Our last day on the Gatlinburg side of the Smokies we took a drive up to Clingmans Dome..stopping at Cove Hardwood trail on our way up.
When we arrived in the parking area I took out my camera to grab this Panorama of the area.
Wonderful clear views.
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 mountain east of the Mississippi. Only Mt. Mitchell (6,684 feet) and Mt. Craig (6,647), both located in Mt. Mitchell State Park in western North Carolina, rise higher. The observation tower on the summit of Clingmans Dome offers spectacular 360° views of the Smokies and beyond for visitors willing to climb the steep half-mile walk to the tower at the top.
Do you see a bird cloud or is it just me?
Records show that during the last half of the 20th century the average distance it is possible to see decreased by 40 percent in winter and 80 percent in summer.
On clear days views expand over a 100 miles. Unfortunately, air pollution often limits viewing distances to under 20 miles.
We were lucky to be here on a day with wonderful views.
I think we could see at least 100 miles away.
I took this photo of the Appalachian trail thru hikers taking a break and catching cell signals to call home.
Little did we know at the time…we would be driving two of the hikers to Gatlinburg.
After a week on the trail these hikers were going into town to get a motel room, clean up, have a nice dinner and stock up on food supplies before heading out on the trail again.
I found this interesting…
This park receives the highest sulfur and nitrogen deposits~from acid precipitation~found in any national park. It is most severe in higher elevations. The average acidity of rain and snow here is 5 to 10 times greater than natural precipitation.
Panorama taken from the tower.
If you want great views with little hiking effort this is a great take.
Hopefully you will get a clear day like we did.
Check out this Panorama I created with my 360 Ipod app