When searching for a family friendly hike in the Smokies who could resist a half mile paved trail to the highest peak in the national park?
What if I told you the hike was straight up? Well, at least it felt that way. Having a four year old in a hiking back pack whilst climbing didn’t help things either. About halfway in I was set to order a helicopter to pick me up at the summit to save me from my heart attack.
Clingmans Dome is the highest point in along the Appalachian Trail as well as the highest point in the Smokies ,as mentioned previously, at 6,643 feet. The parking lot can be found off Newfound Gap Road where it is a short but steep hike up to the Clingmans Dome Observation Center.
My advice would be twofold: Dress warm as the temperature at six thousand plus feet above sea level could be up to twenty degrees cooler than that at the bottom and secondly not to enter the national park with a quarter tank of gas. We were on point with only one of these, (psst, check out the pic above). Be sure to watch the video below to the end to check out two very non traditional RV’s that were courageously driven up the switchback roads to the parking area by international tourists bent on seeing the best of America.
After Clingmans Dome we headed back down range and stopped at The Chimneys Picnic Area for a quick dip in the West Prong Little Pigeon River before getting chased out by the rain.
Well, that’s it for The Great Smoky Mountain National Park as far as our content anyway. Please be sure to stay tuned as we introduce George to Brook n Wood in our next post. Thanks for stopping by.