|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – October 2004
A downright goofy dome marks this highpoint.
Elevation: 6,643 feet
Bordered by Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, two tacky, traffic-clogged tourist towns, the 521,495-acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park has 800 miles of trail, 1,600 species of flowering plants, countless mountain vistas--and more visitors than any other national park. Located 50 yards off the Appalachian Trail, the Dome is downright goofy: The 54-foot central concrete pillar on top looks like a cross between a flying saucer and an air traffic control tower with a wheelchair-accessible ramp curving up over spindly pines.
Contact: Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), (865) 436-1200; www.nps.gov/grsm/
USGS Topo: Clingmans Dome