Updated by Chris Murphy / Images from Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Take in the Fantastic Views from Clingmans Dome Tower
A trip to the Tennessee Smokies region is sure to be filled with outdoor adventure and spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains. A trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers both. For aerial views of the mountain ranges, head to Clingmans Dome Tower.
About Clingmans Dome Tower
Standing at 6,643-feet tall, Clingmans Dome Tower is the highest peak in the Smoky Mountains, as well as the highest point in Tennessee and third highest east of the Mississippi. Clingmans Dome is an observation tower that offers 360-degree views of the park and its natural surroundings. The tower is one of the best places in the area to get bird’s-eye view of the Smoky Mountains.
Clingmans Dome Tower Views
To get to Clingmans Dome, guests can drive the seven-mile road to the parking area. Along Clingmans Dome Road, there are pull-off areas that offer scenic views of the Smoky Mountain ridges and valleys. There are also several other trails you can take from the Clingmans Dome parking area, including the Appalachian Trail and Forney Ridge Trail.
Guests will travel a steep, half-mile paved pathway to get to the observation tower. Once there, they can take in the awe-inspiring views. On a clear day, observers can see for over 100 miles. On a day with less visibility, the views still extend to distances of up to 20 miles.
Be sure to bring your camera to snap outstanding shots for the mountains, trees, clouds and much more. Early morning and evening are popular times to visit. Guests from all over emerge at Clingmans Dome to capture the reds, purples and oranges in the sunrises and sunsets. During fall, this is a great place to take in the changing hues of the treetops.
Clingmans Dome Tower Weather
The weather at the top of the tower differs from the low-laying parts of the park. Temperatures at the top of Clingmans Dome can be 10–20-degrees cooler than the rest of the park. Be sure to dress in layers, no matter what time of year you visit, to prepare for the change in temperature.
More Information about Clingmans Dome Tower
Clingmans Dome Tower is located at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The tower is free to visit and park.
The tower is open year-round but the road leading to the tower is closed Dec. 1 through March 31 and when weather conditions are unsafe.
Pets and bicycles are not permitted on the trail leading to the observation tower. While the path is paved, it is too steep to be wheelchair accessible.
Getting to Clingmans Dome Tower
To get to Clingmans Dome, turn off Newfound Gap Road and follow Clingmans Dome Road for seven miles to the parking area at the end.