As the 3rd largest mountain east of the Mississippi, the observation tower at the top of Clingmans Dome offers stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding Smoky Mountains and beyond. There is a paved, but steep, half-mile walking trail to the observation tower at the top. Once in the tower, you can see up to 100 miles on a perfectly clear day, although air pollution often limits this to about 20-30 miles. It is recommended that you plan your trip to Clingmans Dome on a clear day to offer the opportunity to see the surrounding areas without clouds hindering your view. Although we will admit, there is something special about being able to stand above the clouds.