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Tom Branch Falls in Deep Creek

Tom Branch Falls, located in the Deep Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a simple, but gorgeous waterfall, that gently falls into the famous Deep Creek. The fall is very short walk from the parking lot, and is easy to access for everyone.

Location: Deep Creek, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Roundtrip Distance: 0.6 mile roundtrip
Difficulty: Easy
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Features: Waterfall, creekside hiking, benches
Directions: From the intersection of highway 441 and 19 in Cherokee, take 19 south to Bryson City, NC. Turn left onto Everett Street, right onto Depot Street (at The Great Smoky Mountain Railway), and then left onto Deep Creek Rd. Follow the road right into the Park, an follow the signs to the trail. You’ll know you’re there when you see a loop and a parking lot on the left. Park in the parking lot, the trail starts at the paved loop/drop off point.
Recommended Gear: Good hiking boots or shoesDaypackDayhiker First Aid KitSunscreen, some snacks, water, [easyazon_link keywords=”Water shoes” locale=”US” tag=”blueridgemountainlife-20″]Water shoes[/easyazon_link] and a bathing suit if you think you might want to swim.

Tom Branch Falls

Tom Branch Falls is located along Deep Creek Trail, in the Deep Creek Area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Bryson City, NC.

The nearly 80 foot waterfall is formed as Tom Branch gentle cascades down a rock face into Deep Creek, as it flows towards Bryson City.  The fall is exceptionally beautiful in the fall, as it is covered with leaves.  This is one of our personal favorite waterfalls, and simply gorgeous.

Access to the Fall is an easy 0.3 mile flat walk along Deep Creek Trail from the trailhead located at the parking lot.  There is even a circular access points for cars, where you can be dropped off directly at the trailhead.

Tom Branch Fall is just up the trail on the right.  There are three wooden benches to sit on at the fall, that provide the perfect opportunity to sit a while, and enjoy the sites and sounds of the waterfall, and surrounding woods.

Below the benches is an almost “beach like” area, that provides safe and easy access to the water for young children to play.  


During the summer, Deep Creek is a very popular location for tubing, and while visiting and viewing the falls, you’ll see lots of tubers floating by the waterfalls, with many slowing down the put their hands through the the crystal clear waters.

This area is of course a lot more active during the summer, and the Falls is a common place to exit the creek to walk back up to the top to tube again.   If you want to get photos, get their early.

You can learn more about tubing at Deep Creek using our full guide: Tubing in Deep Creek.

Other Waterfalls in the Area:

Deep Creek is home to three different waterfalls, that are easily accessed using the Deep Creek Loop Trail:

  • Tom Branch Falls – The waterfall you are viewing now.
  • Indian Creek Falls – A beautiful wide waterfall located on up Deep Creek Trail.
  • Juneywank Falls – A slow falling waterfall, that features a nice observation deck, surrounded by woods.

Photo Gallery:

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About the author

Larry Deane is co-owner of Blue Ridge Mountain Life. He has spent more than 20 years exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and has a deep passion for nature, history, storytelling, and adventure. Along with his wife Jenn, they combined these passions to create Blue Ridge Mountain Life, a travel guide to these stunning mountains they are fortunate to call home.

Larry has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and journalist, and has established himself as a leading voice and expert for Blue Ridge Mountains. He is also an avid hiker, photographer, and videographer. He loves sharing his mountain adventures and knowledge with more than 500,000 people per month on Blue Ridge Mountain Life.


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