4/26 Mt. Collins Shelter (13.5)

April 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Today was another beautiful day of hiking in the Smokies.  We climbed the highest peak on the AT today, Clingman’s Dome.  It sounds anti-climactic but the climb was not too challenging, and the summit was far from wild.  The approach led us up a fun false summit that overlooked the dome, and the steeper uphills were actually a great break from the smooth horse trails.  When we reached the summit, we were unprepared to be surrounded by pavement and tourists.  On top of the Dome was a giant spiral observation tower that allowed us to climb above treeline (which cannot be found in the SouthEast on account of the high temperature) and view the surrounding mountains.  After a short time we felt pretty ready to re-enter the forest and avoid the curious stares of the less ambulatory tourists.
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Just some beautiful views.
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The super 1960s observation tower