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Standing Indian Campground - Nantahala National Forest

Cullowhee, North...
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Standing Indian Campground - Nantahala National Forest

Hey Yall:

On US 64 between Franklin and Murphy in the Nantahala National Forest sits an incredible campground called Standing Indian. It is at the headwaters of the famed Nantahala River and it is beautiful. Two loops are so isolated with rhodos and other understory trees it is as you are camping in the middle of the woods with nobody around. There are no campgrounds in the park that can hold a candle to the secluded nature of the campsites there.

While it is out of the way from hustle and bustle of the national park, the AT crosses the area, there are local hikes within the area and the creeks are fantastic for kids. I highly recommend to those who are into camping to check out Standing Indian. 30 sites are reservable and 50 are first come, first served. They have a day use area and picnic facilties too.

Tn
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1. Re: Standing Indian Campground - Nantahala National Forest

Sounds wonderful! How long of a trip is it from the park?

Boston...
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2. Re: Standing Indian Campground - Nantahala National Forest

About an hour.

Sounds great! What types of things are nearby? I've been doing a little research on Pigsah and Nantahala, but their sites aren't nearly as good as the Smokies'.

Kristian

florida
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3. Re: Standing Indian Campground - Nantahala National Forest

I have never camped there but have drove by it many times. It is about 60-90 minutes from Cherokee. There is 2 waterfalls just up the dirt road from the campground. They are called Mooney and Big Laurel Falls.Here is a website showing the falls.

http://www.ncwaterfalls.com/big_laurel1.htm

There is a trail to see the second largest poplar tree east of the Mississippi. It is called Waslik Poplar.

Gem mining in Franklin NC is about 30-45 minutes away. Fishing is very good on the famed Nantahala River. Many great touring roads in the area.

The best part of this area is it is in a remote area andthe lack of people around. Many great hiking trails.

Cullowhee, North...
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4. Re: Standing Indian Campground - Nantahala National Forest

I live in Sylva and can make it to Standing Indian in less than an hour from my home. I live maybe 20 minutes from the GSMNP Cherokee entrance. So may be it is an hour or so depending on how you drive.

The park is great. Part of my posting this info is there is a lot more to the mountains besides GSMNP. This campground is really nice and the creeks there are great for kids. You can hike sections of the AT there, there is a great touring road called Winding Stairs which will take you back to the Nantahala Gorge. I have some exploring to do there and as I find things I will let you all know.

florida
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5. Re: Standing Indian Campground - Nantahala National Forest

I did take the trip up and down Winding Stairs Road last October 20th. The name of the road fits it well. It goes from Wayah Road near Lake Nantahala and comes out on 74 in the Nantahala Gorge.

It starts out paved then turns to gravel as it winds it's way up the mountain. At the top of the mountain is a lake called Queens Lake. It was so pretty last fall. The golden leaves on the trees reflected off the lake at about 5 PM. Made for some great pictures. We were there for 45 minutes and never saw another person. The lake is stocked with trout if you fish.

Then we started down the mountain. This was an adventure. The road was very narrow and a little rough. We only passed one truck of bear hunters and they pulled off so we could pass.

If you are in this area in mid-October I would do it.

florida
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6. Re: Standing Indian Campground - Nantahala National Forest

I think the touring road Bob was referring to was Wayah Road/1310. It is one of the most beautiful drives in the southeast if you take time to explore all it offers. Let me highlight it as best I can. My milage may be off some. I will do my best.

As you leave 64 near Franklin turn onto Wayah Road. It is about 35 miles where it deadends on 74 at the Nantahala River.

1. You start up the mountain along a pretty mountain stream.

2.6.3 miles from 64 take a left on FS road 388. Go 2 miles on this road and park on the right. It is a 1/2 mile hike to pretty Rufus Morgan Falls. You will be alone here.

3. Continue up the mountain. There are a couple of scenic pull offs of the valley below.

4.At the top of the mountain take a right on the Forest Service Road to Wayah Bald. There will be a sign. About 3 miles up the road will be an old Ranger Station. This was the first Ranger Station in the USA. Some nice pictures here. Continue up the road 2 more miles to the top. It is over 5500 feet here. Take a short hike on a paved trail to the Wayah Bald Fire Tower. A view worth a million dollars here. The App. Trail crosses here. I was here in mid-June and the flame azaleas and mt. luarel were in full bloom. Return to Wayah Road.

5. You then start winding down the mountain and come out at beautiful Lake Nantahala. The road winds around this gorgeos lake.

6. Then you come to the beauiful Nantahala River. Take the dirt road to the left as soon as you come where the 2 rivers meet. There is a pretty waterfalls just as you cross the bridge. Take this dirt road maybe another mile to several more cascades. Return to Wayah Road.

7. You will follow the raging river for several miles. Don't miss the 200 feet cascade Camp Branch Falls on the right 1.4 miles from the dirt road you took. You dead end on 74 and take a right... 30 minute drive back to Bryson City.

Boston...
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7. Re: Standing Indian Campground - Nantahala National Forest

Thanks; I saved your post!

Lafayette, Louisiana
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8. Re: Standing Indian Campground - Nantahala National Forest

The more I read about this park, the more I am drawn to it...I did read somewhere that it is extremely popular and often filled up to capacity. We will be going in mid-April. When they say "filled to capacity", I wonder if it's overcrowded, or if there is still plenty of privacy and seclusion?

9. Re: Standing Indian Campground - Nantahala National Forest

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