Last weekend my friends and I went on a short backpacking trip in the Smoky Mountains! It was such an amazing hike, so I thought I'd share a few photos of the trip. We spent three days on the trail, climbing Mt. Sterling to an elevation of 5,843, descending to camp by a beautiful creek, and walking through a wonderland of orange and red trees. Our trip turned out to be more adventurous than we were expecting- we found a dog who saved us from a potential bear attack, did a bit of unplanned night-hiking, and climbed a fire tower on top of the mountain to see a spectacular view! It was a perfect way to spend a fall weekend in the mountains.
At the end of this post, I'll put the exact details of our hike in case you'd like to try it out too!
Day 1. Park at Big Creek Campground in the Smoky Mountain National Park. Hike 6.2 miles on Baxter Creek Trail to the campground on top of Mt. Sterling.
Day 2. Hike 1.4 miles on Mt. Sterling Ridge, then 4 miles on Swallow Fork Trail to Walnut Bottom campground.
Day 3. Hike 5.1 miles on Big Creek Trail to Big Creek Campground. (We stayed that night at Big Creek Campground, which is a first-come, first-serve camp area, with a small fee)
*Remember to call the Smoky Mountain backcountry office to reserve a permit for your trip