Deep Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Deep Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one those out of the way places that is well known to locals but remains relatively unknown to the majority of park visitors.
That has always baffled me, because this little corner of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers more recreational and natural opportunities than any other region including Cades Cove and Cataloochee.
Here one can cool off on a hot Summer Day by tubing the area’s namesake watercourse – Deep Creek! In addition, the Lower Deep Creek Trail is one of the few off-road courses that is open to bicyclists.
In Spring Deep Creek is one of the best places in the entire park to enjoy wildflowers. Here trillium, dwarf crested iris, and spring beauty bloom in profusion in April!
If you are a waterfall aficionado then Deep Creek is the place for you. Here you can see three significant falls with just a few miles of hiking. Tom’s Branch Falls is a tall cataract that tumbles into Deep Creek. Just a mile or so beyond is Indian Creek Falls which carries the entire flow of Indian Creek. And Juney Whank Falls can be reached by looping back or returning and taking the side trail.
Our Southern Highlanders by Horace Kephart is the story of the people that lived in these mountains prior to the establishment of the park. Kephart was one of the earliest advocated for the park and if you have read his works then you may wish to visit his last campsite in what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Bryson Place is about a 15 mile round trip moderate hike and is the site of backcountry campsite #57. A small marker commemorates the spot where Horace Kephart enjoyed the Great Smoky Mountains prior to his untimely death.
Speaking of camping, there is a developed park Campground at Deep Creek, and at least a half a dozen backcountry campsites are accessible from the Deep Creek Parking lot. Keep in mind that all campsites now require a reservation and a permit.
Whether you spend the day, a week, or the rest of your days in the Deep Creek area you will come to love and appreciate this corner of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!