Adults and kids ages 7 (60 lbs.) and older
The Nantahala River runs through the Western North Carolina mountains in a shaded gorge, giving it the distinction of being the coldest whitewater stream in the Southeast.
Seeing an average of only 4 hours of direct sunlight per day, the water temperature stays around a bone chilling 45 degrees.
A guided raft trip on the Nanty is a great introductory experience for whitewater rafters. Most of the river contains bouncy, Class II rapids, with the Class III Nantahala Falls providing a grand finale to the trip.
Rafting Nantahala Falls – Photo: Nantahala Outdoor Center
The river is pushy, rocky, and Nantahala Falls can be a technical challenge for inexperienced rafters. It is highly recommended to do your first run with a professional guide service.
Nantahala River Raft Guide Services (In and near Bryson City, N.C.)
Class I-III whitewater paddling, camping, mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, road biking
Class I-III+ whitewater rafting
Wesser, North Carolina
Distance from Outdoor Chattanooga
119 miles | 2 hours, 15 minutes
GPS Coordinates to U.S.F.S. Nantahala River Launch Site
GPS Coordinates to Ferebee Memorial Picnic Area
Sunrise to sunset
No dam releases in November (December)
Yes. Forest Service pit toilets.
Nantahala National Forest
Nantahala Ranger District
90 Sloan Road
Franklin, NC 28734