Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced plans to open Clingmans Dome Road this weekend beginning Saturday, March 26, as weather permits.
Due to mild temperatures this week, park crews have been able to prepare the road and facilities for the seasonal spring opening ahead of schedule allowing additional opportunities for visitors to reach the popular destination.
Accessible by vehicle, the 7-mile road leading to Clingmans Dome is typically closed Dec. 1 through March 31 of each year due to winter weather.
At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the park and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi. Park visitors can enjoy views from the parking area or climb the steep half-mile walk to the observation tower to the summit of Clingmans Dome which offers spectacular 360° views of the Smokies.
Visitors may receive information and trip planning advice at the Clingmans Dome Information Center which includes a bookstore managed by Great Smoky Mountains Association.
The road will continue to be monitored for hazardous conditions and could be closed due to inclement weather. For the most current road closure information, please follow SmokiesRoadsNPS on Twitter.