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Chattooga River

Section III: Class II-III+(IV)

Adults and kids aged 7 (60lbs.) or older


Section IV: Class II-IV+

Adults and kids aged 14 and older

The Chattooga Wild and Scenic River flows through a protected wilderness corridor for 59 miles along the Georgia/South Carolina border in the southern Appalachian Mountains. The river is legendary for its intense rapids and rugged scenery.

Bull Sluice Rapid – Photo: Stephen Ayres

A trip on the Chattooga is the ultimate Southeast wilderness rafting experience. Since commercial outfitters are regulated to maintain the river’s wild personality, rafters will rarely see any other groups on the river.

Expect gorgeous scenery, exciting water and no signs of civilization until you’re off the water.

Chattooga Rafting Companies

Nantahala Outdoor Center

Southeastern Expeditions


Section III (Class II-III)

This is the family friendly section of the Chattooga, with occaisional rapids suitable for adults and kids ages 7 and older. An optional run through Bull Sluice Rapid (Class IV) at the end of the trip can give adult rafters a taste of the bigger water downstream.

Photo courtesy of Wildwater

Section IV (Class III-IV+)

The Chattooga’s infamous Five Falls rapids (Entrance, Corkscrew, Crack in the Rock, Jawbone, Soc ’em Dog) finish off this fast and intense whitewater run, which has 24 named rapids and is only for older, experienced rafters.

Photo courtesy of Wildwater

Trips on either section take approximately four to five hours. Rafting companies also offer overnight experiences for those who want to run both sections.


The Chattooga River water levels are subject to seasonal rainfall. Generally, spring trips will be fast and wild, where late summer/ early fall trips will be less intense.

Related Activities

Class II-V whitewater paddling, flatwater paddling (Lake Tugaloo), fishing, camping, mountain biking, hiking, backpacking

Activity Type

Class II – IV+ whitewater rafting


Near Clayton, Georgia

Distance from Outdoor Chattanooga

151 miles | 3 hours

GPS Coordinates

(Georgia | S.C. Border)
34.815169, -83.305197

Google Map


Sunrise to sunset


Yes. Forest Service pit toilets and commercial outfitters.
No, along the river.

Overnight Camping


Francis Marion and Sumter National Forest

Contact Information

Sumter National Forest
Andrew Pickens Ranger District
112 Andrew Pickens Cir.
Mountain Rest, S.C. 29664
(864) 638-9568
Hours: M-F, 8 a.m. to 12 noon
and 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Chattooga Wild and Scenic River

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