For the outdoor enthusiast, Gatlinburg, Tennessee is an adventure-filled playground. From towering forests to soaring mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls, and rushing rivers, the great outdoors awaits with another exciting thrill around every turn. Whether you’re an experienced rafter or a beginner looking to enjoy a day on the water with family, Gatlinburg makes for an excellent whitewater rafting destination. You’ll find everything from calm class I floats to exciting class IV rapids here, and a variety of outfitters that will get you out enjoying the thrill of the water. Be sure to check out some of these options for your Gatlinburg whitewater rafting adventure!
Choose Your Adventure
The Upper Pigeon River is where you’ll find the more exciting class III and IV rapids, great for those looking for a thrill. Families in search of something more leisurely or those traveling with children under 3 will find the water moving at a calm and leisurely pace along the Lower Pigeon River. With levels changing daily, it’s always good to go with an outfitter who can be sure to help you build a trip to suit your needs!
Rafting in the Smokies
This company has been operating since the late 70s as one of the original raft companies in the area. Their whitewater rafting trip on the Upper Pigeon River traverses 5.5 miles of lively rapids. In addition to the thrill of navigating the rapids, pausing to look around will allow you to take in scenes of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee National Forest, and the Martha Sundquist State Forest, all land in which the river has carved its way through. With big splashes and bumpy waves all along the way, this is an adventure that thrill seekers will enjoy! Children must be a minimum of 8 years old to participate. A family float along class I and II rapids accommodates children that are at least 3 years of age or participants who are seeking a more relaxing ride. The staff at Rafting in the Smokies can be contacted at 800-PRO-RAFT (776-7238) with any questions or to make your booking!
Nantahala Outdoor Center
Nantahala is another outfitter that offers whitewater rafting trips in the Upper Pigeon River. Trips are offered May through September and are 2.5 hours in length, with 1.5 hours spent on the water. Rapids with titles such as Lost Guide and Accelerator dot the route, filling the trip with five miles of fun and stunning scenery. Trips along the calmer Lower Pigeon River are also offered.
Searching for accommodations near the best Gatlinburg white water rafting sites? Browse our Gatlinburg vacation rentals! Be sure to check out our beautiful Gatlinburg holiday vacation rentals today! Also, book our Pigeon Forge villa rentals.