The Deep Creek Experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Deep Creek Experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park includes three impressive waterfalls found among the pristine mountain streams that appeal to anglers and tubers alike. Hikers love the trails that lead to the waterfalls. Cyclists love Deep Creek too; most trails in the National Park are closed to bicycles but not the Deep Creek and Indian Creek Trails. And with camping and picnicking available, what’s not to love about Deep Creek?

deep-creek-tom-branch-falls-protrails-heysmokies

Tom Branch Falls at Deep Creek. Photo credit: ProTrails

DEEP CREEK WATERFALLS

Juneywhank Falls – The beautiful 80-foot cascade, Juneywhank Falls can be viewed along a 1/3 mile steep trail from the Deep Creek trailhead parking area. This is a large parking area at the end of Deep Creek Road which is located across the creek from Deep Creek Campground.

Tom Branch Falls – Another impressive 80-foot waterfall can be accessed from the Deep Creek trailhead parking area. Walk along the flat and wide Deep Creek Trail about 1.4 mile to Tom Branch Falls.

Indian Creek Falls – Continue along Deep Creek Trail past Tom Branch Falls for another mile to Indian Creek Falls. Follow the trail about 200 ft. uphill to view the top of falls the plunges over 25 feet into Deep Creek. There is a small spur trail that leads to the bottom of the falls.

There are two loop trails that can take you to all three trails: Three Waterfalls Loop which is 2.4 miles and Deep Creek-Indian Creek Loop which is a moderate 5 miles and a favorite hike for viewing spring wildflowers.

OTHER DEEP CREEK TRAIL HIKES

Martin’s Gap Loop – Take Deep Creek to Martin’s Gap to Sunkota Ridge to Indian Creek and then back to Deep Creek. This is a 12-mile trip rated easy to moderate.

Deep Creek Trail to Newfound Gap Road – This one-way hike requires a second vehicle shuttle and is mostly enjoyed hiking down from Newfound Gap Road for the 14.2 miles with a rating of easy to strenuous.

Noland Divide Trail to Beauregard Ridge – There are great views rewarded after the 2.5 mile vertical hike of 1,820 ft. And for even more adventure the Noland Divide Trail connects Deep Creek with Clingman’s Dome Road for a one-way 11 mile hike. A two-car shuttle would be required for this hike.

There are also backcountry campsites available on some trails and reservations may be obtained by visiting www.nps.gov.

Deep Creek Campground & Picnic Area Pavilion 
The Deep Creek Campground is open from early April until late October. Deep Creek has 92 campsites for tents and RVs. Maximum vehicle length allowed in Deep Creek is 26 feet long. Reservations may be obtained by calling 877-444-6777 or visit www.recreation.gov.

Picnic facilities include a large pavilion with fireplace, picnic tables, restrooms, and changing rooms. All of this is only a few steps from Deep Creek itself.

Fishing in Deep Creek
Fishing is a favorite pastime in Deep Creek with miles of streams to try your skills. Fishing regulations are available at all National Park Visitor/Welcome Centers. A Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license is required. Visit Bryson City to pick up your fishing license or visit www.ncwildlife.org or www.tn.wildlifelicense.com to purchase online.

Tubing in Deep Creek
Be advised that swimming and tubing in the waters in the National Park are not recommended by the National Park Service. However, there are commercial outfitters located outside the park boundary on Deep Creek Road for tube rides on the Upper whitewater section for adults with good swimming skills and the Lower Section which is more appropriate for swimmers of all ages. Be sure to bring a PFD (personal flotation device) aka life jacket! For more information on tubing companies, contact the Swain County Chamber of Commerce at 828-488-3681.

Biking in Deep Creek
Mountain bikers can take advantage of one of the few park trails where bicycles are permitted. Bicycles are allowed on Deep Creek and Indian Creek trails to the points where the old roadbeds end and the trail treads begin.

Directions to Deep Creek
Deep Creek is located on the North Carolina side of the National Park near Bryson City. From downtown Bryson City, take Depot Street east to Deep Creek Road. Turn left and drive 2.3 miles to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance, and then a half-mile to the parking area for the Deep Creek Trailhead. Bryson City is about 65 miles from Asheville, 13 miles from Cherokee and 47 miles from Gatlinburg.

deep-creek-kephart-memorial-heysmokiesDeep Creek History
Deep Creek was a favorite of park advocate Horace Kephart. His famous Camp Bryson was located a few miles up Deep Creek Trail. If you decide to undertake this amazing hike through the Deep Creek watershed be on the lookout for the old millstone marker tribute to Kephart. This millstone was placed by the Boy Scouts of America, Horace Kephart Troop in 1931. The plaque on the marker reads:
On this spot Horace Kephart  – Dean of American Campers and one of the Principal Founders of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park – pitched his last permanent camp.

