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Deep Creek to Indian Creek Trail Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.3 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This loop takes you along the scenic Deep Creek Trail and Indian Creek Trails.


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Map Key

15.7

Miles

25.3

KM

Loop

3,362' 1,025 m

High

1,822' 555 m

Low

2,136' 651 m

Up

2,153' 656 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

26%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Swimming · Views

Overview

This loop makes for a great two or three day backpacking trip (or a nice long run!). You can do this in two days if you are determined, although I would recommend three days to enjoy the fishing and scenery that is available. It is mostly beginner to intermediate level. However, there is one portion of the trail which is quite steep. Find some great waterfalls, hidden trails, and great back-country here.

Need to Know

You need a parking permit and camping permits. If you want to fish, you need a TN or NC permit. Book ahead as the spots go quickly.

Description

You start from the the Deep Creek Parking Lot and head towards Site 58. Immediately, you'll see a waterfall where you can take some nice pictures. The first day to Sites 59-57 follows relatively easy terrain. There are some moderate hills, but most people should be able to make it to their site in 4-6 hours. Once you reach your site, set your tent and hang your bags. Enjoy!

The second day has the hardest part of the route. Head towards Site 57. Once there, turn right, and begin your ascent. This climb took my group about 1.5 hours at a fast pace. Others said it took them as long as 5 hours. It is very steep here, so take your time. Once you reach the summit, there will be signs pointing you towards Indian Creek Trail. Take a photo here and enjoy having completed the difficult climb. Take your time as you go about 1.5 miles downhill until you reach Site 46. You'll know you are close when you see a set of two small bridges in quick succession. Site 46 is slightly hidden up through some brush.

The last day is all downhill or flat ground. You'll cross over several bridges and eventually reach Indian Creek. You cannot miss it. This creek is much larger than any you have seen yet. If you plan to fish the creek, be sure to wake early to beat the tubers to the water. Follow the signs to return to the Deep Creek Parking Lot.

Flora & Fauna

Black bears, birds, brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout

History & Background

Horace Kephart has a memorial located on the stretch between Sites 58-57. It is an unmarked trail with a millstone at the end. There is a plaque which has a short description about him. He is considered a key founder of the park.

Contacts

Shared By:

brad w

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 4 votes

#5

in Deep Creek

#2825

Overall
  4.3 from 4 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#5

in Deep Creek

#101

in North Carolina

#2,825

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114 Views Last Month
1,300 Since Oct 13, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Toms Branch Falls
Sep 3, 2015 near Bryson…, NC
Enjoying the Deep Creek Trail.
Jul 27, 2016 near Bryson…, NC
A fly fisherman trying to rip some lips on Indian Creek.
Jul 29, 2016 near Bryson…, NC
Deep Creek, Great Smoky Mountains NP.
Jul 27, 2016 near Bryson…, NC
Smoky Mountains
Mar 20, 2020 near Bryson…, NC
Tunnel
Mar 20, 2020 near Bryson…, NC

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Check-Ins

Jun 19, 2020
James Baccaro
Nov 9, 2018
H Diaz
Sep 9, 2016
Mark P...
2 Day w/ hike and camp, slight difference, started with Juney Whank Falls and Deep Creek Horse Trail to Deep Creek. Out w/ Indian to Deep Creek Trail 15.6mi