Bryson City, North Carolina

Bryson City, North Carolina, is home to some of the best outdoor activities and attractions in NC. From scenic hikes to whitewater rafting, there is something for everyone. Popular trails include the Deep Creek Trail, which follows Deep Creek and offers spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains. The Nantahala River is a must-visit for whitewater rafting and kayaking, and the Appalachian Trail is a great place for a hike. The area also features some of the best mountain biking trails in the country, including the Tsali Recreation Area. Whether you're looking for a peaceful outdoor experience or an adventurous day, Bryson City has something for everyone and is the perfect destination.

Top Spots in and near Bryson City

  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Hike to Lonesome Pine Overlook

    5.0
    7 mi / 2300 ft gain
    To start the hike to Lonesome Pine Overlook begin from the Noland Divide Trailhead in Deep Creek. The trail is a steady climb with an average gain of 700 ft. every mile. Approaching the top you'll walk along a rocky ridge line where you are able to see the overlook. As you continue, be sure to lo...
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Explore Old 288 and the Lands Creek Bridge

    2.5
    1 mi
    NC 288 was constructed in the 1920's, but did not last long with the construction of the Fontana Dam as the resulting lake covered the highway. The U.S. government entered an agreement in which they would provide a replacement road, but to this day it has not been completed and is know by locals ...
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Hike Three Waterfalls Loop

    5.0
    2.4 mi / 450 ft gain
    Start the loop by hiking the Juney Whank Falls Trail to Juney Whank Falls. The footbridge across the creek makes an excellent place to rest and take in the falls. Follow the trail across the bridge and up the bank. After about 300 feet take a right and follow Deep Creek Horse Trail towards Deep C...
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Hike the Juney Whank Falls Loop

    4.0
    0.65 mi / 150 ft gain
    Starting at the Deep Creek Trailhead, take a short walk until the trail meets up with Juney Whank Falls Trail. From here, hang a left and head onto the Juney Whank Falls Trail. Once you've reached the falls, continue the loop to get back to the trailhead.  The falls are said to be named after Mr...
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Deep Creek Loop

    5.0
    5.01 mi / 892 ft gain
    After parking in the Deep Creek Campground parking lot follow the signs for the Deep Creek Trailhead. The Tom Branch waterfall is just .3 miles on the right side. Hike another .5 miles, at the next intersection stay right, and you will approach Indian Creek Falls. After viewing the falls you ca...
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Tom Branch and Indian Creek Falls

    4.5
    1.76 mi
    From the Deep Creek Trailhead, you can hike to both waterfalls heading up the Deep Creek Trail. You will come across Tom Branch Falls quickly, after 0.2 miles. Once you've had your fill of Tom Branch, head further along the Deep Creek Trail for another 0.5 miles. Turn right on the Indian Creek Tr...
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Deep Creek to Clingmans Dome Loop

    32.82 mi / 7400 ft gain
    This is a ~36 mile loop that goes up Clingman's Dome (the tallest point in Tennessee). Pretty challenging, not for the novice backpacker. Park at Deep Creek campground in Bryson City, NC. We did it as a 3-day, 2-night camping at sites 53 and 61. As it is a loop it could easily be done in reverse....
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Southern Smokies: Fontana Lake to Clingman's Dome

    4.5
    20.39 mi / 5750 ft gain
    This is a strenuous (though not technical) hike that really showcases the forests, creeks, and (eventually) the highest point of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As this is a point-to-point route, you will want to have two vehicles - one that you can leave at Clingman's Dome and one that you ...
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Hike to Alarka Falls

    5.0
    1 mi / 100 ft gain
    To visit the falls, take US-74 west from Bryson City to exit 64 . Take a left at the exit and drive on Alarka Road for about 10 miles. Follow the road all the way to the end where you will find a turnaround. Don't make the mistake of following the forest service road (it is gated), as it is not ...
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  • 35.556724,-83.495827

    Forney Creek Loop

    4.5
    19.04 mi / 3500 ft gain
    This is an overnight loop hike that is built around one night in the back country. It can be done as an ambitious day hike. Be advised that permits are required by the NPS for all overnight stays in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The hike begins at the Clingman's Dome parking lot at the For...
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Clingmans Dome

    4.4
    1.23 mi
    The drive to Clingmans Dome is miles of scenic overlooks that provide endless views of ridges and valleys. Clingmans Dome Road comes to a parking lot from which you follow a .5 mile paved trail to the summit. There are also several trails that start on Clingmans Dome Road. Most notably The Appal...
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Andrews Bald

    5.0
    3.55 mi / 1200 ft gain
    The trail begins at the Clingmans Dome parking lot, just to the left of the paved walkway up to Clingmans Dome. You will start the hike at an elevation of 6130 feet which is only 334 feet less than Clingmans Dome which is the highest point in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and the second...
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Clingmans Dome Loop

    25.75 mi / 4000 ft gain
    The first day of the hike is either 12.3 miles or 10.5 miles (depending on the campsite) almost all downhill, and the second half of the loop is 13.3 miles or 11.5 miles, again depending on the campsite, almost exclusively uphill. Just as a reference the first day took us about 6 and a half hours...
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  • Sylva, North Carolina

    Hike to Cowee Bald Fire Tower

    4.4 mi / 400 ft gain
    The Cowee Bald Fire Tower is located in the Nantahala National Forest near Bryson City North Carolina. To get there you can either drive almost all the way to the top about .2 miles from the top but to get there you will need to have a 4WD or a higher clearance vehicle to cross a small stream. Ho...
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  • Cherokee, North Carolina

    Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway from the Southern Terminus

    5.0
    The pinpoint for this particular entrance starts just outside of Cherokee, North Carolina, following the Parkway North. They say the Blue Ridge Parkway is more than just a road, it's a beautiful journey. Start this journey and you will quickly find this to be true. This 469 mile gateway connects...
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  • Bryson City, North Carolina

    Charlies Bunion via Kephart Loop

    14.14 mi / 3671 ft gain
    Charlies Bunion via Kephart Loop is a loop trail located near Cherokee, North Carolina. This is a longer version of the Charlies Bunion hike starting from the Newfound Gap parking lot. The added benefit of this longer loop is the opportunity to see more of the Great Smokey Mountains! You'll pass ...
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Camping and Lodging in Bryson City

Deep Creek Picnic Pavilion
Bryson City, North Carolina

Deep Creek Picnic Pavilion

Deep Creek Group Camp
Bryson City, North Carolina

Deep Creek Group Camp

Cheoah Point Cabin 2
Bryson City, North Carolina

Cheoah Point Cabin 2

Cheoah Point Cabin 1
Bryson City, North Carolina

Cheoah Point Cabin 1

Collins Creek Picnic Pavilion
Cherokee, North Carolina

Collins Creek Picnic Pavilion

Tow String Horse Camp
Cherokee, North Carolina

Tow String Horse Camp

Guides, Insights and Stories from Bryson City

The 5 Best Fall Hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains

The 5 Best Fall Hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Christian Murillo

Indulge in Adventure at this Base Camp Near the Great Smoky Mountains

Indulge in Adventure at this Base Camp Near the Great Smoky Mountains

The Outbound Collective

20 Must-Do Hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

20 Must-Do Hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Outbound Collective

The Smokies Are Still Alive!

The Smokies Are Still Alive!

Merritt McKinney

6 Inspiring Photos from the Smoky Mountains

6 Inspiring Photos from the Smoky Mountains

Nick Spicer