Don’t Quit Your Dayjob!: 2 nights/ 48 hours/ 50 miles up Clingmans Dome

I wanted to continue exploring the Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP).

It had been 13 years since I had set foot on Clingmans Dome, the tallest peak of the entire Appalachian Trail at 6,643 feet, so I knew it was time to go back.

This was a quick trip!  I left the house on Friday/4:30pm and returned Sunday/5:30pm, hiking about 50 miles in between.

On the Clingmans Dome Observation Tower, Appalachian Trail thru-hike 2005.

While family car camping in GSMNP earlier this month, the backpacking bug bit me!  Balsam Mountain Frontcountry Campground, GSMNP, August 2018.


trip map
Day One (Red) 7:30pm to 10pm: approx. 5 miles/ Day Two (Blue) 6am to 6pm: approx 25 miles/ Day Three (Pink) 6:30am to 2:30pm: approx. 18 miles

Tom Branch Falls, Deep Creek Trail, GSMNP, August 2018.

Golden hour on Deep Creek, GSMNP, August 2018.

Jewelweed, GSMNP, August 2018.

Luftee Gap, along one of my short road walks to connect Park trails, GSMNP, August 2018.

Fungus on the Trail, GSMNP, August 2018.

Newfound Gap.  The ONLY lowlight of this trip was the road noise from Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome southbound on the Appalachian Trail.  Most of the Park feels so remote.  GSMNP, August 2018.

CLASSIC Smokies Appalachian Trail, GSMNP, August 2018.

Over 20 miles in for the day and starting to feel it on Andrews Bald, GSMNP 2018.  See gear review for this trip here.

The stone steps descending Clingmans Dome on the Forney Ridge Trail are AMAZING!  GSMNP, August 2018.

After 25 miles and plenty of stopping to smell the flowers, I made it to camp with daylight left to spare!  Backcountry Campsite #68, GSMNP, August 2018.  See Gear Review here.

Had the Clingmans Dome Observation Tower all to myself for a brief minute in the early morning.  A world of difference from the crowds the day before.  GSMNP, August 2018.

Bee Balm, GMSNP, August 2018.

Rattesnake on the Trail!  About as thick as my forearm at its thickest, I snapped this picture and hiked 20 feet to the side of it!  GSMNP, August 2018.

Enamored by the sunny/dry/exposed Beauregard Ridge along the Noland Divide Trail, GSMNP, August 2018.



2 thoughts on “Don’t Quit Your Dayjob!: 2 nights/ 48 hours/ 50 miles up Clingmans Dome

  1. Wow this looked like a great hiking trip. Except for the snake geez. I don’t know where u get your ‘adventure gene’ but I’m glad for u 🙂
    Also it always amazes me how u take such great pictures with only your phone. And it’s been 13 years already??

    Liked by 1 person

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