Advice on HWY 441 Clingmans Dome
I am heading to Smokies this weekend, and want to do a long ride on Saturday (or Sunday), going up and down both sides of Clingmans Dome on HWY 441. My plan subject to suggestions here is to ride up from Gatlinburg to the parking lot of Clingmans Dome, then down to Cherokee, then back up to the Clingmans Dome parking lot, then back to Gatlinburg. I would love some logistical help from those in the know about the route. My questions are:
1. Is there water in the parking area at Clingmans Dome?
2. I know there is a lot of traffic on that road, but wonder if one side is worse than the other. I would guess the Gatlinburg side, but maybe I am wrong. I plan on leaving very early in the am, and the total 90 miles or so with 9,100 feet of climbing will take me maybe 6.5 hours or so. To get my riding on the Gatlinburg side over as soon as possible, I could park at the top and descend really early to Gatlinburg then head back up, and then go down and up on the Cherokee side back to the car.
Any suggestions will be welcome. For those who have ridden on 441, if you feel it is not safe at any time, I will appreciate that info as well.