Clingman's Dome Trail

At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is the highest point in Tennessee, and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi. The observation tower on the summit of Clingmans Dome offers spectacular 360° views of the Smokies and beyond for those willing to climb the steep half-mile walk to the tower at the top. On clear days views expand over a 100 miles. Temperatures at the dome can be 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than in the surrounding lowlands. Dress in layers and be sure to bring a jacket, even in summer.

The road leading to the tower is closed seasonally, typically from early December through late March, and whenever dangerous weather conditions require. Although the trail is paved, it is too steep to be wheelchair accessible.

There are two other trails off of the Clingmans Dome trail including the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail where Clingmans Dome marks the highest point along its journey from Georgia to Maine and the Forney Ridge Trail which leads to Andrews Bald, a high-elevation grassy bald.

Please keep in mind bicycles and dogs are NOT allowed on this trail and a parking pass is required when parking longer than 15 minutes at the trailhead. 

Trail Info:

Region: Clingman's Dome
Length: 1.3 miles
Rated: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 337 ft
Route Type: Out & Back


Hiking, Views, Forest, Wildlife, Popular, Paved, Restrooms, Visitor Center


Get Google Directions

Drive 13.4 miles on Newfound Gap road from the Sugarlands Visitor Center then turn right and follow the 7-mile-long Clingmans Dome Road to the large parking area at the end. 

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Trail Map



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