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Sunrise at clingmans dome

O'Fallon, Missouri
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Sunrise at clingmans dome

the sunrise at clingmans dome shows 7:50 am for late october. What time would you suggest arriving at the dome for the sunrise? Will traffic be a concern? How ong of a drive is it from Gatlinburg?

TIA

Tn
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1. Re: Sunrise at clingmans dome

I plan on a couple hours because I go slow on those dark foggy curvy roads. I get there about a half hour before sunrise. I did not see another car on the way but I got there and there is a dozen photographers set up with tri pods. And about a dozen more come. It is VERY COLD! I mean winter coat, hat, scarf, and gloves are musts!

It is worth it!

If you can not hold your tinkle for a couple hours bring a flashlight. The restrooms at Newfound Gap and Clingmans are dark that early!

Chicago
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2. Re: Sunrise at clingmans dome

I just did that last week. It was a beautiful sunrise - a quick one at that. Once the sun rises over the horizon and is in the sky you loose that orange-like glow - that is if it's a clear morning.

I was lucky enough to see a brief meteor shower when I went last week. What a wonderful bonus.

It was my first time and I got lost. I drove 27 miles into the Park and almost got to Cherokee before I turned around. There is a sign as you enter the Park from Gatlinburg that Clingmans is 22 miles away - but that's 15 miles into the Park and then 7 miles along Clingmans dome road. I don't know how I missed the signage - it was easy enough to find on the way back. I got to the clingmans parking area and it was still dark. I parked where the parking spaces started - if you park farther down, you are farther away from the .5 mile paved trail to the dome. I had to take 3 quick breaks while walking up the trail couldn't believe how winded I got. The benches are marked with numbers to let you know how far along you are (2, 3, 4, 5) the 0.5 mile walk.

Defintely bring a winter jacket and gloves and hat. I had a wind-proof breaker and waited about 40mins on the dome for the sun to rise - near the end, my hands were cold and I started to shiver. And definately bring a flashlight as well. The bear proof garbage cans along the trail scared me a little and I walked a little louder when I saw them (lol). There was only one other couple on the dome when I arrived. I only passed one car on the main road, no traffic at all. I left our condo at 4:30 am. Got to the parking area around 5:45 because I got lost. Do not know how much time to allow for the .5mi uphill walk - depends on your fitness level. My first pic is at 6:07, sunrise was at 6:51.

Definitely dress warm as mentioned by Grace.

Tn
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3. Re: Sunrise at clingmans dome

Suburbanite05, So glad you got to see it!

Some people might think you mean park soon as you get to lot not all the way to the back if you are doing the hike up to the dome. It is better to be at the part you come to first if you are going to stay in parking lot.

I wish I would have had a way of knowing how far I was the only time I went to the top!(not at sunrise, that would be scary in the dark) The benches were full of people and I really needed to sit!

florida
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4. Re: Sunrise at clingmans dome

If you ever stay on the North Carolina side of the Smokies there is a better sunrise pic op. Just a short 200 yard flat walk to the the fire tower. It is called Wayah Bald fire tower.

It is located between Franlin and Andrews NC.

Go on a weekday you will be all alone. Do a google on Wayah Bald NC.

Tn
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5. Re: Sunrise at clingmans dome

jaded that sounds nice! is the fire tower stairs

i am trying to decide on place for in the morning on the way to charlotte

florida
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6. Re: Sunrise at clingmans dome

Redeem maybe 30 steps up with a stone guard rail on both sides. On the drive up you pass the first Ranger station ever built in the USA. The road to the bald is so pretty.

7. Re: Sunrise at clingmans dome

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