mile than any national park. 99% of the tourists
never get more than a mile from their cars. (98% never get more than a
mile from the tacky arcades in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.) Except
for the half dozen or so most popular trails, you can find relief from
the hoards of tourists simply by heading off into the backcountry.
Don't just come to bag the peak -- enjoy the park!
The photos are from my July 1999 visit.