JR and I tackled the Deep Creek Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this past weekend. We camped one night and did 14.3 miles of hiking over two days.
All packed up and ready to hit the trail!
The view from the trailhead on 441 …
And … we’re off! Even just doing an overnight, my pack was damn heavy.
The upper end of the Deep Creek trail is pretty remote and we had lots of solitude. We encountered a ton of blowdowns and deadfalls that we had to climb over, under, and around.
At one point, Deep Creek was spilling over its banks and actually took over the trail. It was nothing but rushing water.
The trail guide lied to us about a few creek crossings that could be rock-hopped. The water was too deep and we had to take off our boots and wade. I was a bit annoyed by this and attempted crossing a tributary with my boots on. Needless to say, I fell and ended up with a couple of trail trophies and totally soaked boots. Hiking in wet boots and socks is not fun.
Further down the trail, we encountered an area where deadfalls and the creek had obliterated the trail completely. Can you find your way through?
We ended up wading through a pool of water on the left (just out of frame in the above photo) and along the left side of the creek until we climbed over the root ball of a blowdown.
Here’s JR making it across …
Once we got past this, it was smooth hiking down to Campsite 59. We even found a footbridge … though this crossing was shallow enough to walk through. Go figure.
We also ran into a trail friend sunning himself. Actually, I almost stepped on him. Ha, ha. But no worries because it’s a harmless brown snake.
After nine miles, We got into camp early enough to have the pick of the best spot, get set up, and even take an afternoon nap. Heavenly! I always set my tent up close to JR’s so he can rescue me if there are any bear attacks in the middle of the night.
We had a relaxing, uneventful night and were up on the trail early the next morning. Five miles later we arrived at the lower trailhead outside of Bryson City.
All-in-all, it was a great trip!
And for no real reason, here’s a collection of trail signs along the Deep Creek Trail.