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My husband and I went to GSMNP for our anniversary a couple of weeks ago. On Sunday we went from Clingman's Dome parking lot to the lookout tower, then down the Clingman's Dome bypass trail to Forney Ridge Trail to Andrews Bald and back to Clingman's Dome parking lot via Forney Ridge Trail. When we arrived at the parking lot, it was 66 degrees! This was amazing, considering we had come from 100 degree South Carolina heat!
The walk to this tower is always interesting. It is a 1/2 mile hike on paved walkway, but it is pretty steep. I was very tempted to briefly stop and catch my breath, but I saw tourists walking up with high heeled boots on and not stopping, so I would have felt pretty silly to have stopped if they didn't!
What a great dayhike! I would say it was about 5 miles roundtrip.