More Hey Smokies Features:

Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced...
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced. Every year in late May or early June, thousands of visitors gather near the popular Elkmont [Read More >>]
14th Annual Master Gardener Flower And Garden Show
14th Annual Master Gardener Flower And Garden Show...
14th Annual Master Gardener Flower And Garden Show is a great Smoky Mountain event! The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 9 a[Read More >>]
Dolly Parton Mural
Dolly Parton Mural...
Dolly Parton Mural in Asheville, North Carolina. Sevierville’s own Dolly Parton is larger than life in Asheville this year. Sevierville's favori[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Grist Mills
Smoky Mountain Grist Mills...
Smoky Mountain grist mills. Mountain streams and rivers provided water power for early grist mills. The fast-moving creeks of the Great Smoky Mo[Read More >>]
Fourth Annual Color Me Mutt 5K
Fourth Annual Color Me Mutt 5K...
Fourth Annual Color Me Mutt 5K is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2019. Nascar Speed Park in Sevierville, Tennessee will host the event again [Read More >>]
Ruby Throated Hummingbirds
Ruby Throated Hummingbirds...
Ruby throated Hummingbirds due to appear in East Tennessee. April in East Tennessee marks the time to get out hummingbird feeders and fill them [Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Mars Probe Launch Successful
Smoky Mountain Mars Probe Launch Successful...
Smoky Mountain Mars Probe Launch Successful. The recent Clingmans Dome Mars probe launch heralded a new era of cooperation between the Natio[Read More >>]
Updated Great Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Lottery Dates
Updated Great Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Lottery Dates...
Updated Great Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Lottery Dates. The dates for the 2019 Synchronous Firefly shuttle operations calendar will be a[Read More >>]
Dollywood Festival Of Nations 2019
Dollywood Festival Of Nations 2019...
Dollywood Festival Of Nations 2019. Feel the beat at Dollywood’s Festival of Nations scheduled March 16, - April 14, 2019.  Entertainers from se[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Super Moon
Smoky Mountain Super Moon...
Smoky Mountain Super Moon will rise above the Southern Appalachian mountains Wednesday, March 20, 2019. This Smoky Mountain special event is the[Read More >>]
Knoxville's Urban Wilderness
Knoxville's Urban Wilderness...
Knoxville's Urban Wilderness Is Wild. The urban wilderness is gaining national recognition for it's expansive multi-use trail system and l[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Corvette Expo
Smoky Mountain Corvette Expo...
Smoky Mountain Corvette Expo at LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee will be a roaring good time. The expo is scheduled for March 15th and [Read More >>]
Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe
Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe...
Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe, the perfect Saint Patrick's Day meal. Few dishes are more associated with the Emerald Isle than the iconic Co[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Saint Patrick's Day Events
Smoky Mountain Saint Patrick's Day Events...
Smoky Mountain Saint Patrick's Day Events. You don't need the luck of the Irish to find plenty of fun this Saint Patrick's Day. These ancient mo[Read More >>]
Ramsey Cascades
Ramsey Cascades...
Ramsey Cascades is a difficult hike with an amazing destination.There are many waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains and a personal favorite i[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Announces New Chief Ranger
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Announces New Chief Ranger...
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Announces New Chief Ranger. Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials tapped Lisa Hendy as the Park’s fi[Read More >>]
Healthy Black Bear Returns Home.
Healthy Black Bear Returns Home....
Healthy black bear returns home. Willow Bear returned to National Park by Appalachian Bear Rescue. Willow Bear (named upon arrival at ABR) was r[Read More >>]
New Foothills Parkway Raises 2018 National Park Visitation
New Foothills Parkway Raises 2018 National Park Visitation...
New Foothills Parkway Raises 2018 National Park Visitation. Great Smoky Mountains National Park reported 11,421,203 visitors in 2018[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Paving Project Slows Traffic
Smoky Mountain Paving Project Slows Traffic...
Smoky Mountain Paving Project Slows Traffic. Great Smoky Mountains National Park will begin paving on Little River Road between the Townsend[Read More >>]
Great Backyard Bird Count Event
Great Backyard Bird Count Event...
Great Backyard Bird Count Event offers many opportunities in the Great Smoky Mountains. This count is for the birds. Bird lovers everywhere are [Read More >>]