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Clingman's Dome, Elev. 6643 ft

Completed 9/6/03 - #1

Alum Cave Bluff trail was the start of our hiking adventures, which led us to our first highpoint, Clingman's Dome.  We decided to enjoy the scenery in the Great Smoky Mountains and hike to Alum Cave Bluff.  The trail was beautiful and slightly challenging.  Of course, we were not in the best shape at the time; this was our first hike in ages.  Halfway up Christy developed major blisters on the back of her heels (new hiking boots).  It was this trip and some friendly hikers continuing on up to Mount LeConte that taught us the value of duct tape!  :-O    Considering Christy had to walk backwards up the last leg of the hike, the duct tape was the only reason she made it down again.

Alum Cave Bluff was beautiful.  Droplets of water fell steadily from the black slate ledge high above the trail.  Although the views from the bluff were obscured by trees, there were several spectacular views along the way.  We highly recommend this hike if you are in the area.



It is a testament to Christy's optimistic nature that she agreed to continue on in the face of pain from her blisters and go for the Tennessee highpoint, Clingman's Dome.    This was actually an afterthought once we finished Alum Cave Bluff trail.  It became the beginning of a great adventure!

Although it is an easy climb, one mile on a paved walk, Christy's recently obtained blisters made this first highpoint more challenging than it should have been.  Still she smiled the whole way. :-)


You may notice the large amount of fog behind us in the second picture.  Once we reached the top of the tower at the highpoint, the views promised on the poster at the trailhead naturally failed to materialize.  But, we had our first highpoint!




This hike inspired us to look up other highpoints (although Denny had long thought about such an endeavor after poring over US maps as a kid), and we subsequently found the Highpointers Club at http://www.highpointers.org.

On to the next highpoint

Back to Denny & Christy's highpoints page

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