Smoky Mountain White Water Rafting

Smoky Mountain Outdoors: Thrilling Adventures on the Pigeon River
Local Expert's Rating:
5.0 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Experience the best of Mother Nature and a burst of adrenaline while touring the beautiful Pigeon River on a raft or inflatable kayak. Smoky Mountain Outdoors allows you to embrace the excitement of whitewater rafting while remaining safe and secure.

- The Local Expert Team

You’ve witnessed the Pigeon River from bridges, nature trails, or with a fishing reel, but you’ll have a much better feel for this natural wonder once you’ve explored it on a whitewater raft or inflatable kayak. This river can be a bit treacherous for newbies, however, so it behooves you to travel alongside a guide from Smoky Mountain Outdoors.

Personable, yet authoritative, your guide will ensure that your whitewater group works together to successfully traverse several thrilling rapids. Guides are intimately familiar with the river, along with the types of reactions it elicits from adventurers. If you feel a burst of last-minute nerves, you can count on your guide for reassurance.

Smoky Mountain Outdoors runs an efficient operation. You won’t waste your day waiting around for the bus or sitting through endless briefings. The guides offer all of the information you need to stay safe, but in a concise and straightforward manner.

The last thing you need during your whitewater trip is to be lumped in with the wrong crew, or placed on a route ill-suited to your ability level. Thankfully, Smoky Mountain Outdoors allows you to choose a trip that is perfectly suited to your unique needs. Packages are designed for young beginners, adult rafting enthusiasts, and everybody in between. No matter your experience level, you can expect to learn something new during your whitewater adventure on the Pigeon River. Along the way, you’ll be amazed by the natural beauty and serenity of the Smoky Mountain region.

A few of our favorites include the following:

Upper River Rafting
Ideal for inexperienced or moderately experienced rafters seeking big thrills, the standard Upper Pigeon River trip explores several dozen rapids, including a few Class IV thrills. No worries — your guide will keep you safe as you maneuver around rocks and through major waves.

Extreme Upper River Rafting
On the hunt for something a bit more intense? You’re the perfect candidate for the Smoky Mountain Outdoors Extreme Upper River Rafting package. This trip features a smaller raft, which accommodates up to three adventurers and the requisite guide. Previous rafting experience is recommended for this trip, and the ability to swim is an absolute essential.

Lower River Rafting
This family-friendly trip focuses on magnificent views and mild thrills. Rafters age three and above are allowed, so feel free to bring the entire family. Expect a slower pace and a lot of water fights with younger rafters.

Inflatable Kayaking
Explore the Lower Pigeon River via an inflatable kayak. This unique approach allows you to take the lead, tackling the natural thrills of the Pigeon River as you see fit — but with guidance and paddling tips from a knowledgeable escort. Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or a complete newbie, you’ll enjoy playing in the rapids and learning new techniques.

What is the Cancellation Policy?

Luckily, Smoky Mountains Outdoors offers some cancellation policies just in case you can’t make your exciting adventure. For 9 or less, you can cancel greater than 48 hours before the trip and get a full refund. If you cancel after 48 hours before your trip, they can also reschedule or offer a voucher for future use but not give any refunds.

For 10 or more, full refunds will be offered for cancellations more than 7 days before the reservation date. If you need to cancel within those 7 days, you can get a rescheduled trip or voucher for future use.

Insider Tips:
-Smoky Mountain Outdoors has teamed up with CLIMB Works to offer significant discounts via whitewater rafting and zip line packages. Invest in a discount package, and you can experience the best of the Smoky Mountains from the river and from the sky.
-There are no limit weight requirements so feel free to hop on in without any worry.
-Rafting is not allowed in bare feet or flip flops. Other apparel requirements include shorts and either a swimsuit or t-shirt. Be sure to bring a towel so you can dry off after your trip — you are guaranteed to get wet! A dry pair of shoes and set of clothing will also make your post-trip experience more enjoyable.
-Although Smoky Mountain Outdoors Whitewater Rafting has a booking office in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, do NOT go to these on the day of your rafting trip! Instead, make sure to follow the directions to the rafting outpost at 3299 Hartford Road in Hartford, TN about 45 minutes from downtown Gatlinburg.