What are the highest spots in Great Smoky Mountain National Park? Clingman’s Dome is the highest mountain peak in the park at 6643 ft. Mount Guyot runs a close second at 6621 ft. If you’ve been to the park you have probably heard of Mount Le Conte aka High Top, third highest natural peak in the park. Le Conte seems to be the best known natural high peak in the park.
I’ve hiked to the observation tower at Clingman’s Dome three times, and the views are really great! You can only get to the dome via the road in good weather, you can hike to it from the trails anytime of year. The road to Clingman’s dome is near Newfound Gap and is closed in the winter (December to March). We took the road the day it opened this year. We started the hike but when the hail started we turned around and didn’t finish the hike. If you are in the park in good weather it is worth the trip.
Mount Le Conte
Although not the highest peak in the park it is definitely the most discussed. I hear about Le Conte from all kinds of places, in Gatlinburg and elsewhere. Many people have climbed it. Many folks I meet have this as a destination or have already climbed Le Conte. There is a lodge and restaurant of sorts at the summit, but the only way to get there is on foot. And make sure you have reservations well ahead of time.
From what I’ve read Mount Guyot is difficult to climb and not easily accessible. I’ve never heard the locals talk about this mountain. However it seems the Appalachain Trail runs across the south slope, so I suppose if you were on the trail you could climb to the peak if you had proper equipment. I’ve never done it, and haven’t met anyone who has. Do not consider this an endorsement or encouragement to hike Mount Guyot – only trained hikers should research and prepare for such a strenuous and dangerous undertaking. Contact the park service before attempting any climbs.
- Hiking to LeConte Lodge (southernserenity.wordpress.com)
- Clingmans Dome Sunset Detail (rickholliday.wordpress.com)
- Newfound Gap and Gatlinburg (mikegoingtomaine.wordpress.com)