GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) - One of the Smokies most popular visitor attractions will be closed for most of July with a renovation project set to be completed.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that the Clingmans Dome Observation Tower will be closed Tuesday, July 10 through Friday, July 27 to complete a rehabilitation project that began last year.
While visitors will not be able to climb the tower, the Clingmans Dome parking overlook area will remain open. The visitor contact station and store, the trail up to the tower, and all access to the trailheads in the vicinity will remain open.
Visitors should expect some construction traffic in the vicinity of the contact station and along the trail.
Last year, contractors repaired deteriorated areas on the tower's concrete columns and walls in addition to stabilizing support walls at the base of the ramp leading to the tower.
This work has been made possible through funding received from a Partners in Preservation grant. The $250,000 grant was awarded in 2016 to the Friends of the Smokies on behalf of the park after being one of the top nine, most voted for parks in the Partners in Preservation: National Parks Campaign.
The project was scheduled to be completed earlier this summer; however, numerous rain events resulted in the delays.
Straddling the North Carolina and Tennessee state line at 6,643 feet, the tower is a prominent landmark and destination as the highest point in the park. Since 1959, millions of visitors have climbed the tower, where they can see distances of up to 100 miles over the surrounding mountains and valleys.