Note: Some tour providers on this list may have limited or discontinued operations due to COVID-19. Check with your tour operator about availability before you book.
When for an exciting experience TennesseeConsider a whitewater rafting trip through one of the state’s many rivers. Choose from Gentler Rapids or the more adventurous waters depending on your age and level of comfort and the area you are visiting. After reviewing both the traveler’s sentiment and expert opinion, US News selected the 12 best whitewater rafting trips to consider for your next Tennessee getaway.
Before booking, keep in mind that each company implements its own age requirements for the participants. Additionally, be aware that you must wear safe shoes to pick up the raft; Bare feet and flip-flops are not allowed. Rapids are classified as class I through VI. Class I rapids are the most vindictive (think: small waves), while Class VI is considered dangerous and unnatural. Each tour will list what type of rapids you can expect; You will not encounter anything more than class IV.
Rip Roaring Adventures – The Upper Pigeon Tour
In this three-hour adventure, which includes 1 1/2 hours on the water, you will navigate through the Class III and IV rapids on the Upper Pigeon River. There is a maximum of seven people per racket. Tour-goers say they have a wonderful time and call guides are professional and friendly. Tickets start at $ 44 per person; You will pay a slightly higher fee in the summer. Trips are available from March to September, although some trips may also be available in October. During the peak season (Memorial Day through Labor Day), trips depart several times, both morning and afternoon, through Thursday and Saturday. Spring and fall time vary. Rip Roaring Adventures also offers trips to the lower reaches of the Pigeon River – a great option for a person with a good experience.
Oki Rafting – Middle Oki River Trip
On this 1 1/2-hour whitewater rafting excursion, you will travel through more than 20 Class III and IV rapids, 5 miles from the central part of the Ocoee River, a popular whitewater river. Tour-goers say they enjoy the adventure and the guides are skilled and subjective. Tickets start at $ 40 per person, and participants must be at least 12 years of age. Trips are available on Saturdays at different times, in April, May, September and October. In June, July and August, travel is available from Monday to Monday (exact departure times vary). T-shirts and shoes are required. Although you will be in the water for 90 minutes, the entire tour will take approximately three hours from check-in to checkout. The trips depart Ducktown, which is about 70 miles to the east Chattanooga Near the border of Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina.
Rafting in Smokies – Upper Pigeon River Whitewater Rafting Trip
Tackle Class III and IV rapids on a journey of about 1 1/2 hours with rafting in Smackies. On a journey of more than 5 miles along the upper reaches of the Pigeon River, your guide will take you and five other participants after the rapids with names such as After Shave, Razor Blade and Two Late. Reviewers highly recommend the visit and say that the guides are experienced and prioritize safety. Tickets cost approximately $ 44 per person, excluding taxes and fees. Trips vary between 11 am and 3 pm on Thursdays and Saturdays, depending on the weather. You must be at least 8 years old to participate. Tours depart Hartford, about 30 miles east of both Pigeon forge And Gatlinburg. Rafting in the Smokies also features zip line tours and ropes challenge courses, and offers more mellow floating trips.
Smoky Mountain Outdoor Rafting – Lower River Rafting
On this trip it was recommended for families with children at a distance of more than 5 miles through the slow Pigeon River gorge. A guide accompanies you on this rafting excursion, which lasts for about 90 minutes. Travelers highly recommend this trip, saying the views are excellent and this guide is very good with children. Prices start at around $ 40 per person age 3 and older. Trips run from May to September, usually through Tuesdays and Saturdays, with several noon departure times. Flip-flops or bare feet are not allowed. The company also offers trips on the upper reaches of the river, as well as inflatable kayaking.
River Rat Tubing & Whitwater Rafting – Upper Pigeon Whiteness Rafting
Keep down the upper part of the Pigeon River via the Cherokee National Forest and Great Smoky Mountains An expert guide leading the way. The journey, lasting approximately two hours, is a 5-mile adventure through Class III and IV rapids. Reviewers highly recommend this tour and praise their guides. Tickets start at $ 49.95 per person. You must be at least 8 years old to participate. Trips run several times throughout the day from 10:45 am to 5 pm on Thursdays and Saturdays. This activity is seasonal, lasting from May to September. Trips depart Hartford. The river rat offers tubing, as well as its upper pigeon is the “extreme” version of the whitewash outing.
