Trek To The Highest Point In The Great Smoky Mountains National Park At Clingman’s Dome In North Carolina

Every North Carolinian or visitor to the Tar Heel State should experience the quintessential Great Smoky Mountains National Park adventure of visiting the highest peak in the Smokies at Clingman’s Dome. Found along the North Carolina and Tennessee border, the Clingman’s Dome Hike is an unparalleled experience that really must be on every outdoor enthusiast’s bucket list. Let’s take a look!

The tower at Clingman’s Dome is open year-round, but only accessible from December to March to through-hikers using the Appalachian Trail or the Mountains-to-Sea Trail because the road leading to the mountain top is closed by the national park for the winter. The road reopens each year on April 1st but can be subject to further closures, should inclement weather strike.

When you’re planning a visit, it’s best to check the National Park Service‘s official website to make sure the road is open if you’re traveling on the tail end of the winter season. Admission is free, of course. No pets are allowed on the trail, and you may want to bring a jacket (depending upon the season). The top of the mountain is typically 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the surrounding lower-lying areas.

Have you done the Clingman’s Dome Hike before? If so, share some pictures or comments in the section below!? And if you’re looking for more adventure in The Tar Heel State, this alpine mountain coaster looks absolutely epic!

Address: Clingmans Dome, North Carolina 28713, USA
The OIYS Visitor Center

Clingsman's Dome Hike

April 07, 2021

What are some other things to do around Clingsman’s Dome?

While Clingsman’s Dome is the star of the show Great Smoky Mountains National Park,  it certainly isn’t the only adventure there! From hikes and shorter nature walks, there’s something for everyone at this North Carolina treasure. The Great Smoky Mountains offer a seemingly endless array of outdoor recreation, catered to each and every visitor’s situation. If you’re wanting a slow, serene walk where you bring your binoculars and search for nature, you can do that. If you’re looking for a magical, fairy-tale waterfall, you’ll find that, too. Visitors here can also join the Appalachian Trail for a mile or two, becoming part of something historic and collective. No matter what you choose, you’re guaranteed to have a memorable day in nature here in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains.

What are the absolute best hikes in North Carolina?

North Carolina is a dream for any explorer. From some of the highest peaks on the east coast to trails that lead you beside rushing waterfalls, and even coastal habitats where you might spot a Venus flytrap or two, there are endless opportunities for hiking and outdoor recreation here in The Beaver State. Of course, Clingsman’a Dome Hike is one of our favorites, some of our top treks include Hanging Rock State Park: There are plenty of trails to choose from at this ever-popular destination not far from the triad, too. Moore’s Wall Loop Trail takes you to a breathtaking rock outcropping vista with some jaws dropping views. This delightful little day hike is 4.3 miles, and if you still have a little energy left, take the Lower Cascade Trail to breathtaking waterfalls. Read about more of our favorite hikes in this list!

Does North Carolina offer many hikes for beginners?

While it’s true that North Carolina boasts some of the most technically challenging hikes on the East Coast, happily, the corollary is also true. There are plenty of trails in North Carolina that are short, sweet, and accessible for beginners. Craggy Gardens is a great place to start. Located just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, this 1.4-mile hike features one of the best views in the state. Plus, on your way up, you’ll pass through a tunnel of trees that looks like something from a fairytale. Whether it’s the wildflowers in the spring or the crystal-clear views in the winter, this trail is a must any time of the year. Learn more about other easy trails in North Carolina.


Address: Clingmans Dome, North Carolina 28713, USA