Standing Indian Basin and Backcountry Info Center

Standing Indian Sign DIRECTIONS: From the intersection of 441 and 64 W in Franklin, NC, drive west on 64/Murphy Road for 11.8 miles. Turn left on W. Old Murphy Road (sometimes shown on maps as Allison Creek Rd). Drive 1.9 miles and turn right on Forest Service Road 67. Drive an additional 1.9 miles to the Standing Indian Campground or 2 miles to the Backcountry Information Center.

Located in the Nantahala Mountain Range of western North Carolina, the Standing Indian Basin offers a variety of outdoor activities, including day hiking, back packing, tent and trailer camping, horseback riding and much more.Infomation kiosk at the Backcountry Info Center, Standing Indian Basin

It’s a veritable outdoor paradise.

Unlimited Hiking Opportunities

Hiking trails in the Standing Indian Basin include:

Long Branch Trail (2.3 miles)
Lower Ridge Trail (4.1 miles)
Park Ridge Trail (3.7 miles)
Park Creek Trail (5.3 miles)
Park Creek-Park Ridge Loop (4.9 miles)
Kimsey Creek Trail (4.1 miles)
Bear Pen Gap Trail (2.5 miles)
Timber Ridge Trail (2.3 miles)
Mooney Falls (.2 miles)
Beech Gap Trail (2.9 miles)
Waslik Poplar Trail (0.7 miles)
Big Laurel Falls Trail (0.5 miles)
Appalachian Trail (2184 miles or 21 miles in and around Standing Indian)

Kimsey Crk SignSome people will use the campground as a base camp, taking day hikes on various trails. But you’re certainly not limited to this option.

Nearly all of the trails within Standing Indian either connect to the Appalachian Trail or to Forest Service Roads that can be used as connectors to other trails. This makes it easy to create loops of various lengths for long weekends or week long backpacking trips.

There is also an extensive system of horseback riding trails throughout Standing Indian that can be used by hikers as well.

For convenience, Long Branch, Lower Ridge, Park Ridge, Park Creek and Kimsey Creek Trail sign all originate from the Backcountry Info Center.

Unlimited Camping Opportunities

If you’re looking for great camping as you explore Standing Indian you have several options to choose from. There’s the main campground (fee area) available for tents and camper trailers, a secondary “primitive” campground area known as Hurricane about 2 miles past the Backcountry Info Center, numerous “pack in” campsites along the trail system, and four AT shelters (Standing Indian, Carter Gap, Long Branch and Rock Gap) along the perimeter of the Standing Indian Basin.

Kimsey Creek

Kimsey Creek

Water, Water Everywhere

One of the highlights of Standing Indian is water – water is everywhere. Being a geological “basin,” it’s a huge watershed for the Nantahala River with springs, branches, streams, cascading falls, deep water pools and raging rapids.

You’re never far from a source of water in Standing Indian, making it one of the most lush and biologically diverse ecosystems anywhere.

Upper Nantahala River

Upper Nantahala River

Standing Indian is amazing…and it’s worth the time it takes to visit.

Ever been there yourself? Tell us about your experience in the comments section.

See ya’ on the trail,

4 thoughts on “Standing Indian Basin and Backcountry Info Center

  1. HELLO, MY WIFE & I Want to hike the AT from Neils Gap to Low gap and take the kimsey creek trail to Standing Indian Campground. Can we park in the campground or somewhere close for 6 days. Also is there any shuttles that once we arrived can take us down to Mountain Crossing at Neils Gap? Thank You

    • Hi Tom! Sounds like a fun hiking trip. It’s a beautiful area and I’m sure you will enjoy yourselves. I would suggest parking at the Backcountry Info Center within Standing Indian. Many people park there for multi-day hikes on the AT and within the Standing Indian Basin. As far as shuttles back to Neils Gap, I suggest you contact the fine folks in the Nantahala Hiking Club ( or via their Facebook page) for more info. They can certainly point you in the right direction for area hiking shuttles. Happy trails!

  2. Thanks for all the great info. I plan to hike there this fall and stay at the campground. Have you ever hiked the Beech Gap Trail? I plan to use it as a connector to the AT on 2 hikes.

    • You’re welcome, Deb! I’m happy to hear you found the info useful. But, sadly, Beech Gap Trail is one of the few trails in Standing Indian that I haven’t yet had the chance to hike. However, I know quite a few people who have used Beech Gap trail to connect to the AT and enjoyed their hike on it. Hope you have a great time at Standing Indian this fall. And, if it’s still available when you visit, see if you can reserve campsite 13. Great spot right next to the Nantahala River!

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