I have hiked it, but too long ago to remember exactly what I packed. I don't remember it to be particularly demanding, so wouldn't do anything other than your normal 3 day trail.
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
Clingmans dome? GSMNP? With the parking lots (plural) and observation/lookout tower? And several hundreds per day? That clingmans dome?
Yes indeedy! Via the giant concrete walkway from the parking areas to the gigantic observation tower.
also the AT goes right through the touristy part, I’ve through hiked the GSMNP 3 times, once w my 11&12 yr old sons, we cooked diner in the latrine at clingmans dome during a driving rain storm
you can park by the visitor center and just walk up to the 'dome', you'll only see an observation tower. But then you can hike in any direction and stay at your reserved park shelter/campsite.
I'm assuming you might be able to park at the dome area, call first to confirm. I know there are/or were shelters just a couple of miles down the AT in either direction.
It might be the highest point in the park, but not in north carolina, that honor goes to Mount Mitchell.
I found some pix from 2008 when my family stopped at clingmans
@Alycat727 - If you want to do 3 days on trail you could start on either end of the trail in the park.. Fontana Dam or Davenport Gap and hike to the dome. Your pace would determine how many miles you'd need to hike each day to get to the dome from either end. Obviously if you're doing 3 days, then no... you can't slackpack because you'll need your gear.
If you just want to see the dome without packs then just drive up to it and walk the 0.5 mile paved Pathway up to it. Easy peasy.