Total Lunar Eclipse Viewing at Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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View the August solar eclipse on the highest point of the Appalachian Trail. Photo credit Space.com.

Total lunar eclipse viewing at Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Monday, August 21, 2017. Great Smoky Mountains is providing a unique ticketed event to view a total lunar eclipse at Clingmans Dome as well as informal viewing at Cades Cove and Oconlaluftee. The park has partnered with NASA, Southwestern Community College and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to provide a well rounded program of storytellers and speakers as visitors discover the scientific and cultural connections to this unique natural event.

Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Smokies at 6,643 in elevation. This elevation will allow viewers to see the shadow of the moon approach across the mountains. The area will be closed to all but the lucky 1,300 ticket holders. The parking area will be converted into a special event site including a jumbotron for participating in a nation wide NASA TV broadcast, telescopes, educational exhibits, and a stage for the featured speakers.

March 1, 2017 tickets will be available for purchase on a first come first serve basis for $30.00 each at www.recreation.gov. No one will be admitted to Clingmans Dome without a valid ticket. Eclipse viewers will be shuttled to and from the site from Gatlinburg, TN and Cherokee, NC by a coach bus. The event will last approximately three hours in the afternoon when the sun will be briefly be obscured by the moon.

“We are thrilled that the park lies within the narrow viewing band of this spectacular, natural phenomena,” said Deputy Superintendent Clay Jordan. “I have great memories of the time I experienced a partial solar eclipse as a child and I am thrilled to view my first total eclipse from the top of the Smokies in the company of a passionate group of visitors.”

Newfound Gap Road, may close on the day of the event depending on traffic congestion. For more information about the solar eclipse events, please call the information line at 865-436-1585 or visit the park website at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/2017-solar-eclipse.htm.

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