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Indian Creek and Sunkota Ridge Trail

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Indian Creek and Sunkota Ridge Trail is a 11.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Bryson City, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 11.5 miles Elevation Gain: 2,076 feet Route Type: Loop



nature trips


bird watching




wild flowers


no dogs

11 months ago

Tue Oct 02 2018

in June, we were the only people on the trail once we passed the deep creek waterfall area. we took sunkota ridge to Indian creek. sunkota ridge was several miles of incline. it was really nice to follow the creek on the back half of our hike.

Sat Aug 04 2018

Excellent gravel trail/road along Indian Creek Trail with numerous bridge and stream crossings. We had to ford at one location towards the end because of all the rain the previous day. Then Sunkota Ridge was pleasant, with the occasional glimpse of mountains through the trees.

Fri Oct 27 2017

The Sunkota part is way up on my list of scenic views. The terrain was great and the trail can be hiked in either direction and is good either way.

Mon Apr 03 2017

We took the Indian Creek - Deep Creek Loop Trail, its about 13.5 miles. This is a beautiful hike through a wooded area. The first six miles are all uphill. You gain about 1600 ft in elevation on your way up. We didn't meat many people once we were past the Indian Creek Waterfalls. Bring plenty of water. We went early April and the sun was hitting our back on the entire way up the mountain. Even after you hit the high point of the trail and it starts winding down the hill, there still is quite a bit of up and down. All in all a great hike. Too bad they don't allow pets.

Sat Oct 22 2016

My favorite quick hike in deep creek

Fri Oct 07 2016

Nice easy hike.

Tue May 03 2016

Nice trail to traverse with great sites, but no camp sites! As this is a moderate in length "day" trail, I would have expected to see some possible sites for camping should you want the overnight experience. Still worth it however as the views are as gorgeous as the rest of the trails in the park.

Mon Oct 11 2010

Sunkota was a very nice trail but doesn't have any campsites. If you take the trail from the Deep Creek Campground area it is a gradual incline most of the way but is so gradual after the first 0.5 miles that it is relatively easy. There aren't very many places where you can get a clear view of the surrounding scenery but is worth the trip. We encountered a lot of bear scat but no bears on this trail. The park ranger said that was pretty normal for this trail and that during berry season a lot of bears head for the top of the ridges and work their way down. If you are heading toward the Deep Creek Campground area from this trail it is a very easy trail as it's all downhill. You will meet up with Indian Creek trail before heading back to Deep Creek. Before you hike this trail you will want to stock up on water as there are no water sources on this trail. Also, be prepared to take it slow and watch your step as this trail gets very narrow on the switchbacks.

2 months ago

5 months ago

8 months ago

Tue Jun 12 2018

Fri May 04 2018

Sun Sep 24 2017

Tue Aug 22 2017

Sat Jun 17 2017

Thu Jan 05 2012