Highest point in Great Smoky Mountains
Clingmans Dome is the highest mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains at 6,642 feet. It's the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi only behind Mt. Mitchell (6,684 feet and Mt. Craig 6,647 feet). It's also on the Appalachian Trail and is the highest point on the trail. The first key point along the trail is he observation tower at Clingmans Dome located at .5 miles. The tower is open to the public and provides an amazing 360 degree panoramic view of the Smokies. On a very very clear day, you can see over 100 miles. However, most days, due to weather (fog, clouds, and haze), the view is much shorter. Clouds and rain are very common (this is the Great Smoky Mountains) and can limit the view to almost 0 some days. The weather and view can change rapidly though. Follow the trail passed the observation center to the Appalachian Trail, follow the Appalachian Trail for .3 miles to the Clingmans Dome Bypass trail, after about .5 miles you will intersect Forney Ridge Trail and the spur trail back to the parking area.