Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the state of Tennessee, at an elevation of 6,643f (2,024m). Clingmans Dome is protected as part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  A paved road, closed from December 1 through March 31, connects it to U.S. Highway 441.  From the fairly unique lookout tower (often called the “flying saucer”) one can see beautiful views of the Great Smoky Mountains.  This is the highest peak on the Appalachian Trail.  Winter is fun up here as lots of rime ice forms on the tree branches and green plants can be seen completely coated in several millimeters of clear ice.

 Clouds, precipitation, and cold temperatures are common at Clingmans Dome. Temperatures at the dome can be 10 -20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than in the surrounding lowlands. In fact, the cool, wet conditions on Clingmans Dome’s summit make the spruce-fir forest that grows there a coniferous rainforest. Proper preparation is essential for a good visit. Dress in layers and be sure to bring a jacket, even in summer.