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Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome Tower

The Clingmans Dome Tower, one of the highest points east of the Mississippi River.

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One of the most popular hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the half-mile hike to the top of Clingmans Dome.

Visitors can drive to a large parking area located about 7 miles from Newfound Gap.  Once there, they can hike the half-mile trip up a paved trail to the observation tower (seen right).

The observation tower provides the highest viewing point in the Smokies on the second-highest mountain east of the Mississippi River.

Although the trail is quite steep, it's paved and provides plenty of photo ops for those who love mountain vistas.

Make sure to read our first-hand experience of Clingmans Dome in our Explorations section.