Toms Branch Falls

Categories: Play, Hiking & Backpacking, Kid-Friendly, Places of Interest, Waterfalls, Hikes to waterfalls, Outdoor Fun, River Rafting, Tubing & Kayaking, Swimming Holes, Great Smoky Mountains National Park... NC, Senior Friendly Waterfalls


  •  80 foot cascading waterfall 
  •  Benches to sit on and enjoy the waterfall from (along the "Deep Creek Trail")
  •  Falls splash down and directly into Deep Creek from a unique rock formation
  •  Nearby hiking, horseback riding, camping, biking, swimming, tubing and fishing 
  •  1 of 3 waterfalls in Deep Creek area ("Juney Whank Falls" & "Indian Creek Falls")
  •  Short hike of 0.2 miles 
  •  No dogs allowed 
  •  Very easy access


The Local Scoop

Toms Branch Falls can be viewed from the main Deep Creek Trail just outside of Bryson City, NC. It is one of three waterfalls that are in this area ("Juney Whank Falls" & "Indian Creek Falls"). At 80 feet, this long cascade is gorgeous to sit and relax in front of. This waterfall and hike are the easiest of the three and is located only 0.2 mile from the parking area. We would recommend this waterfall to anyone.  It is possible for disabled folks to access the falls if they have an indoor/outdoor wheelchair via the relatively flat/wide roadbed that leads out to the falls.
When you arrive at the falls, you'll notice some nice wooden benches. Take a seat and relax to the splashing sounds of Toms Branch making it's way into Deep Creek below (the falls are across the creek). In the summer months you'll see folks floating by on tubes and the area can be rather crowded but well worth it.
Tip:  If you're part of group that is there for the tubing but decided to "sit this one out", the benches at Toms Branch Falls are a great place to do just that, so keep that in mind.  You can watch others as they float by, or easily access the Deep Creek Trail again to head back up stream, tube in hand for another go at it!
While you're already in the area, we recommend visiting the other two waterfalls, Indian Creek and Juney Whank Falls. If Toms Branch was your first stop then continue on up the Deep Creek Trail for another 0.5 mile. You'll cross Deep Creek just up from Toms Branch Falls and continue following Deep Creek. The trail is nice and wide but can be a little rocky in places so be careful. At 0.7 mile from the trailhead at the parking lot, you'll be at the junction of Indian Creek Trail and Deep Creek Trail (& Loop). To get to Indian Creek Falls take the Indian Creek Trail for approx. 200 feet to a spur trail that goes down the bank to the left for a nice view of the 25 ft. falls. To get back, simply turn around and back track past Toms Branch Falls to where you can access the Juney Whank Loop Trail (on the right headed towards the parking lot) to complete the three waterfall cycle of the Deep Creek area. For more information on Indian Creek Falls and Juney Whank Falls, please visit their respective pages.

The Local Directions

From downtown Bryson City, NC take "Everett Street" across the railroad tracks to a right onto "Depot Street." Travel alongside the trains and train station for approx. 0.2 mile. At the stop sign ahead take a slight left and onto "Deep Creek Road" for approx. 0.3 mile (see brown signs for Deep Creek). Here, you'll need to take a left onto 'West Deep Creek Road," just before a bridge over Deep Creek. Continue up "West Deep Creek Road" for approx. 2.5 miles crossing into Great Smoky Mountains National Park (see sign on your Right). To get to the trailhead and parking area for Deep Creek Trail, continue on and bear to the left past the turn off for the Deep Creek Campground on your right and avoiding the large Deep Creek Picnic Area on your right.  After passing the picnic area (on the right) and group pavilion (on the left) the road dead ends at the parking area on the left for Deep Creek Trail access, as well as Juney Whank Falls Trail. Pick up the Deep Creek Trail just past the signs and obvious dead end "blockade."  The trail follows Deep Creek on the left at the trailhead.


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Difficulty Levels

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  • Fishing1/10What's this?
  • Bike1What's this?
Waterfall:  35.466798,-83.430044
Trailhead:  35.464635,-83.433711 
Hike Distance
0.2 mile (one-way)
Easy via West Deep Creek Road/GSMNP entrance
Nearest City
Bryson City
Swain County
Distance From
Bryson City, 3.3 miles