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Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers

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  • Sunrise from Clingmans Dome

Sunrise from Clingmans Dome

  • 09/11/2021
  • 6:00 AM
  • Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains


  • Members and visitors are invited to register.

Registration is closed

SANP Field Event

 Sunrise from Clingmans Dome


Leader: Dale Potter    Phone:  (865)-773-8114      E-mail:

Meeting place: Clingmans Dome Great Smoky Mountains

Registration available: Starting today.

Always Check SANP Website for the Latest About the Field Event

This is my fourth attempt this year for sunrise on a field event. At this location anything is possible this time of year from a cloud inversion, heavy fog, to a beautiful sunrise. You never know until you get to Clingmans Dome.  Sunrise will be at 7:13 am. The blue hour will start about 6:40. I have seen some beautiful sunrises from here when I have been hiking early in the morning.  This is your chance to get to the Clingmans Dome before the parking lot is full.

For those that are interested in getting the best options for a sunrise from the tower, you will want to allow about 30 minutes for a slow climb up the half-mile to the top.That is why it has a 6:00 am start.  There are benches to rest along the way.  No one will tell on you if you stop for a break. 

If the Dome has too much cloud cover, we will decide an alternate location in time for the sunrise.

Expect it to be windy.  It is always windy at Clingmans Dome.  Expect it to be chilly in the morning due to the wind.  Expect the weather to change suddenly.  

If you prefer not to climb to the tower but you will photograph from the parking lot, email me after you register and let me know.

For those interested after the sunrise photoshoot, you may want to venture over to the Oconaluftee Visitors Center area, for the elk, or to check out the Mountain Farm area.

Learning opportunities: 

This is a good location to work to see just what you can do with your camera in a unique location with 360-degree views if the weather cooperates.

What to wear:   Bring a jacket as the weather can be chilly in the mornings at Clingmans even in August. 

What to bring:  Camera, tripod, water, snacks and whatever you need to be comfortable photographing.  You may want a flashlight for climbing up the tower.

Walking required: If you plan to walk up to the tower from the parking lot to photograph it is a half-mile climb.  If you allow yourself enough time and pace yourself, you can make it to the top in about 30 minutes even if you are not used to climbing.  This is the best time of morning to hike to the tower as there are no crowds. Just hikers and photographers at the Dome in the early morning.

How to find me:  Red Jeep Wrangler

Driving directions:  Clingmans Dome Road off Highway 441 in Great Smoky Mountains

Contacts:     Jerry Whaley, President       Julie Glibbery, Membership Manager       General Information

Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located near the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.
Mailing address: 1143 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Ste 107A-231, Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Background image copyright Dennis Sabo.    Sitemap    Privacy Policy

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