Rafting in the Smokies

Rafting in the Smokies

Rafting in the Smokies near Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Have an Adventure on the Water with Rafting in the Smokies

There are so many opportunities for adventure when you visit the Great Smoky Mountains and the surrounding towns. Zipline through the forest treetops, hike the natural terrain or partake in an adventure on the water. Near Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, thrilling rapids call to you for an adrenaline-filled experience. Heed the call with an excursion from Rafting in the Smokies.gatlinburg rafting

About Rafting in the Smokies

Rafting in the Smokies has been providing an exciting experience on local waterways since 1978. In addition to river rafting adventures, Rafting in the Smokies also offers a ropes challenge course, zipline canopy tour, rock climbing wall and more.

Locally owned and operated, Rafting in the Smokies aims to not only provide a fun experience, but also a sustainable one. The company aims to respect and take care of the area’s natural resources and heritage of the Smokies.

Types of Rapids in Tennessee

Rapids are given a difficulty rating. As you choose which rapids you want to whitewater raft, keep this rating in mind. Some are best for new rafters while more experienced rafters will love the thrill that comes with more difficulty. Below are rapid classifications/levels.

Class A: Still lake water with no movement.

Class I: Water moves in small waves.

Class II: Easy rapids of up to three feet tall in wide channels.

Class III: Waves up to four feet tall in narrow passages.

Class IV: Long rapids through narrow passages and turbulent water. Careful and strong maneuvering is required.

Class V: Large and complex rapids that twist and spin rafters. These take rafters over big drops and through violent currents.

Class VI: Recommended only for expert rafters. Most whitewater rafting companies don’t take rafters to these given the extraordinary difficulty.

Class III and IV rapids are the most popular in the region.

Pigeon River Whitewater Raftingpigeon forge rafting

The Pigeon River is the best place for a whitewater rafting adventure in east Tennessee. Nestled between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, the Pigeon River is divided into two sections, Upper Pigeon and Lower Pigeon.

Upper Pigeon River

Upper Pigeon is one of the southeast’s most exhilarating rafting experiences. Drop down steep cliffs and rushing waters as you brave these Class III and IV rapids. The Upper Pigeon is about five-and-a-half miles long and showcases views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

A friendly, trained member of Rafting in the Smokies will guide you through 12 of these rapids, with names like Too Late, Razor Blade and Lost Guide. No experience is necessary to tackle these intermediate-level rapids along this hour-and-a-half-long trip. Children as young as 8 can enjoy this experience, as long as they fit into a 56” personal flotation device.

Lower Pigeon River

Lower Pigeon is perfect for beginning rafters or those traveling with children. These easy-going Class I and II rapids make for a fun experience on the water, with just enough action along the six-mile river.

Rafting in the Smokies offers a scenic Family Float along the Lower Pigeon for children as young as 3 years old. This trip lasts about two hours and allows you to take in more of the serene, natural landscape. Like the Upper Pigeon trip, you will be with a trained staff member, allowing for a fun and safe experience.

More to Do at Rafting in the Smokies

For an adventure on land—and in the air—experience one of the Rafting in the Smokies other thrilling activities.

High Elements Ropes Challenge Course

Challenge yourself and friends as you maneuver your way across this fun and challenging course. Rafting in the Smokes has 12 activities across four different skill levels. Challenges include walking acrossrafting in the smokies balance beams and over climbing nets. The course begins mild but gets more difficult the farther along you get.

Participants must be at least 5 years old and a minimum of 45 pounds.

Zipline Canopy Tour

Soar through the air along six of Rafting in the Smokies’ ziplines. Their new extended zipline tour takes you across treetops for views of Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains. In addition to the ziplines, the course also boasts two skybridges that are 60–80 feet tall. The total course is a whopping 2,400 feet long.

Participants must be at least 5 years old and a minimum of 45 pounds.

Rock Climbing Wall

Perfect for all ages, Rafting in the Smokies’ rock climbing wall is fun for all skill levels. This four-sided climbing wall has three different levels of difficulty.

Participants must be at least 2 years old and a minimum of 22 pounds.

Rafting in the Smokies Prices

Each of Rafting in the Smokies’ activities are priced individually. However, packages are available if you want to experience whitewater rafting and another activity at a discount. Additional discounts and money-saving offers are available online at RaftingInTheSmokies.com

Upper Pigeon Whitewater Trip: $42 for children and adults

Lower Pigeon Family Float: $35 for children and adults

Zipline Canopy Tour: $39 for children and adults

High Elements Ropes Challenge Course: $33 for children and adults

Rock Climbing Wall: $20 for children and adults

More Information about Rafting in the Smokies

Rafting in the Smokies river outpost is located at 3595 Hartford Road, Hartford, Tenn.

Rafting in the Smokies is less than 50 miles from Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Asheville, N.C.