The Nantahala River flows through the scenic Nantahala River Gorge in Swain and Macon Counties in the Nantahala National Forest of Western North Carolina. Giant pipes carry water from the Nantahala Lake across the mountains to the Beechertown power plant where it is dropped down on giant turbines to produce hydroelectric power. After going through the turbines the water is sent rushing out of the powerhouse and down the famous 8 ½ mile stretch of the Nantahala River between the power plant and Fontana Lake creating one of the most popular whitewater rafting attractions in the United States! The Nantahala River has class 2 & 3 whitewater. The river is fun and exciting, but does NOT require previous experience. Paddlers of all experience levels enjoy paddling the Nantahala River. The river is dam controlled and there is a good dependable water supply for whitewater rafting all season long! Total trip time is 3 ½ to 4 hours, including pre-trip instructions, getting outfitted and transported, and about 2 hours on the water itself. People from all over the world come to participate in the fun and exciting whitewater sports on the Nantahala River.
The Nantahala Gorge offers a wonderful and scenic setting for paddling. It is a beautiful natural environment and is host to a wide variety of plant and animal life. The Cherokee called the Nantahala the "Land of the Noonday Sun" because the walls on either side of the River towered so tall that the direct light of the sun could only shine into the Gorge during the middle part of the day when it reached it's highest point in the sky. Today the Nantahala Gorge is still known as the "Land of the Noonday Sun".
Guided: A guide-in-boat raft trip is one in which a guide is in your boat during your trip down the Nantahala River. He/she will sit at the back of the raft & guide the boat. A guide in your boat can provide the navigation of the Nantahala River and can provide paddling power!
Guide assisted: A guide assisted trip option is available for larger groups with two or more guide-in-boat rafts as part of their trip.
Unguided: An Unguided raft trip is one in which we provide all equipment and transportation to and from the Nantahala River, and the rafters go down the river on their own without the assistance of a guide on the Nantahala River itself. A guide will assist with pre-trip instructions before you go to the Nantahala River.
Funyak: A funyak trip is a trip down the Nantahala River in our inflatable kayaks or "duckies". You may choose a one-man funyak or a two man-funyak. These boats are easy to maneuver and they are lots of fun!
Departure Time: 10:00 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:00 Noon, 1:30 PM, 2:30 PM, and 3:30 PM
Please arrive at the raft outpost building 30 minutes prior to departure. (The raft outpost building physical location is: Carolina Outfitters Rafting, 715 U.S. Hwy 19, Topton, N.C. 28781).
Book now at our current discount special and SAVE UP TO $10.00 per person on Nantahala Rafting Trips!
|60+ people||Please call 800-468-7238 for pricing.|
|Single||$36.99||$24.99 per boat|
|Double||$46.99||$34.99 per boat|
You must make your RESERVATION ONLINE in order to get our current Internet discount special, and our BEST RATE GUARANTEED for Nantahala rafting!
Rates are $2.00 higher on Saturdays.
Add $2.00 more for peak Saturday rafting fees in July and August. All prices are plus 9.5%. All equipment provided, including class 5 life jackets, paddles, boats (self bailers too!), and transportation to and from the river from the raft outpost building.
Carolina Outiftters offers a second trip (non-guided) down the river on the same day for ½ price! This offer does not apply on "cap Saturdays" from mid July through August.
Memorial Day Special:
In honor of our Veterans, and in appreciation of their military service, Carolina Outfitters invites veterans and active duty military personnel to raft free on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend! Thank you, for your service to America. (Must have military ID or proof of service)
Children must weigh at least 60 lbs., or be at least 7 years of age (one or the other, not both) to go on the Nantahala River Rafting Trip.
Please note that when taking the group discounts one person must be designated as the group leader and:
- Collect the money for the entire group
- Get each person in the group to sign the liability release waiver
- Call in any adjustments to the group size
- Present the money & waivers to Carolina Outfitters
The following group leader information is available for downloading and is designed to make your organizing job easy. It includes: