How to Escape the Crowds at 5 National Parks |

Great Smoky Mountains Lookout

About half of the 9 million people who visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park each year trek a half-mile from their cars to the observation deck on the summit of Clingmans Dome, the park's highest peak, at 6,643 feet. But rangers on the Tennessee side of the park have their own favorite lookout, one that takes more effort to reach but offers greater solitude, as well: the octagonal fire tower on the 4,928-foot summit of Mount Cammerer.


Stay: Elk Springs Resort offers luxury cabin rentals 10 minutes from the park.

Do: Sample some classic hooch at the Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine distillery in Gatlinburg.

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