Deep Creek offers wonderful hiking in Bryson City NC any time of year, but a walk through freshly fallen snow is an exceptionally beautiful experience. Last night Western North Carolina was coated in several inches of fluffy white snow. It was the thick, sticky variety that clings to every surface and makes the most magnificent transformation to the already spectacular scenery fo the Smokies! Once the sun was up we decided to undertake a short hike along the trails through Deep Creek and enjoy the winter weather.
We began by taking the Deep Creek Loop trail towards Juney Wank Falls, a relatively small waterfall with a bridge offering an ideal perch for taking in the display. Apart from a few deer and other woodland animals, we were the first tracks laid in the pristine snow along our hiking journey. The forest was quiet except for the soft sound of falling snow slipping from sun warmed branches. At first we were very cautious, testing each footfall before committing to the step; but we quickly found our snow legs and picked our way up the trail with confidence. Soon we reached the falls and it was a beautiful sight! Cascading icicles framed the edges of the creek and mounds of snow lay atop scattered boulders. The rising sun brought the scene to life, glittering off of every icy crystal.
Next we descended to the main path that follows the banks of Deep Creek. This wide, smooth trail lead us past Tom Branch Falls, the tallest waterfall in this section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The stream of water splits into many little strands that trickle across the rock face and down to the creek. It is a lovely and delicate cascade made even more picturesque by the snow. We continued our hike along the footpath which took us across a snow-covered bridge and turned right to Indian Creek Falls. These beautiful rapids slide down a 45 foot drop to the creek below and are pleasant both to see and hear. The best feature of these final two falls is that they are both accessible by an easy trail making this the best hiking in Bryson City NC and an adventure available even to novice hikers.
As we turned back, heading towards the parking area, we walked hand-in-hand through the snow, retracing our steps to the start of the trail. It was a quiet and peaceful hike that I would recommend to anyone who finds themselves in the Bryson City, Cherokee NC area during a snowfall.