Thu, Oct 9 2014 - AT: Clingmans Dome to Fontana Dam, Great Smoky Mountains NP (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): irene
Participants:irene, Scott, Tatiana, Ron S

Write Up:

On day 1 we started on a perfectly foggy morning on Clingmans Dome, admiring the abundance of mosses, lichens and ferns and imaginary distance views as we hiked south on the ridgeline. In the afternoon the clouds lifted, the sun came through, and we had our first views of brilliant fall colors. A few minutes after we arrived at the shelter the skies opened. The next morning brought more downpours as we got ready, but the rain magically stopped just as we were ready to head out. We caught an occasional glimpse through the clouds of autumn slopes and distant mountain ranges as we passed over Thunderhead and Rocky Top and by lunch we found a sunny spot on top of the world with views all around. The afternoon was an easy cruise to the shelter. Pouring rain on a metal roof startled most of us around  4 am but again it stopped by the time we headed out through the mystical foggy woods. We had some views from Shuckstack fire tower but a cloudburst chased us off the peak. Within 20 minutes the sun came out and we made our long descent to Fontana Dam through radiantly colored trees, along a rock outcropping, and with views of Fontana Lake.