Great Smoky Mountains National Park Mountains

The crest of the Great Smokies runs in an unbroken chain of peaks that rise more than 5,000 feet for over 36 miles.

Elevations in the park range from 876 to 6,643 feet.

The Top 10 Peaks (elevation in feet)

Clingmans Dome - 6,643

Mount Guyot - 6,621

Mount Le Conte (High Top) - 6,593

Mount Buckley - 6,580

Mount Love - 6,420

Mount Chapman - 6,417

Old Black - 6,370

Luftee Knob - 6,234

Mount Kephart - 6,217

Mount Collins - 6,118

Elevations of Popular Destinations (in feet)

Andrews Bald - 5,920

Charlies Bunion - 5,565

Balsam Mountain Campground - 5,310

Newfound Gap - 5,046

Alum Cave Bluffs - 4,970

Spence Field - 4,920

Chimney Tops - 4,800

Rainbow Falls - 4,326

Ramsey Cascades - 4,275

Grotto Falls - 3,770

Cataloochee Valley - 2,680

Laurel Falls - 2,600

Smokemont Campground - 2,198

Elkmont Campground - 2,150

Little Greenbrier School - 2,070

Oconaluftee Visitor Center - 2,040

Cades Cove Visitor Center - 1,716

Fontana Dam - 1,709

Abrams Falls - 1,473

Sugarlands Visitor Center - 1,462

Abrams Creek at park boundary - 876

Clingmans Dome At 6,643 feet

Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is the highest point in Tennessee, and the third highest point in the Appalachian Mountain range. Only Mt. Mitchell (6,684 feet) and Mt. Craig (6,647), both located in Mt. Mitchell State Park in western North Carolina, rise higher. Clingmans Dome is a popular park destination. Spectacular vistas await those willing to climb the steep half-mile walk to the tower at the top. On clear, pollution-free days, views expand over a 100 miles. Unfortunately, air pollution often limits viewing distances to under 20 miles. Clouds, precipitation, and cold temperatures reveal the hostile environment atop Clingmans Dome. Proper preparation is essential for a good visit. Although Clingmans Dome is open year-round, the road leading to it is closed from December 1 through March 31, and whenever weather conditions require. What's killing the trees? The balsam woolly adelgid ( Adelges piceae ) is an insect pest that infests and kills stands of Fraser fir ( Abies fraseri ) in the spruce-fir zone. This fir occurs naturally only in the southern Appalachians and used to be the dominant tree at the highest elevations. The adelgid was introduced on trees imported from Europe, and the fir has little natural defense against it. By injecting the tree with toxins, the adelgid blocks the path of nutrients through the tree.

The trees literally starve to death, and thousands of dead snags are all that are left on the highest mountain peaks. Highlights: There are several trails that start on Clingmans Dome Road and parking area. The Appalachian Trail (AT) crosses Clingmans Dome, marking the highest point along its journey from Georgia to Maine. Cool, wet conditions on Clingmans Dome's summit make the spruce-fir forest that grows there a coniferous rainforest. Catch a breathtaking sunrise or sunset from the tower or enjoy the 360ยบ panoramic vistas during the day. Newfound Gap At an elevation of 5,048 feet, Newfound Gap is the lowest drivable pass through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Newfound Gap's recognition as the lowest pass through the Great Smoky Mountains did not come until 1872. Arnold Henry Guyot, a Swiss geographer, measured many Southern Appalachian elevations. Mt. Guyot, the second highest peak in the Smokies, takes his name. He used a simple barometer to measure changes in air pressure to calculate mountain heights. In most cases he was within 2-3 percent of current values. His work revealed Newfound Gap as the lowest pass through the mountains, displacing nearby Indian Gap.

A new road followed, and it became the forerunner of Newfound Gap Road. Highlights: Rockefeller Memorial honors a $5 million donation from the Rockefeller Foundation to help complete land acquisitions to bring about the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Scenic views from the large parking area. The Appalachian Trail (AT) crosses over Newfound Gap Road and straddles the state line between North Carolina and Tennessee for most of its length through the park. Visitors can enjoy a short stroll to strech their legs or a multi-day backpacking excursion on the AT as it runs through the park

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