One of the most beautiful sights to see in the Smoky Mountains is a sunset. The mountain peaks take on a rosy glow, and overhead you can see the hint of stars starting to peek through. The foothills below the peaks fall asleep, and all around, the magical night view starts to take over. It’s a stunning natural phenomenon that happens every single night, and as residents of Blount County, we’re lucky enough to see it regularly. One of the best places for visitors to get the best look at this amazing sight is Clingmans Dome.
Find the Observation Tower at the Highest Point in the National Park
Located at 6,643 feet, the observation tower at the top of Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Up here, you can get full views of the mountains from every direction, with nothing at all in the way of the amazing sights. No buildings, no crowds, no billboards – just the gorgeous sight of the mountains stretching out around you. It takes just half a mile to walk the trail, and although it’s steep, it is paved and you can easily follow the path with no troubles. Be aware that pets and bikes are not allowed on the path up to the observation deck. The trail is also too steep for wheelchair accessibility.
Didn’t Make It In Time for Sunset? Don’t Worry
If you start the seven-mile drive to the path that takes you to the observation deck and the sun is already setting, don’t worry – you can still have that romantic moment with a great view. The road has many pull-offs with great views of their own, and you can easily enjoy the sunset from there!
Be Prepared for That Sunset Kiss
On very clear days, the view from Clingmans Dome extends more than 100 miles in all directions – and even on foggy days, you’ll still be able to see out at least 20 miles in every direction. When the sun casts its beautiful pink and purple sunset shadow on the peaks, get ready for that romantic moment with your loved one. There’s nothing like sharing the beauty of nature together in a way that most people never get to.
Getting to Clingmans Dome
In order to get to Clingmans Dome, you’ll need to turn off Newfound Gap Road about 0.1 miles south of Newfound Gap. Follow this road, which is Clingmans Dome Road, seven miles, and the road will end in a parking lot. From the parking lot, follow the paved path along the half-mile walk, and you’ll be at the observation tower. While the observation tower is always open, the road to the dome is closed in the winter and when the weather conditions could be dangerous.
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