Smoky Mountain Outdoors Rafting in Hartford

Smoky Mountain Outdoors3299 Hartford RdHartford, TN 37753
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$48.95 $36.95
Total Price: $43.63 (USD)
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TripAdvisor user rating 5.00 out of 5 Based on 5992 reviews


Based in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, SMO Rafting offers a thrilling Pigeon River adventure for thrill-seekers of all levels—from a family-friendly lower Pigeon float trip to an upper Pigeon River white water rafting adventure with class 3 and 4 rapids. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-timer, SMO provides an exhilarating and safe experience.

up to 2 hrs

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Hartford Travel Experts
  • The Upper Pigeon River section features exhilarating Class III & IV rapids.
  • The Lower Pigeon features Class I and II rapids, perfect for families or anyone looking for a relaxing river experience.
  • All rafting trips take place on the Pigeon River, a scenic 45-minute drive from Gatlinburg and known for its scenic beauty and exciting rapids.
  • Be sure to wear closed toe shoes (required), and bring a change of clothes and a towel.
  • Rafting trips run rain or shine.
  • SMO Rafting provides all the necessary rafting equipment, including life jackets, helmets, and paddles.
  • Cameras are permitted at your own risk, or store your camera in one of their available lockers and purchase souvenir photos of your trip afterwards.


from Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors
Enjoy an exciting whitewater rafting trip with SMO Rafting (Smoky Mountain Outdoors Rafting), recipient of TripAdvisor's prestigious Certificate of Excellence year after year and winner of the 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Award.

The Pigeon River, located about 45 minutes from Gatlinburg, in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, offers breathtaking scenery and white water rafting thrills! Experience the Class III and IV Upper Pigeon River section for ages 8+, or the milder Class I and II Lower Pigeon River section for ages 3+.

No prior experience is necessary. All of SMO's Tennessee rafting trips include a professional river guide to keep your adventure safe and enjoyable. White water rafting is something the whole family can enjoy.

Bring a change of clothes and a towel. We have changing rooms, showers, and an on-site casual eatery.

Everyone must wear secure fitting shoes. No Flip-flops or bare feet.

River Trip Descriptions
Upper River: 6.5 miles of class II - IV Whitewater Adventure Trip. Age 8+ / 70 pounds
Extreme: Upper River trip in smaller boat = bigger hits. Ability to swim required. Age 12+
Lower River: 5.5 miles of Class I - II+ Scenic River Float. Age 3+

Please note: Rafting is not available in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. Please check in at our riverside outpost in Hartford, TN one hour prior to your trip time.

Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors Reviews

59 Reviews
Wendi Tevebaugh  Tripster User Profile Image
Wendi Tevebaugh
1 Review
Verified Traveler
August 2023
This place knows what they are doing. My family and I went today. Everything was well organized. And let me tell you about our guide.. TJ was AWESOME!!! We felt very comfortable with his knowledge and his really bad jokes ??. He went out of his way to make everyone relaxed. It was so much fun!!! Cannot recommend enough!
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Tip: It is amazing. Staff Is experienced

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Lynn Hoffmann Tripster User Profile Image
Lynn Hoffmann
Saint Louis , MO
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Water rafting"
September 2021
Was a great experience. The people that work there are very good at explaining the rules and the details of the rafting. Had so much fun!
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AILEEN CREECH Tripster User Profile Image
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Lower rafting"
July 2021
It was first time for my 7 year old son. Although he got scared during the trip, the experience he will share will last a lifetime. Shannon, our guide was funny and amazing. Thank you for the memories.
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Holly Bodish Tripster User Profile Image
Holly Bodish
Waukesha, WI
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Family fun"
June 2021
Great time for the whole family ages 8-76!
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timothy burns Tripster User Profile Image
timothy burns
elyria, OH
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Beautiful scenery"
August 2019
Good for the family
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Tip: Be ready to get wet

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Mihaela Onis Tripster User Profile Image
Mihaela Onis
Morton Grove, IL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Combo Rafting Experience!"
July 2019
Although I was interested in white water rafting, I can't deny that I was a bit afraid. Sean was an amazing guide and put everyone at ease. We had such a great time with him. This was definitely one of the highlights of our vacation in Tennessee. We hope to return again.
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Tip: book online; you will get wet

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Yvette Gordon Tripster User Profile Image
Yvette Gordon
Redondo Beach, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Rafting in the Smokies"
July 2019
Excellent safe time! They have a well-organized system over there!
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danielle bossom Tripster User Profile Image
danielle bossom
Denham Springs, LA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Wonderful staff and fun time!"
July 2019
Booked online before the trip. arrived and was greeted by 2 nice young men who directed us to parking. checked in and then was assigned our river guides. Aeron was AWESOME to say the least! SHe was fantastic and would love to raft with her again! We had a wonderful time
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Frequently Asked Questions about Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors

Are all SMO Rafting (Smoky Mountain Outdoors Rafting) trips guided?

Yes, all SMO Rafting trips on the Pigeon River are guided by certified guides.

How far is Smoky Mountain Outdoor rafting from Gatlinburg?

The Smoky Mountain Outdoors (SMO) Pigeon River Outpost is located about 45 minutes northeast of Gatlinburg. It is the closest whitewater rafting to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

Do I have to know how to swim?

No, every guest is issued a type 5, Coast Guard approved personal flotation device. This lifejacket is designed to give you all of the flotation needed on the river.

Can I go if I am a bit overweight?

There are no upper limit weight requirements. Lifejackets can accommodate a chest girth of 54″.

Is there a minimum age requirement?

The minimum age/weight for the Upper Pigeon rafting trip is 8 years old or 70lbs. Children must be at least 3 years old to go on the Lower Pigeon trip.

Can I go rafting if I am pregnant?

Rafting is not recommended if you are more than two months pregnant.

What do I wear?

Secure, closed toe shoes are required (no flip-flops or bare feet allowed). Bring a dry towel, dry clothes and dry shoes for after the trip. During the summer, shorts and a bathing suit or t-shirt are recommended; no jeans or denim please. For cooler months, synthetic, quick-drying layers are recommended for optimum comfort. Cotton is not recommended as it holds water and wicks away body heat. Wool or fleece socks will also help keep you warmer.

Can I bring a camera on the rafting trip?

Anything that you bring on the river will get wet and could possibly get lost during the trip. SMO Rafting has lockers available on site where you can store your camera while you raft. Keep in mind they capture pictures during your adventure that are available for purchase after your trip.

What if it rains?

Rafting trips run rain or shine. Rafting is one of the best rainy day activities because getting wet is part of the fun. The trip may get delayed for a few minutes to allow a strong storm to pass.