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Go Mountain Tubing on a Natural Lazy River in North Carolina

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing summer getaway or an exciting adventure with friends and family, tubing in the mountains of North Carolina gives you the best of both worlds. Hidden in the Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina is a natural lazy river perfect for tubing on a hot summer day and a favorite pastime for families.


Passing by the waterfall
Credit: Passing by the waterfall by GreatSmokies.com

Deep Creek winds through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, just outside Bryson City, N.C. The creek has crystal clear water that flows from springs within the park. Floating down the cool stream, you’ll pass through gorgeous mountain scenery and waterfalls like Tom Branch Falls. Before you start your journey, you’ll carry your inner tube and hike about a mile upstream to your put-in point along the river.

Deep Creek Tubing
Credit: Deep Creek Tubing by DeepCreekCamping.com

If you’re looking for a wild ride, the upper section of Deep Creek is your best choice, as the whitewater flows from Indian Creek through the narrow Deep Creek gorge. It’s a bouncy ride through the rapids section, and the water moves swiftly, especially after rain. After the rapids section, you’ll enter a wide, deep swimming hole perfect for a quick break from an exciting tubing adventure.

Deep Creek Tubing
Credit: Deep Creek Tubing by Facebook.com

If you’re craving relaxation, take your tube to the lower section of Deep Creek, where the water is easily flowing, and the creek is wider. You’ll begin your journey at a swimming hole and float leisurely downstream, ending at the parking lot. It’s perfect for families with smaller children or wanting a more tranquil ride through the mountains.

Deep Creek Tubing
Credit: Deep Creek Tubing by DeepCreekCamping.com

Several tubing companies in the area can be found just outside the Great Smoky Mountain National Park along Deep Creek Road. These tubing companies generally operate from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. Popular choices include Deep Creek Lodge/Creekside Tubing, Smoky Mountain Tubing, Deep Creek Tube Center, and B.J.’s Deep Creek Rentals, to name a few.

Tom Branch Falls
Credit: Tom Branch Falls by Facebook.com

It’s recommended to wear a bathing suit and secure shoes for the ride, and be sure to pack a towel and dry clothes to change into after your tubing adventure ends. You can also pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic near Deep Creek, as a designated picnic area with tables and grills is available year-round. And if you’re still left wanting more, you can also explore the nearby hiking and waterfall trails in the park.

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