Tonight I drove to Clingmans Dome to see the sunset and try to see the Milky Way. This was a new moon, and I expected the sky to be clear. This area is also has the darkest skies in the region. Unfortunately there was quite a lot of haze, so the sunset was not as pretty as I’d hoped. Two days ago I saw the most beautiful sunset while driving home from the Rocky Top hike. There was also a lot of light pollution, but I did see more stars than I had in a while!
Clingmans Dome at 6,643 feet, is the highest point in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the highest elevation along the Appalachian Trail. I drove to the top because I do not like hiking alone in the dark and was short on time. However, there is a 0.6 mile, 350 foot hike from the parking lot to the tower. At elevation I was out of breath just trying to jog.
I captured the mountains in blue hour. It was a very still, quite night, so longer exposures turned out well