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March 28th, 2023
guide with Smoky Mountain Outdoors

Everything You Need to Know About White Water Rafting in Gatlinburg

February 10, 2014 March 28th, 2023

happyraftersSplashing, laughing and navigating are things everyone at Smoky Mountain Outdoors is familiar with. Our rafting adventures are filled with all three, and we’re inviting you and your family to experience them with us. Although not taking trips this winter, we’re already making reservations for families visiting this spring, so if you’re visiting the Smoky Mountains, here’s everything you need to know about planning a trip with Smoky Mountain Outdoors.

What options do I have for White Water Rafting in Gatlinburg?

We offer white water rafting trips. Lower Pigeon River rafting trips are 5.5 miles down the river. On these trips, you’ll encounter 50 rapids, mainly Class 1 and 2. Kids and parents love this trip because this area is calmer and a perfect place for water fights and splashing.

Upper Pigeon River trips are a bit more adrenaline-filled. These trips are 6.5 miles down the river with over 70 rapids ranging from Class 1 to Class 4, as defined by the International Scale of Difficulty.

For true nature lovers, Smoky Mountain Outdoors also offers a hike and paddle trip. This adventure includes a hike, lunch and Upper Pigeon River rafting. This is an awesome option for families who want to spend a full day in nature.

Is white water rafting safe for my family?

As the company rated #1 for white water rafting in Gatlinburg, Smoky Mountain Outdoors makes safety our top goal. Each of our guides are certified in CPR and First Aid, and they are required to take up to 20 trips down the river before they qualify to lead a commercial trip.

We also require everyone to wear a life jacket and helmet during the entire trip, even our guides. These are Coast Guard approved flotation devices, so those who can’t swim can still enjoy rafting. We also never take chances with the weather, and, in inclement weather, we postpone trips to keep everyone safe just in case.

We still go out in rain though.  Rafting is one of the best rainy day activities around because you’re going to get wet anyway, so, as long as it’s safe, we’ll be taking a trip down the river.

Are there any requirements for white water rafting?

We do not have an upper weight limit, but rafters taking the Upper Pigeon River trip must be at least 8 years old or 70 pounds. Children taking the Lower Pigeon trip must be at least 3 years old to take the trip.

We ask that you secure fitting shoes and comfortable clothing, such as shorts and a bathing suit. Clothing that absorbs water such as wool and denim are not recommended. We also recommend that families bring extra clothes and towels because we do offer clean changing areas you’re welcome to use after the trip.

Can I cancel if something comes up?

Smoky Mountain Outdoors has a flexible cancellation policy for any size group. Nine or fewer can cancel up to 48 hours in advance and will receive a full refund. If less than 48 hours, we’ll be happy to reschedule or offer a voucher for a trip at another time.

Larger groups than 10 will receive a full refund if the trip is cancelled at least 7 days ahead. We can also reschedule or provide vouchers if it’s less than 7 days in advance.

White water rafting in Gatlinburg is exciting and fun for the entire family, so if you’re ready to plan your own trip down the river, Smoky Mountain Outdoors is now reserving spring trips. Starting March 1st, we’ll be laughing and paddling, so be sure to check out our rafting options before your vacation in the Smokies.