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Clingman's Dome!

North Carolina
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Clingman's Dome!

SO I am totally wanting to go to Clingmans dome after checking out some pics - I found directions about how to get there and am not stressed about the drive. When is the best time to go? Can you see the sun rise really well from there? And I read the hike is steep but with just the two of us will it be really hard? When is the best time to visit?

I was viewing pics and am in total awe of the beauty - worth it? I think so!!!!

Powhatan, Virginia
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421 posts
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1. Re: Clingman's Dome!

They do close the road to Clingmans dome during winter. Not sure when it starts, but doesn't usually open again until sometime in April. Maybe the GSMNP page from the NPS would have more details. The hike from the parking lot is only about 1/2 mile but overweight, out of shape, asthmatic me has made it several times -- with several breaks on the way up -- but made it none the less. At least 45 degree incline all the way up. But worth the effort. If you want views, plan on least cloudy/foggy day or else you'll just be in the clouds. Oh and plan for at least 10 degrees cooler than in Gatlinburg! Never tried for the sunrise there . . . prefer sunrise from window of cabin. Not that much of a morning person.

North Carolina
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2. Re: Clingman's Dome!

Overweight? hand raises here - lol! So hopefully DH and I can make it! So that is totally on the list now - a must do.

tenn.
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124 posts
22 reviews
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3. Re: Clingman's Dome!

it is well worth it. it is a steep walk, but the view is great.me and my husband walked it with a stroller it was tough but we made it, so give it a try. you will love it

Wish I was in...
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4. Re: Clingman's Dome!

We always try to watch a sunrise from Clingman's Dome. We are lazy sometimes that early in the morning ,so we just drive up to the parking area to watch it. It is a beautiful spot for a sunrise.

The hike up to the top is pretty hard for me due to the elevation. I just can't seem to catch my breath. The benches along the trail are wonderful!

Glen Carbon IL
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1,146 posts
13 reviews
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5. Re: Clingman's Dome!

GO, Squeshia! It's the most awesome sight you'll ever see. You'll feel like a speck of dust in all that openness. Does that make sense??

Cinn, OH
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1,491 posts
33 reviews
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6. Re: Clingman's Dome!

You have to walk up to Clingman's dome at least once so you can say you did it. Even little kids start to slow down before they get to the top, so us "old folk" don't have to feel too bad.

Fremont, OH
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186 posts
1 review
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7. Re: Clingman's Dome!

How do you get to Clingmans from Wears Valley Road?

Boston...
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8. Re: Clingman's Dome!

I don't find the Clingman's Dome trail hard at all—honestly, it's only a half-mile! Then again, I'm fourteen and an avid hiker, so that's not surprising coming from me. The views from Clingman's are nice, but I personally thought that the acres of dead Balsam Firs are pretty amazing, too (although in a different way). I actually think the views from LeConte or Cammerer are better, but those require some difficult hikes, so most people miss those views.

It's very much worth it in any case, though. Definitely try it out, and maybe try getting up early for a sunrise. That's one advantage of Clingman's; you can catch a sun rise/fall without making a hike in the dark.

Kristian

Chickamauga, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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9. Re: Clingman's Dome!

From Wear's Valley Road, you'll need to drive into P.F., turn right on the parkway, and take the parkway through town, up into and through Gatlinburg, and then into the national park on Newfound Gap Road.

Once you reach the top of Newfound Gap Road, look for a road on your right with signs to Clingman's Dome. Follow this road another 7 miles and you'll dead-end at the Clingmans Dome parking lot.

Clingman's Dome Road is closed from December 1 to April 1, unless snow closes it earlier or later.

Glen Carbon IL
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10. Re: Clingman's Dome!

The road getting there is very scenic, too. We went last Nov.4 and there were giant icicles hanging off the bluffs along the highway, it gets very cold up there.