Clingman's Dome

Clingman's Dome is the second highest peak east of the Mississippi (next to Mt. Mitchell) and the highest peak in Tennessee. Located in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, you can drive within a half mile of the lookout tower at the summit, although that half mile is a doozy. If you would like a little more scenery and solitude on the way up, the Appalachian Trail runs just below the lookout. (I started at Indian Gap, six miles north on the AT, and found it to be a beautiful section.) This is also the beginning of North Carolina's Mountain's to Sea trail. There are a couple of shelters within 2-4 miles available for camping although, one of them (Mt. Collins shelter) is currently closed due to "aggressive bear activity."

On the way out of the park I was fortunate enough to see two elk, a rare sighting in this part of the country.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 129

View Larger Map