The Great Smoky Mountains

Last summer we went to visit some of my family who happen to live near The Great Smoky Mountains. One of our favorite family road trips involves hopping in the car and driving the scenic route to The Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Once we arrive, we usually stop and take in the sights and then eventually make our way over towards the trail that leads up to Clingmans Dome. The Dome is actually located in part of Tennessee and part of North Carolina and is considered the highest point in Tennessee. The hike up towards the observation tower is about a half mile but it’s mostly uphill so it’s literally quite breath-taking. However, the incredible views once you make it to the top make the strenuous hike well worth the efforts. Oh, and not only can you hike your way up towards the Dome but you can also wander off and hike part of The Appalachian Trail too.

If you ever plan a trip out to Clingmans Dome here are some helpful tips to help make your day run smoothly:

  • Wear comfortable shoes for an uphill climb
  • Pace yourself
  • Bring a small bottle of water or have bottled water ready for you in your car once you return
  • Remember, there are bears out there so be alert (we saw a bear cub once)
  • If you are bringing anyone with health conditions, be sure to check with a doctor and/or take it nice and slow (last time we were there an ambulance was called half way up the trail to bring down an elderly gentleman)
  • Be prepared for the air to be much cooler the closer you get to the top, bring a jacket or sweater.
  • Take lots of pictures and enjoy the views

I’d highly recommend taking a trip out to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The views are incredible and there is plenty to do for tourists of all ages, such as The Ripley’s Aquarium, a Titanic Museum, and so much more. You can even rent a log cabin to make your stay feel more at home in the mountains.

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