Rafting in Gatlinburg

If you are a fan of water sports, you must take advantage of the blossoming whitewater rafting industry on the Pigeon River. Located in Hartford, just off Interstate 40 at exit 447, and just minutes from the North Carolina state line, there are twelve rafting companies waiting to take you on the wild water adventure of your life. Come to the Pigeon River and ride five miles of white water containing eighteen class two, three, and four rapids on the Upper Pigeon River in professionally guided, six-person rafts. Each reputable company employs only certified guides and maintains the highest standards of operation. The Big Pigeon River is also the site of the annual Champion International Whitewater Shoot-out, featuring America's best boaters.

For people not wanting to experience the rough and tumble ride of the Upper Pigeon River, or for those people who have never been whitewater rafting before, a calmer, more serene route is available through all rafting companies utilizing the Lower Pigeon River. This more laid-back and scenic section of the river is perfect for a family float. Why go to an amusement park just to stand in line for a man-made water ride when the Pigeon River has the natural alternative coursing through the Cherokee National Forest and engulfed in the shadows of the wonderfully majestic Great Smoky Mountains.

Want to go rafting? Check these companies out!

Big Creek Expeditions
Phone: 1-866-477-RAFT

Nantahala Outdoor Center
Phone: 1-800-232-7238

Pigeon River Outdoors / Rafting in the Smokies
Phone: 1-800-PRO-RAFT

Rapid Descent River Company
Phone: 1-800-455-8808

Rip Roaring Adventures
Phone: 1-800-449-RAFT

Smoky Mountain Outdoors
Phone: 1-800-771-RAFT

Wildwater, LTD
Phone: 1-800-451-9972

All these companies are located off Exit 447 on Interstate 40 (Hartford Exit). Be sure to call ahead and make reservations as currently there are 4 days of rafting water a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday) running from Memorial Day through mid-September. Below are suggested items you should bring for your trip. You will enjoy your trip more if you are prepared for varying weather conditions.

Always Bring
Swimsuit, Shorts, Wool, Sweaters, or Synthetic fleece, Wool socks, Windbreaker, Jacket, and Pants (jacket rentals at most locations) Footwear that can get wet (plus a dry pair for after your trip), Dry clothes, and a Towel.

Sunny Days
Sun screen, Sun glasses, Baseball cap, or Visor (can be worn under helmet).

Cool Weather
Synthetic long johns, Wool hat and gloves, Wet suit.

Cotton is not recommended (This includes jeans and sweatshirts)
When it is wet, it robs your body of heat and is unsuitable for physical activity. Synthetic clothing is best.

Send this page to someone you know, or to yourself as a reminder