Big Creek and Mount Sterling

Newport, North Carolina

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Remember that commercial where those guys are sitting around the campfire drinking beer and one of them says, “You know, it just doesn’t get any better than this”? Well, he could have been talking about this hike. It may be the best two-night back-packing trip in the park, even without the beer. It offers everything the Smokies are famous for except historical structures, Mount Sterling Fire Tower notwithstanding. And while it’s popular among backpackers, the summer crowds thin out after the first few miles. On winter weekdays—a great time to make this trip—it’s possible to hike the entire loop without seeing another person.
Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park

by Kevin Adams (Falcon Guides)

Remember that commercial where those guys are sitting around the campfire drinking beer and one of them says, “You know, it just doesn’t get any better than this”? Well, he could have been talking about this hike. It may be the best two-night back-packing trip in the park, even without the beer.

It offers everything the Smokies are famous for except historical structures, Mount Sterling Fire Tower notwithstanding. And while it’s popular among backpackers, the summer crowds thin out after the first few miles. On winter weekdays—a great time to make this trip—it’s possible to hike the entire loop without seeing another person.

© 2013 Kevin Adams/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking, Horseback Riding
Nearby City: Newport
Distance: 17.4
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 2 days
Season: Best season: Early spring for the wildflowers
Local Contacts: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Local Maps: Waterville, Luftee Knob and Cove Creek Gap USGS quads; Trails Illustrated #229 Great Smoky Mountains; Trails Illustrated #317
Driving Directions: Directions to Big Creek and Mount Sterling

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Apr 2018