I also hiked the AT from Clingmans Dome parking lot via the bypass and then back to Clingmans Dome summit. A nice hike on crisp clear day. Had some killer views from time to time.
Expected to see Bob Sihler guarding this summit but, alas, we just sat down and and enjoyed a break then hiked on. ;-)
Joined a few friends the weekend after superstorm Sandy. We backpacked from Elkmont campground up to the Appalachian Trail, spending the first night at the Silers Bald shelter. We knew there would be snow, but found 2-3 feet of snow, plus drifts on the AT. Tough going and no one had broke trail yet! For everyone that came after us, you're welcome.
Hiked from Clingmans Dome parking lot via the bypass and then back to Clingmans Dome summit.
I didn't see a soul on the entire AT until back within a mile of Clingmans. Great views, fun & relatively easy ridgeline hike.
Climbed up to Silers from the Tunnel Trailhead as part of a four day three night loop. When we reached the AT via the Welch Ridge Trail, the temp had dropped to the mid 20's and the wind was howling. Great Hike!!
Another peak ascended, and subsequently descended, on my 2000 AT thru-hike.
It was very cold with high winds when we left Clingman's Dome parking lot - although it warmed up once we got out onto the trail. On the way out to the Bald the valleys were filled with fog - but the fall colors in the ridgelines were beautiful. By the time we headed back the fog had burned off, which allowed for even better views of the fall colors. Even though it was October and peak time for the leaves we saw no one that morning, until our return to Clingman's Dome parking lot.
50s at dawn when I started, 80s when the fog cleared as I hiked back. Good reason why you pack for weather in the Smokies, even on a hike of just a few hours.
Hiked this in the Mid 1980's in July. Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye were riding high on the PTL before it started riding them. Good getaway from SW Ohio.