As part of a 70 mile backpacking trip in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, myself and two friends reached the summit before noon. It was very foggy. Couldn't even see the top of the concrete tower.
Updating the archives!
We hit the Tennessee state highpoint after climbing Chestnut Bald & Reinhart Knob. The mountain was shrouded in clouds when we hiked the obnoxious paved trail to the summit. One thing about this state highpoint that struck me was that there was no sign at the summit marking it as such. The structure at the top was also unnec.
It was a beautiful drive to the top of Clingmans Dome. I loved how the vegetation changes as you go up in elevation. The view from the top was amazing as were the wildflowers found roadside :)
Drove up to the parking area before dawn in very thick fog. A little bit of construction on the trail. Very foggy and my ears got cold.
Drove to Cherokee from Asheville, NC to Hwy. 441. Stopped at Sugarlands Visitor Center and were told that we wouldn't be able to go to summit because of repairs to the area at the top. Drove on Clingman's Dome Road to parking lot. Hiked 2 miles round trip on Forney Ridge Trail to Appalachian Trail and then to the summit. No official looking people around so we climbed the "curved cement bridge to nowhere." Met a few through hikers on the AT. Very nice hike on a perfect day. Drove back to Maggie Valley on the Blue Ridge Parkway. HP #10.
This was the first of three state highpoints for the day(TN,GA,SC). There wasn't any view from the saucer because of the dense fog up at the summit. Still fun though.
My son Curtis and I were hiking a couple days on the AT. We'd left the truck at the parking lot for Clingman's Dome. Our planned return was at sunrise, June 8th, so that we could catch the transit of Venus (I'm an amateur astronomer and had a scope and solar filter in the truck). But it was too cloudy to see the transit.
Funny thing: No one else about. Puzzled, we packed up and headed out the east park entrance. We'd stop so I could take a few images, but there was no one on the road. This is the most highly visited national park (yes, far more than Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite!), yet there was no one around. I got to where I'd just stop on the road to take pic's. Anyway--long story shortened: Turns out the park gates were closed because there'd been an incident with the FBI chasing some wanted criminal into the park. We passed the scene of the incident and there were all manner of cops (local, county, FBI, etc) for several miles before the east gate.
Beautiful hike in the fog and rain. No view from the tower, but the forest was alive.
Great hike along the AT. The tower is unique and oddly out of place, but it does allow for views of the mountains.
Clingman's is totally blah compared to LeConte. LeConte is Tennessee's premier mountain!
Although I'm generally not a fan of highpoint structures, I actually like this one. It doesn't sit on the highpoint itself, and it gradually ramps up to lift you above the trees to see the views (which would be non-existant were it not for the flying saucer). The affect is somewhat lost now with the fir tree blight.
Highpoint #24. Fourth stop in our attempt to bag GA-SC-NC-TN-VA-KY in a day. Definitely want to come back & hike around here.
Hit the summit along the A.T. on a section hike. Lots of snow drifts and ice all over the trail...Lots of fun!
Climbed as part of a three day backpack trip. Started at the road to nowhere and spent the first night along Hazel Creek. Ascended to the AT and summit on the second day, descending and camping along Forney Creek the second night. Out to the road the third day. Awesome trip.
When one of my friend's and I summited it, freezing fog and mist obscured any chance of a view. Our visibility was about 10 feet in front of us, with light snow at the top. Temps dropped down in the single digits with wind chill. Ice and snow covered much of the trail, at best there was frozen mud. Probably should have worn crampons. Excellent time with a good friend. Highly recommended whether you are on a family trip (visit in different weather!) or a backpacker on the AT.
No view, totally foggy. Very WINDY on the tower. My 11th State highpoint.
It was pretty cold all day...We left our bikes on top and rode them down Clingman's Dome Road after the climb, which is an OK section of the AT (too close to the road). Looking to do the whole section through the park in February.
Will and I first "climbed" the concrete trail to the summit of Clingman's Dome in June of 2003. I re-summited it in May of 2005, with my wife, Robin who braved 40 degree temperatures, gusting winds and driving rains to hike the paved trail in flip-flops. Needless to say this took a little coaxing from me...she was not happy. My 10th highpoint, her 5th.
Cold, gray, foggy, misty! So, THAT'S why they call it the Great Smoky Mountains! : ) Dense fog obscured the view and it was windy, but quiet and peaceful. Loved the unusual lookout tower.