Black Mountain, KY

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Summary

  • Elevation:  4,145 ft / 1,263 m
  • Distance:  Drive-up / ~0.1 mile
  • Time:  N/A
  • Difficulty:  Easy
  • Weather:  Good

Getting There

After visiting Clingman’s Dome on Monday, I stayed overnight in Dandridge, TN, then the next morning made my way over to Black Mountain, Kentucky on the VA border. That place is in the middle of nowhere. The hard road that leads to the turn-off is very curvy, and was completely deserted.  There is a large green road sign that indicates where you need to turn.  Since I did not see a hiking trail, I took the dirt road that led up to the summit area.   This road that is very rough, so I’m glad I was in a truck.  A car could probably make it, but it is really rutted out so you’d have to go slow.   I would be very cautious in bad weather conditions.  There is a little area to park at the final turn-off to the left, and a short walk from there to the summit area.
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Clingmans Dome, TN

posted in: Summit Reports | 0

Summary

  • Elevation:  6,643 ft / 2,026 m
  • Distance:  1 mile round-trip from main parking lot
  • Time:  ~1.5 hours – hiking, visiting summit and Visitor’s Center
  • Difficulty:  Moderate
  • Weather:  Good

Prologue

I had visited Clingmans Dome before.  I remember going there on a family trip when I was maybe 12 years old or so.  On that day, we walked up through a thick fog bank to the summit tower.  Needless to say, the views were non-existent.  Not to mention, if there were any photos hanging around from that trip, I seriously doubt I could find them.  So as part of my fifty state high points project, this is my “official” trip.

Getting There

I drove out to Clingmans Dome on Monday morning. The weather was really nice, clear to partly sunny and low 60’s.  Fortunately I had been keeping an eye on the weather.  The National Parks Service has a twitter account that keeps up-to-date information on the road closures in that area, and I was keeping an eye on it all weekend.  The main road through that general area is US-441, and the road had been closed for a few days due to a late season snowstorm.  By Sunday evening however, they had posted that the road was open, so my trip was on!  There was still some snow on the ground, especially near the top.  But the road up to the Visitor’s Center was clear and dry by the time I got there.

There were a TON of people there. The parking lot was full and there were people all over the main trail. I had to take a couple of laps around the parking lot before I could find a space to park.  I was surprised since it was a Monday, but I guess it’s a major tourist attraction.  Plus, with the road closed over the weekend maybe some pent-up demand had spilled over into Monday.
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