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Day 54: Deep Creek Campground Bryson City, NC
May 24, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
- 29.8 At T-intersection, turn right, then take first right into picnic area.
- 29.9 Pass restrooms on left. N
- 30.0 At parking area at the end of picnic area loop, continue straight onto gravel trail, then continue onto sidewalk. K
- 30.1 Cross road, continuing on sidewalk next to parking area for Deep Creek Trailhead. K N
- 30.2 Continue straight, following sign to Deep Creek Trailhead, and then through gate onto Deep Creek Trail.
- 31.0 Continue straight past junction with Indian Creek Trail on right, then cross bridge.
- 31.1 Continue straight past Deep Creek Horse Trail on left.
- 32.0 After crossing bridge, continue straight past Loop Trail on right, staying on Deep Creek Trail.
- 32.7 Continue straight past Bumgardner Branch backcountry campsite #60. Note: A permit is required to camp here, or at any backcountry site in GSMNP. See the “Camping” section for this segment for information about fees and reservations. A
- 35.1 Continue straight past McCracken Branch backcountry campsite #59. A
- 35.6 Continue straight past Nicks Nest Branch backcountry campsite #58. A
- 36.2 Continue straight on Deep Creek Trail past junction with Martins Gap Trail and Bryson Place backcountry campsite #57 on right. Note: This is the last campsite of Horace Kephart (1862-1931), a writer and outdoor activist. A couple of hundred feet before the junction, look for a flat area on the right where you’ll find a millstone put up by a Bryson City Boy Scout troop in his memory. The alternative “Great Smoky Mountains” route for Segment 1 of the MST merges here from the right on Martins Gap Trail. There are several significant creek crossings in the next 3.5 miles. A
- 36.7 Continue straight past Burnt Spruce backcountry campsite #56.
- 36.9 Benton MacKaye Trail (Pole Rd. Creek Trail) splits off to left. Continue straight on Deep Creek Trail.
- 37.0 Continue straight past Pole Rd. Creek backcountry campsite #55, a horse campsite. A
- 37.8 Continue straight past Nettle Creek backcountry campsite #54. A
- 40.4 Turn left on Fork Ridge Trail, then cross Deep Creek (there may or may not be a bridge). Note: Poke Patch backcountry campsite #53 is at this junction. The trail ascends 2,800 feet over the next 5.1 miles. A
- 43.4 Cross a small stream.
- 45.5 After crossing Clingmans Dome Rd., take spur trail 125 feet and turn left on the Appalachian Trail, which runs concurrently with the MST. Note: There is a small parking area at the trailhead.
- 45.8 Continue straight through intersection with Sugarland Mtn. Trail. Note: Mt. Collins shelter is 0.5 mile to right on Sugarland Mtn. Trail. A
- 46.0 Continue straight to ascend the summit of Mt. Collins.
- 47.0 Continue straight at Mt. Collins Gap.
- 48.0 Continue straight at Old Buzzards Roost in a spruce-pine forest. A spring is on the left.
- 49.0 At the MST sign—the exact western end of the MST—turn left on a side trail. After about 100 feet you’ll arrive at a paved path. The Clingmans Dome observation tower is on your left. Walk right (down) to the parking area, passing an information station and store managed by the Great Smoky Mountains Association, open in season.
- 49.5 Reach Clingmans Dome parking area and western end of Segment 1B and the MST. Note: To reach the parking area, take US 441 west from Cherokee or east from Gatlinburg. At Newfound Gap, the NC/TN line, turn onto Clingmans Dome Rd. The road is closed November to April. If road is closed when you are hiking, you can access the observation tower by hiking south on the Appalachian Trail from the parking area at Newfound Gap in GSMNP.
- GO HOME AND GET SOME SLEEP