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Indian Creek Trail

Easy/Intermediate

Trail

3.8 mile 6.1 kilometer point to point
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 728' 222 m
Descent: -3' -1 m
High: 2,619' 798 m
Low: 1,892' 577 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 15% (9°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Ken Wise

A smooth and inviting hike along stream-sides with a gentle grade.

Ken Wise

Features River/Creek · Waterfall

Family Friendly The gentle grade makes this a good outing for older kids who are comfortable on longer trails.

Description

The Indian Creek Trail affords one of the easiest and most pleasant stream-side excursions in the park. From start to finish, it follows a smooth, wide roadbed over a slight grade. The trail begins from a wide intersection with the Deep Creek Trail close to the confluence of Indian and Deep creeks and immediately alongside the concrete bridge where the Deep Creek Trail crosses Indian Creek.

A hundred yards above the trailhead, an access path on the left descends sharply twenty yards to the base of Indian Creek Falls. Here, the stream thunders over ledges arranged like steps of a colossal stairway before reaching a sharply pitched incline of smooth rock. Below, the water collects in an agitated boil before surging down through a channel to join Deep Creek. Because of the inherent attractiveness of the display of cascading water, the area is heavily worn by visitors.

A hundred and twenty-five yards above the access to Indian Creek Falls, the trail crosses the stream on a wooden bridge and begins following an old wagon road. Three-quarters of a mile in, the trail intersects the eastern terminus of the Loop Trail. A little more than a half-mile beyond this intersection, the Queen Branch flows into Indian Creek just below the trail to the right. Just opposite, the Laney Cemetery Access path leads to the left.

From here, the trail passes along the upper side of an extended bottomland. Along the way, a few faint foundations and discarded household items are all that remains of previous homesteads. Just before the second of three bridge crossings, an access pass to the right leads 400 yards up to the Upper Indian Creek Cemetery (also know as Queen Cemetery). Shortly after the third bridge crossing, the trail intersects with the western terminus of the Deeplow Gap Trail. Here, the grade appreciates noticeably, rising steadily into a forest of yellow buckeye and white basswood.

The trail continues just shy of three-quarters of a mile, making three additional bridge crossings before entering a wide turnaround that marks the trail’s upper terminus. The top of the turnaround intersects the eastern terminus of the Martins Gap Trail. To the right, an access path leads to the recently established Backcountry Camp 46, Estes Branch.

This content was contributed by author Ken Wise. For a comprehensive hiking guide to the Great Smoky Mountains and to see more by Ken, click here.

Flora & Fauna

Various tree species surround the trail including: eastern hemlocks, yellow buckeyes, dog-hobble, and white basswood.

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Check-Ins

Jul 21, 2019
Rebekah C
Jul 21, 2019
Joshua C
Aug 24, 2018
Jennifer D
Jun 27, 2018
Cassidy Gardner
6mi
Dec 5, 2017
John Findlay
7.6mi
Jul 1, 2017
Don Kinney
With Marcy, Gabi & Santi
Oct 6, 2016
Todd Rieger
Max, Lance, and myself. Great trail with water the entire way with a great reward at the end with waterfall
Sep 30, 2016
Christina Zukas
3.8mi

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 4 votes

#6

in Deep Creek

#16270

Overall
  3.8 from 4 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
75%
3 Star
25%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#6

in Deep Creek

#596

in North Carolina

#16,270

Overall
31 Views Last Month
1,080 Since Jul 29, 2016
Easy/Intermediate

33%
67%
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Photos

A fly fisherman trying to rip some lips on Indian Creek.
Jul 29, 2016 near Bryson…, NC
View of Falls in the summer
May 9, 2018 near Bryson…, NC

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