Clingmans Dome ramp

This is the ramp to the observatory on the summit of Clingmans Dome. This structure is terribly invasive, but gives fantastic views that could not be had otherwise and protects the summit vegetation. The ascent through the forest canopy is a also a nice feature. October 2001


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rpc - May 16, 2006 9:34 pm - Voted 9/10

Stupid a.. architect...

...who designed this!! What the hell were they thinking????

"terribly invasive" Agreed!

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - May 30, 2006 7:47 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Stupid a.. architect...

I can only guess what they were thinking, of course. But one of the disappointments with the AT (which runs nearby this structure) is that places with nice views seem so far and few between. That's what makes the balds so precious (Bill Bryson comments on this in his wonderfully funny book, "A Walk in the Woods"). My son Curtis and I noticed this a couple years back in the Smokies when we tried to find a few nice places to get images of the mountains and clouds. Anyway, this structure (and the 1/2 mile or so paved "trail" leading to it) permit even the wheel-chair bound to experience a nice view from a Great Smokies summit.

Interesting best view of the Blue Ridge Mtns: We were way off the beaten path not too far from the Tail of the Dragon (possibly the best driver's road in the world, if you haven't heard of it). Anyway, we passed this little sign that had a camera and an arrow pointing up this dirt road. So we followed the dirt road for a couple miles until we alighted on this bald with a 360 degree panorama of the surrounding mountains. Awesome. I took a panoramic series, but it's not appropriate for SP since we drove to the top. :-( But it really gave me an appreciation for those few places known as balds, and why they're so precious to hikers along the AT.

mark d.

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