One of life’s greatest pleasures very well might be travelling.  We’re so excited about all of the places our highpointing adventures will take us.  Upon returning from Tennessee, where highpointing took us to Clingman’s Dome, we felt a real sense of accomplishment – we had just been 6,643 feet above sea level!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg

Easily the most visited park in the United States [3], the Great Smoky Mountains National Park sits in the mid-eastern part of Tennessee.  This park is about 815 square miles and consists of sixteen peaks that rise above five thousand feet.  Tennessee shares this park with it’s neighbor, North Carolina; their shared border splits the park right down the middle.

Clingman’s Dome

Standing tall and proud at 6,643 feet, this summit sits above two sub-peaks: Mount Buckley (6,560  ft) and Mount Love (6,400 ft).  Clingman’s Dome is the highest point along the entire Appalachian Trail, a 2,174-mile long climbing and walking trail that spans most of the eastern United States [1].  From base to summit, Clingman’s dome is about 5,000 feet tall; it towers above the surrounding terrain.

Fun Fact: The native Cherokee Americans called this summit Kuwa’hi, meaning “mulberry place.”  Legend has it this mountain was home to the Great White Bear – he was the chief of all bears [2].

Clingman’s Dome is a very accessible high point; there is an open road which is available April 1 through November 30 that winds all the way up to 300 feet below the summit.  The remainder (a half a mile) of the relatively steep climb is paved – there are benches and plenty of room to rest along the way.  A visitors’ information center and gift shop await you, so make sure to stop by and collect some memorabilia!

Atop this glorious peak stands a 45-foot observation tower.  Be sure to take plenty of family photos and take a moment to enjoy the view from Tennessee’s highest point.

Tennessee Fun Facts

  • “Tennessee was the birthplace of David “Davy” Crockett born on August 17,1768.”
  • “Tennessee is also the birthplace of country music, an American tradition which set the tune for the future of rock and roll and early blues.”
  • “Tennessee was the sight of Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination in Memphis on April 4, 1968.”
  • “Tennessee is also home to the Tennessee Aquarium, the biggest fresh water aquarium in the world.” [4]


[2] James Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee

Share This