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6 Questions To Ask Before Going White Water Rafting in Gatlinburg

August 11, 2014 March 23rd, 2020
Gatlinburg white water rafting with kids

White water rafting in Gatlinburg is one of the most exciting outdoor adventures that guests can experience in the Smoky Mountains. Not only do these tours take visitors past some of the most unbelievably scenic views, but they also provide a ton of long-lasting memories with a hint of excitement.

That being said, before you jump into a raft and begin conquering all of those Class IV rapids, there are a few questions that you and your family may want to ask before you go white water rafting in Gatlinburg.

Why should I go white water rafting in Gatlinburg?

If you have never gone white water rafting in Gatlinburg before, the idea may be a little scary. You may not be sure how you will handle the rougher rapids, spending that much time on the water, or how you will handle it if for some reason your raft tipped over.

Although these thoughts may be a little intimidating, we still highly recommend that everyone who visits the Smoky Mountains try their hand at white water rafting at least once. Not only is this experience guaranteed to help your family create long-lasting memories, but there are several ways that Gatlinburg white water rafting can help improve your life.

These ways include:

  • Little Pigeon RiverHelping you face your fears

  • Boosts energy levels

  • Reduces Stress

  • Raises Self-Confidence

Click here for more reasons to go white water rafting in Gatlinburg.

Do I need to know how to swim?

Although knowing how to swim can be quite beneficial in the unlikely event of you being separated from the raft, it is not a requirement. Before getting in the water, each of our guests at Smoky Mountain Outdoors are given a type 5, Coast Guard approved, life jacket to keep them safe while white water rafting in Gatlinburg.

Our lifejackets can accommodate a chest girth up to 54”.

How old do I have to be?

two sisters playing in the Little Pigeon RiverAt Smoky Mountain Outdoors, our minimum age requirement for guests depends on which of our Gatlinburg white water rafting courses you decide to take.

The Upper Pigeon River whitewater rafting course is our more strenuous course. During their run, guests will encounter several Class III and Class IV rapids, and because of the increased level of difficulty we request that rafters be at least 8 years of age.

For younger guests looking to experience white water rafting in Gatlinburg, we recommend our Lower Pigeon River whitewater rafting course. This trek only requires guests to be 3-years-old or older thanks to the slightly calmer rapids.

The minimum age for visitors wanting to experience our inflatable kayaking tour on the Lower Pigeon River is 10 for a double kayak and 12-years-old for a single.

Is there a weight restriction?

Thanks to the buoyancy of our rafts in the water, there is no maximum weight requirement to go white water rafting in Gatlinburg. However, as we mentioned earlier, our life jackets can only accommodate chest girths up to 54”.

Which Gatlinburg white water rafting course should I choose?

As we mentioned earlier, the answer to this questions really depends on how adventurous you are feeling.

Our Upper Pigeon River whitewater rafting course features:

  • Gatlinburg white water rafting gear6 ½ miles

  • A total of 70 rapids ranging from Class I (easy) to Class IV (hard)

  • 2 hours long

Our Lower Pigeon River whitewater rafting course offers:

  • 5 ½ miles long

  • A total of 50 rapids, mainly Class I and Class II with one Class III

  • Approximately one and a half hours long

What should I wear?

How you dress can really make or break your Gatlinburg white water rafting experience. If you wear clothes that are more likely to absorb water than reflect it, such as cotton and denim, you will more than likely feel a little uncomfortable while on the river.

During the warmer months, we recommend guests stick to short, bathing suits, t-shirts, and secure fitting shoes when on the river.

During the spring and fall, we recommend a lot of synthetic fabrics like fleece or nulong. At Smoky Mountain Outdoors, we provide a set of nylon pants and jacket for guests in case they get cold during their Gatlinburg white water rafting adventure.

Click here for more information on what to wear when white water rafting in Gatlinburg.

Ready to start planning your family’s next white water rafting adventure in Gatlinburg today? Give us a call today at 1-800-771-7238. One of our Gatlinburg white water rafting experts will be more than happy to answer these, and any other questions that you make have.