Clingmans Dome (6,643') via the Appalachian Trail July 2009
Mileage: 6ish miles RT
Elevation gain: uncertain (probably 1,500')
Trailhead: Not wanting to hike the whole 7.5 miles to the Dome, we drove along Clingmans Dome Road from Newfound Gap in North Carolina, found a place to park, and hopped over the bushes on to the AT (which runs parallel to the road).
Hiked with the Riches (Rich my husband and Rich my brother-in-law). The AT crosses the access road in several places a few miles before Clingmans Dome, the high point of Tennessee. The structure resembles a flying saucer with a ramp.
|The AT crosses Clingmans Dome Road in several spots.|
We found a crossing a few miles before the monument. After we parked in a dirt turn-out, we hopped the bushes and started up the trail. There were just a few hikers out, mostly weekend people (one guy with pots hanging from his neck - so much for traveling light!).
|BIL Rich on the AT|
The monument can be visited by car and the Clingmans Dome Road ends at a parking lot near the monument. It was crowded that day and a bit cloudy so we didn't stay long.
|View on a cloudy day.|
We retraced our route back to the AT and headed down to where we parked our car. When we reached the spot where the trail crosses the road, we'd gone too far and had to walk back up the road to the car.