Deep Creek is on the North Carolina side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and this also makes it a less visited area of the national park compared to other areas.
And for Deep Creek waterfalls, Tom Branch Falls is one of the great waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains!
This Smoky Mountains hike to waterfalls in Deep Creek includes walking right alongside water!
Tube your way to Tom Branch Falls
Deep Creek tubing is a thing, and you can float right on by Tom Branch Falls too!
Basics about the trail to Tom Branch Falls
This is among the easy waterfall hikes in the Smoky Mountains. If you were to go directly to Tom Branch Falls and back, it’s a leisurely stroll right alongside a river (creek!) on flat ground.
You’ll take the Deep Creek Trail to get to Tom Branch Falls.
The distance of this hiking trail to Tom Branch Falls is around 0.4 miles round trip.
You can complete this walk in 10-20 minutes, but you might want to spend some time sitting at one of the benches located right in front of the waterfalls!
You can keep walking the same Deep Creek Trail and a little further along you will find Indian Creek Falls. Deep Creek Trail is also connected to another trail that will take you to Juney Whank Falls. The trail to Indian Creek Falls remains flat, while the trail to Juney Whank Falls can be a little hilly in parts.
The trailhead is located in the Deep Creek area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
If you’re coming from Gatlinburg, the drive to the Deep Creek trailhead is around a 1.5 hour drive.
You can very well just hike to Tom Branch Falls and it will make for a nice nature walk. Many people also visit 2 more waterfalls alongside a visit to Tom Branch Falls.
No dogs on the trail to Tom Branch Falls
In general, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not a pet-friendly park when it comes to hiking trails. Pets are not allowed on the vast majority of hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains, and that includes the Deep Creek Trail that takes you to Tom Branch Falls.
Toilet near the trail to Tom Branch Falls
The Deep Creek campground is located right near the Deep Creek parking lot, and that’s the bathroom I used. It has modern bathroom facilities.
Parking near the trail to Tom Branch Falls
There is a good size parking lot right next to the Deep Creek trailhead.
Side note! See the more of the Smoky Mountains:
- Best shoes for hiking in the Smoky Mountains
- Best hikes with VIEWS in the Smoky Mountains
- Best scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains
- Driving the scenic route from Gatlinburg to Clingman's Dome
- Driving the slow scenic route from Gatlinburg to Cades Cove
- The big list of things to do in the Smoky Mountains
PHOTOS for a little bit of what to expect when hiking in the Deep Creek area on the trail to Tom Branch Falls!
I hiked to Tom Branch Falls in late September 2020. Pictures are from that time.
And that’s a bit of what it’s like on the hike to Tom Branch Falls!
Be sure to see the list of more great waterfall hikes in the Smoky Mountains!
Popular scenic areas of the Smoky Mountains with waterfalls:
HAPPY WALKING TO SEE DEEP CREEK WATERFALLS!
Best shoes for hiking in the Smoky MountainsYou will want good shoes for hiking in the Smoky Mountains.
In general, the best shoes for hiking in the Smoky Mountains will be hiking boots (more ideal) or trail running shoes (more versatile for everyday activities compared to hiking boots but still will give you advantages compared to regular shoes).
I liked wearing my hiking boots for the thicker soles (good on rocky trails) and the waterproof (water resistant) nature of them.
They were especially helpful on rainy day hikes to keep my shoes (and socks!) dry! They are also better to be walking on mud compared to regular shoes.
On rougher terrain (like the trails that are a bit rougher with more rocks), hiking boots are more ideal so you won't feel it on the bottoms of your feet as much.
If you want shoes that can work out better as everyday "out and about" kind of shoes, then you might like trail running shoes better! Trail running shoes are a little more durable than regular shoes, so they can also work out as good hiking shoes. Trail running shoes are a bit lighter weight and less bulky compared to hiking boots.
Shoe fit is very important for your feet! Be sure to break in your new shoes by walking around the neighborhood and/or at the grocery store before you go on your "big hike" in the Smoky Mountains!