I forget when I did this.. a few years ago with friends..
That last 1/2 mile from the parking lot sure was crowded.
My buddy Duane and I are working to be the first to complete the list of the 100 most topographically prominent peaks in the Lower 48. Clingmans is on the list, and we had two others in far-flung locations. So we planned a three-legged trip to Tucson for Mica Mountain, then driving to Big Bend National Park for Emory Peak, then driving to San Antonio for a flight to Nashville and Clingmans, then returning home. The Nashville floods happened while we were on the road, and at first we wondered if we would have to change our flights out of San Antonio to return home instead. But the more we investigated, the more we were convinced that we could get Clingmans, so we didn't change our flights. We were to land in Nashville on May 3, then drive to the Gatlinburg area that evening, drive to Clingmans on the 4th, then head back to Nashville and get on a plane that afternoon. While doing our research, to our horror we learned that the Clingmans Dome road was still closed due to stimulus funded projects in the National Park. So how would we get our money's worth out of our plane fare? We decided that the only way we could do this was with an overnight hike on the road since there were not enough continuous daylignt hours in our schedule. After securing our motel room, we got ready for an unexpected hike, drove up to Newfound Gap, parked at the Appalachian Trail parking lot, and headed up the road. The total round-trip distance was between 15 and 16 miles. We returned to our motel after the hike, slept for about 3 hours, then got up and headed for Nashville and our flights home. This plus the extra 4 miles on our Mica Mountain hike pushed our total mileage for the trip from a planned 26 miles to a total of over 44 miles in 4 days. Are we crazy or WHAT?
I've been up here 4 times in the last 20 years. Three times by the paved walk-up route and once on a Thru-hike of the AT. This time we joined the masses on the paved trail and my kids enjoyed their first view from the ridge of the Smokies.
We hiked up the AT from Newfound Gap, hoping to see some bears. We met a few hikers who had seen some, but we didn't see any. Fortunately, the road to the top was closed for re-paving, so we didn't see any herds of tourists up there either. We enjoyed a quiet lunch and some great views from the observation deck. HP28
Hiked the 16 miles round trip from New Found Gap via the Appalachian trail. Saw a lot of thru hikers.
Surrounding fog and a circular ramp to a tower. Hard to forget Clingman's dome, in part because of its' AT fame.
But if you hike a few miles out-n-back on the A/T... I think it counts as a 'summit'.
Actually visited twice in one weekend thru the region.. 1st day (with the A/T hike was misserable, cold, rainy and foggy - no views...). 2 days later (on my way back to Atlanta) the sun was shinning - so I just ~had~ to come by and check it out again. Glad I did... views were great!
It was a windy afternoon on a five day AT trip. There was a porta-john on top that had to have one of the best views in the Smokies.
very cloudy so couldn't see anything til i left it started to clear up and had awesome views at Newfound Gap. lots of people! felt bad driving to the parking lot so i hiked to Andrews Bald and back and summited twice
Walked up the paved trail in sandals. Nice views. Lots of people.
and i could barely see anything. this was actually my 2nd visit to the mountain, the first being when i was a year old (got solid photographic evidence). spent the night in the mt. collins shelter.
Jones family reunion with Cousin Mark and my Pops
completed the short hike with mom, an enjoyable jaunt.
I had a lot of fun climbing to the overlook tower with a couple of young nephews who found more joy in scaling every rock face that lined the paved walkway than the views from the top.
I hate that there is a road to the top! We went to Charlies Bunion first and then walked up the paved path to the summit. It would be a lot better if there weren't so many people up there!
Even in the clouds and fog it was still a great place. About 49 degrees on top in July was nice, especially if you're from Texas. Saw a Bear on the way down too!
I summited Clingmans Dome, Mount Love, and Mount Buckley all during the same hike. Clingmans Dome was my second State Highpoint of the day (Sassafras Mountain was the first), and my 34th State Highpoint reached overall.
With my 2 year old son and parents. Unseasonably cool. Fantastic views from the gaudy concrete structure at the top.
Man that paved half-mile "hike" was tough. Wish I had my rollerblades, that would have been a funny sight.