Rafting in the Smokies

Rafting in the Smokies

Whitewater rafting in the Smoky Mountains is one of the top outdoor things to do in. Whether or not you have rafting experience, the Pigeon River is for YOU! Rafting in the Smokies has been adventuring the Pigeon River since 1978. This award-winning attraction has been safely guiding rafters down the river for generations, and now has never been a better time to visit this top Smoky Mountain attraction. 

Rafting in the Smokies offers rafting opportunities for any skill level. Plus, the outpost boasts 10 sprawling acres of adventure. Guests can raft, zipline, rock climb, and take on the challenge of the ropes course. If you’re looking for a way to make your next Smoky Mountain vacation the most memorable one, this is it. There is lots of action-packed fun waiting, so let’s jump in! 

Whitewater Rafting in the Smoky Mountains

Have you ever been rafting in the Smoky Mountains? Even if you’re a newbie, Rafting in the Smokies is ready to show you a rip-roaring good time! Bring the whole family because this award-winning company offers rafting tours for any skill level. If you’re seeking intense rapids, they have it. Maybe you’re searching for a relaxing float in calmer waters? They have that too. All rafting tours are led by professional guides and include safety gear, transportation to/from the outpost, and photography of your party on the river! 

Rafting on the Upper Pigeon River 

The upper section of the Pigeon River thrills with Class III and Class IV rapids. Tours on this section of the river are available to individuals starting at age 8 or 70 pounds. All tours meet at the easily accessible outpost, and then rafters will take a bus ride to the starting point. During this time, your guide will give tips and suggestions as you view the river from the bus. 

No experience is necessary to go rafting in the Smoky Mountains! Your guide will ensure that your first time on the river is a success. Guests can expect an adrenaline rush during the 5.5-mile trip, and you will get wet. We suggest rafters bring a change of clothes. Lasting an hour and a half, the tour ends at the outpost where you originally parked. 

Floating on the Lower Pigeon River 

The lower section of the Pigeon River offers Class I and Class II rapids. With this tour, you still get to enjoy the river. However, your rafting trip will be much more relaxing. This calmer section allows for family float trips. Like the Upper Pigeon River, the breathtaking scenery and fresh mountain air will welcome you as you wind down the river. Keep your eyes open for possible wildlife viewing!

Your professional guide will escort the raft through the gentle waves while making sure everyone aboard has a safe and enjoyable experience. These tours begin at the outpost and last 6 miles. Once your tour has ended, a bus will return your party to the outpost. This tour is available for ages 3 and up. So whether you’re hoping to go whitewater rafting in the Smoky Mountains, or you just want a leisurely trip in the refreshing waters, Rafting in the Smokies is your best choice.

Whitewater Rafting Safety 

Every whitewater rafting tour is led by a certified and trained guide. The knowledgeable guides put guest safety first, so you can be assured that your trip will be safe and fun. Life jackets and helmets are provided and required for all participants. Furthermore, each guide will conduct a safety briefing and a short tutorial before the tour. 

Click here to learn more about how to dress and what to bring. Don’t forget to sign your waiver

Other Activities at the Rafting in the Smokies Outpost

Ziplining in the Smoky Mountains with Rafting in the Smokies

When you’re done rafting in the Smoky Mountains, the fun is not over! You can make an entire day out of your time at Rafting in the Smokies. We recommend packing a picnic or grabbing some BBQ Family Packs from Corky’s BBQ in Pigeon Forge. That way, you can refuel at the picnic area after your rafting tour. Doing so will allow you to enjoy all the extra fun at this outdoor Smoky Mountain attraction. Here’s a snapshot of the other adventurous fun waiting for you at the Rafting in the Smokies Outpost: 


Rafting in the Smokies offers a whopping 2,400 feet of ziplining! Soar down the lines in the stunning Smoky Mountain scenery. There are a total of 6 lines and 2 sky bridges to enjoy. These zipline tours are available for ages 5 and up, although the difficulty rating is listed as moderate. This is because of the stairs to the tower. Also, once a guest has begun the ziplining tour, they must finish it. 

Ropes Course 

The High Elements Ropes Challenge Course includes 4 skill levels designed to challenge guests of every ability. The first course has a Class I difficulty rating, with each level increasing gradually. The last course is rated as a Class IV. Helmets and full-body harnesses are provided and required. 

The ropes course is open to guests ages 5 and older with a minimum weight of 45 pounds. The maximum weight for the rope courses is 250 pounds. 

Rock Climbing Wall 

Rafting in the Smokies wants to ensure that guests of all ages have an action-packed time! That’s why the rock-climbing wall is open to all ages. This four-sided wall has something for guests at any skill level. Safety gear is provided and required. 

Family Adventure Island 

After your thrilling rafting trip, you’re sure to be hungry! Pack a picnic and relax on Family Adventure Island. Take advantage of barbeque grills, picnic tables, and a playground. It’s a fun spot for the whole family! The nature trail and splash area along the water’s edge are other amenities your entire family will love. This picturesque setting is a serene resting spot to enjoy after your adventurous run down the river. 

Ready to go rafting in the Smoky Mountains? Find the Rafting in the Smokies Outpost.

Rock climbing in the Smoky Mountains

Adventure awaits; it’s time to go rafting in the Smoky Mountains! Enjoy a scenic 45-minute drive from Pigeon Forge, Knoxville, or Asheville to Hartford, TN. This quaint town is near the Tennessee/North Carolina border, and it’s where you’ll find the Rafting in the Smokies Outpost. The route will lead you on Interstate-40 along the outskirts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee National Forest. The drive is beautiful and it’s a great way to start your day of soaking in the Smokies (no pun intended)! 

The Rafting in the Smokies Outpost is the easiest rafting outpost to access in the Smoky Mountain area. 

More about Rafting in the Smokies 

This premier Smoky Mountain rafting company is locally owned and operated. Along with the owners, the entire staff is committed to preserving the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. Each team member shares respect and admiration for the landscape and natural resources. They love the great outdoors, and the team is excited to take others rafting in the Smoky Mountains.

Learn more about Rafting in the Smokies here, and take a closer look at all the thrilling activities the company offers. Can’t choose just one? No problem! Check out these combo packages. Perks are available for groups; learn more here

For your convenience, click here to book a tour!

Authored in Appalachia || Amy Morton


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