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Tennessee Highpoint - Clingmans Dome - 6643 ft
May 1990. Highpoint #1.
Many moons ago, in May 1990 (I think that is the correct date), along with Brad Bishop, Eric Stager and Heather Smith, I hiked the segment of the Appalachian Trail that runs through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We started on the southern end, at Fontana Dam. After 3 days or so, the trail passes Clingmans Dome. With several days of backpacking grime covering ourselves, we were amused by the many pristine tourists who made the drive-up, and joined us at the summit. This is the highpoint both of the state and the national park.
This was one of my hardest highpoints so far, with several days of very rugged trails required to make the summit.
7 Dec 2004 attempt.
Back to 2004 Southeast Highpoint Expedition
At the end of my 2004 Southeast Highpoint Expedition, I hoped to finish by driving the tourist route to the highpoint that I had hiked to before. I drove through super-tourist-trap Gatlinburg and into the park. After ten miles of twisty roads, including a fifteen minute stop to wait for a fallen tree to be cleared, I reached the turnoff for the road to Clingmans Dome. A closed gate, with a sign indicating that the road is closed from 1 Dec through 31 Mar, blocked progress and ended this attempt. On the way back to the interstate, and home, I passed though Pigeon Forge, which was equally tourist-trapped as Gatlinburg, but with completely hideous traffic. Yuck.