“Can we do it again?!” Enjoy an afternoon of mountain fun as you bounce and splash in a wild ride down the rushing water of the Deep Creek gorge in the Smoky Mountains National Park outside Bryson City, NC.
You won’t find any rated rapids here, nor could you easily navigate it in a kayak. You need an inner tube and, well, that’s about it.
Start your adventure by renting a tube from any of the vendors along the road to the park (rentals are not available in the park). The whitewater section is ankle to knee deep and the bottom is rocky, so the Carolina Traveler crew strongly recommend renting a tube with a bottom in it (handles are essential, too). Daily tube rental runs about $7.
From the parking lot, the put-in is about a mile hike with your tube along a well worn path between a camping area and the creek. The section of water along the parking lot and park entrance is calm and a little deeper for those looking for a more relaxing ride.
This is a wonderful all-ages adventure, but kids under 6 might find the rushing water intimidating. Special note for the injury prone: we did not find any soft rocks.
Thrill-O-Meter – 7
Where: Bryson City, NC
When: Go when it’s warm out
Cost: About $7 per person – cheap!
Know Before You Go
Rent a tube with a bottom in it. Wear water shoes that won’t come off, otherwise you could be chasing a shoe down the creek. Don’t ask how we know this. Bring your drinks and snacks or picnic – as there aren’t dining options at the park. You may need a spritz of bug spray for the hike to the put-in.
Feature photo credit: Bryson City NC – Swain County Chamber of Commerce / TDA
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