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Clingmans Dome

At: North Carolina, United States
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About: Clingmans Dome (or Clingman's Dome) is a mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, in the southeastern United States. At an elevation of 6643 feet, it is the highest mountain in the Great Smokies, the highest point in the state of Tennessee, and the highest point along the 2174 miles Appalachian Trail. It is the third-highest mountain in the state of North Carolina and the third-highest in the entire Appalachian mountain range. Clingmans Dome is currently protected as part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A paved road, closed in winter (December 1 through March 31), connects it to U.S. Highway 441 (Newfound Gap Road) near Newfound Gap. A concrete observation tower was built on the site in 1959, offering a panoramic view of the mountains in each direction and helping to promote the site as a major tourist destination. The area is developed with picnic tables and running-water restrooms. The Environmental Protection Agency operates an air quality monitoring station on the summit, the second highest in eastern North America. The summit of Clingmans Dome is coated by a stand of Southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest, which occurs only at the highest elevations in the southeastern United States, and has more in common with forests at northern latitudes than with forest in adjacent valleys. Like most peaks in the Great Smoky Mountains, Clingmans Dome climbs prominently above the surrounding terrain, rising nearly 5000 feet from base to summit.


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