destination : Clingmans Dome
What's special: Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Clingmans Dome is the highest point on the entire A.T., where the Trail reaches an elevation of 6,625 feet near the summit. An observation tower accessed by a circular ramp provides 360 degree views.
Driving time from closest city: 2 hrs. west of Asheville, NC
Map: 35.5568174524504, -83.4961211042948
From the parking lot, walk ½ mile steeply uphill on a paved path. A stop in the park visitor center just beyond the parking area will help you get the most from your trip. Be prepared for temperatures 20 degrees or more cooler than in the valley below. Clingmans Gap Road (the last 7 miles) is closed December 1 - March 31. This is a famous spot in the country's most visited park, so plan to arrive early in the day, especially in fall. More info here.