Outdoor Adventure Rafting – Middle Ocoee
You’ll spend about two hours on the water, make your way through the Class III and IV rapids on this guided rafting and travel down the Middle Okee River with outdoor adventure rafting. The reviewers spoke of the guide, who says they provide a safe and fun experience. According to the travelers, in addition to navigating the rapids in particular, the guides also share little information about the plants and animals of the area. Tickets cost around $ 40 per person. Participants must be at least 12 years old. Rafting trips are available according to dam releases, which vary by season. The journey departs from Benton, which is about 45 miles east of Chatanogo. The outdoor rafting adventure features a Class V Rapids trip as well as a tubing outing.
Ocoee River is a popular place for rafters.Getty Images
Cherokee Rafting – Complete
See if you can make your way through the rapids with names like Double Sock and Diamond Splitter, including some that were part of an Olympic whitewater competition course on this five-hour trip. Since you are rafting about 10 miles up the Ocoee River, you can enjoy a break and a picnic lunch during your trip. Tour-goers call the experience “wonderful”, and say that expert guides make them feel safe and secure. Ticket prices start at $ 75 per person and participants must be at least 12 years of age. Trips are available from September through September at 10:30 am on Saturdays and Sundays. Trypto departs from the company’s headquarters in Chatanogo, about 45 miles east. The company also makes short trips through the middle and upper sections of the river.
Wild Water Rafting – Ocoee Upper and Middle Combo Trip
Navigate both the upper and middle sections of the Oki River on this whitewater rafting adventure limited to seven white participants. The six-hour journey travels 10 miles through Class III and IV rapids, including the Olympic course. Sandwich lunches and snacks are also included. Tour-takers say the guides are friendly and caring and the experience is a lot of fun. Ticket prices start at $ 99.95 per person, which does not include taxes and fees, and you must be at least 12 years old to attend. Trips run from mid-September to Saturday and Sunday to mid-May. Ocoee Whitewater Outings departs from the company’s Ducktown location. Wild water also travels over the Pigeon River.
Random Outdoor Adventures – White Water Rafting Upper Pigeon River
Can you make it with razor blade, vegetable and powerhouse? These are the names of all the Class III and IV rapids that you will do on this trip with Rough Outdoor Outdoor Adventures. This experience along the Upper Pigeon River also includes opportunities to swim in some calm waters. Reviewers describe the river and the scenery as beautiful, and commend their guides for being fun and safety conscious. Tickets cost approximately $ 50 per person, and participants must be at least 8 years old. The tours are available from 11 am to 5 pm on August to Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, from late May to May, twice a day, Tuesday through Sunday. Trips depart Hartford, which sits east of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. The company also conducts a number of other rafting trips, including ones suitable for beginners.
Quest Expedition – Middle Ocoee Whitewater Rafting Trip
On this four-hour guided rafting trip running from a gorge in the Cherokee National Forest, you will make your way 5 miles down the central part of the Oki River through 17 different rapids. Critics say that this company provides excellent customer service and the guides are very experienced. Travelers also say that the course is very good for families. Ticket prices start at $ 30 and may increase slightly depending on the day of the week and day. Rafting trips run on weekends during the spring and fall months, as well as Thursday through June to August. Departure time varies according to the season. The Quest expedition offers a full day rafting trip along with a rafting trip through the upper reaches of the river.
Big Creek Expedition – Upper Pigeon Whiteness
Enjoy views of the Great Smoky Mountains as you enjoy the 6-mile trek through the gorge of the Pigeon River and the upper Pigeon River gorge through several class III and IV rapids. You’ll spend about 1 1/2 hours rafting through rapids with names like Snapdragon and Powerhouse and enjoy some downtime for swimming. Tour-goers tell of their comic guides and highly recommend this trip. Tickets cost approximately $ 45 per person, and participants must be at least 8 years old. The journey takes place every half an hour from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm from early May to early September with some availability in spring and fall. Trips run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. If you don’t want to get wet, Big Creek Expedition offers a beautiful float trip.
Big Bear Rafting – Lower Pigeon
This section of the Pigeon River is ideal for young children and thanks to its tranquil class I and II rapids. On a 2 1/2-hour journey, your guide will help you and six other participants paddle through more than 5 miles of whitewater rapids at the bottom of the river. Reviewers praise their friendly guides and say the experience is memorable and fun. Ticket prices start at $ 39.95 for ages 8 and $ 31.95 for ages 3 to 7, excluding taxes and fees. Children must be at least 3 years of age to join. Trips run from May to September. Exact days and departure times vary by season, although you can expect to travel at least three days a week with an afternoon departure. Big Bear also offers a rafting trip that travels upstream of the river. All of Big Bear’s rafting trips depart Hartford.
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