The highest point in Tennessee, called Clingman’s dome- is located in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
There are actually several high points that are located in National Parks, for example: Denali, Rainier, Guadalupe, and Mt. Whitney. It’s kinda fun trying to break the high points down into categories- national parks, state parks, federal lands in general (forest land, BLM, etc.), city or county property, and private property. But maybe this is just what you do when you have lots of time driving from one high point to the next!
Clingman’s dome, like Mt. Mitchell is actually pretty high for a high point east of the Mississippi River, in that it is over 6,000 feet in elevation.
The structure that is built at Clingman’s dome is pretty cool looking. It reminded me of Mt. Mitchell a little bit in the way that it curves around to the end.
It is funny to me looking back and realizing just about the only time we put on jackets on this trip was at the summit for several of the high points. Most of the rest of the time it was just super hot and humid!
You can’t drive all the way to the top for this one. It was about 1/2 mile from the parking lot to the end, with a couple hundred feet of elevation gain.
Fun fact: Clingman’s dome is the highest point along the 2,000+ miles of the Appalachian trail. We saw several through hikers at various points on this trip. Hopefully someday that will be us!
We were leaving Clingman’s dome just before sunset. I was hoping to get some neat outline pictures of the hills in the distance, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to get the settings and the lighting just right on the camera…
It ended up being a really pretty sunset as we were driving the almost 2 hours through the park to our campground (I posted those pictures with the post for the national park).
It was insane to me how far everything was in this park and how many hours we spent driving around! I expect that for some of the massive west coast parks, but I didn’t really expect to have that problem here. Fortunately we made it to the top of Tennessee before it got dark.