Bryson City NC – Smoky Mountains, Tubing Deep Creek, and so much more!

by | Jul 16, 2022

Once a year we have the opportunity to mix our RV travel with the family. This year, we met our daughter Julie, her husband Josh, and the three grandkids – Jake, Jaymi Kate, and Jilli Beth in Bryson City, NC. There’s a small community on the edge of town and just outside the entrance of the Smoky Mountains National Park called Deep Creek. We parked our RVs at Smoky Mountains Campground for a week of fun.

This is our third time returning to the area in our eight years of RV travel and the sixth for Julie and Josh. The grandbabies aren’t babies any longer, a little more independent, now planning their activities for the day with their returning friends to the campground, but still enjoying time with me and Joan making this weeks stay very special.

Smoky Mountains Campground

smoky mountain campgroundWe returned to Smoky Mountains Campground for 8 days. The campground is located steps from the Deep Creek entrance to the Smoky Mountains National Park. The draw to the campground is both access to the national park and Deep Creek that runs the length of the campground. Every day, we took at least one trip into the park for a tubing adventure.

The campground is has new owners. Some improvements have been made since our last visit three years ago with more in the plans. One note about access to the campground. The road from town to the campground is very narrow. We were able to negotiate our F-350 dually and 42 foot 5th wheel, but we have to be patient with others on the road and take our time. It’s worth the effort. For us and the extended family, Smoky Mountain Campground has become a special place with great friends that we always look forward to seeing.

Smoky Mountain National Park Deep Creek

smoky mountains national park deep creekThe Deep Creek area of the Smoky Mountains National Park is a very interesting section of the park. Popular with groups who like to tube Deep Creek, it also has easy to negotiate trails, picnic areas, and large sections for primitive camping.

The primitive camping areas boarder Deep Creek and higher into the side of the mountains. There a number of well maintained bath houses.

Bryson City, NC

My first time in Bryson City, NC was the mid eighties when I work in the telecom industry. So much has changed. Evolving from a sleepy little mountain town, it’s now a great place to escape for a get-away to enjoy the cooler mountain weather in the summer, camping, cottages, restaurants, unique shops and the very popular, Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

Things to do in Bryson City, NC and Deep Creek

I’ve mentioned camping, the National Park, and downtown Bryson City, but there’s much more to see and do in the area.

Oconaluftee Indian VillageCherokee, NC is the reservation home of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation. Don’t leave the area without visiting the Oconaluftee Indian Village. The village offers a view into the 18th-century Cherokee lifestyle that is preserved via live demonstrations. Also plan a visit to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian Cherokee. See the wide range of exhibits that span hundreds of years of Cherokee life in the North Carolina mountains, highlighting the art, history and culture. Don’t miss the experience to see the elk on the edge north entrance to the Nation. As the sun sets, the elk come our to graze and are a treat to see from the edge of the road.

Our trip would not be complete with our a visit to Darnell Farms located along the beautiful valley on the banks of the Tuckasegee River. The farm produces 100 acres of strawberries, pole beans, sweet corn, pumpkins, squash, a variety of tomatoes and much more. Local goods include jams, honey and other canned goods. And the ice cream they call “whip” is a perfect end to the visit to enjoy on the banks of the river.

Nantahala River RaftingWe also took a day to raft the Nantahala River. A thirty minute drive from the campground, we chose Fast Rivers to outfit our rafting trip. I didn’t have a waterproof set up to video our trip, but a few pictures are shared in the video below. Fast Rivers offers both guided and self guided trips. We’ve rafted the Nantahala over the years and are very comfortable going the self guided route. One tip, if you want to raft the Nantahala and you’re new to rafting, strongly consider the guided trip. The guides entertain, know the best lines to take in the river and work very hard to give you the best experience.

Deep Creek WineryIf you’ve followed Joan and me in our RV travels, you know we’re big fans of vineyards and wineries. We enjoy the community, meeting the owners and of course, sampling the wines offered. We found Deep Creek Winery on the edge of Bryson City. Located around 2,300 feet on side of a mountain, we took the drive up the narrow roads. The drive was worth the effort – beautiful views of the surrounding mountains as we sample the wines. The owners were very attentive, shared their experience making wine and made us feel very special.

One of our favorite places for our RV travels is the southern Appalachian Mountains. Born in these mountains, the area is in my DNA. We love the people, the nature and all the fun things to experience.

Bryson City NC Deep Creek
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