Location: Western North Carolina
Trip Starts: Big Creek Campground
Trip Ends: Big Creek Campground
Total Distance: 21.7 miles
Hike Type: Roundtrip, Loop Hike
Hike Difficulty: Difficult
Trails Used: Balsam Mt, Baxter Creek, Big Creek, Gunter Fork, Mt. Sterling Ridge
Trail Traffic: Moderate to Heavy
Trip Type: Multi-Day Hike
More Information:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
(865) 436-1200


The Great Smoky Mountains get more annual visitors than any other National Park in the U.S. Surprisingly, most people never see the backcountry which has some of the most pristine wilderness in the Southeast. The Mount Sterling hike is a 2-3 day route that starts at Big Creek Campground and follows a loop through the eastern section of the park. The hike takes you to the summit of Mount Sterling where there are outstanding views from a fire tower at the summit. The route then follows a ridge past Laurel Gap and descends to three waterfalls along Gunter Fork and Big Creek. It ends back at the parking area at Big Creek Campground.

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