Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors in Hartford, TN

3299 Hartford RdHartford, TN 37753
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Overview

Conveniently located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains on the Pigeon River, White Water Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors offers an exciting adventure for everyone to enjoy. Guests can choose between Lower Pigeon River Rafting (with class 1 and 2 rapids), Upper Pigeon River Rafting (with class 3 and 4 rapids) or Upper Pigeon Extreme Rafting for experienced riders only.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Hartford Travel Experts
  • Raft Upper or Lower Pigeon River.
  • Upper section features Class III & IV rapids.
  • Lower section features Class I and II rapids.
  • 60+ rapids on Upper section tour.
  • 45 minute drive from Gatlinburg.
  • Bring a change of clothes & towel.
  • Closed toed shoes required.
  • Raft rain or shine
  • Cameras allowed at own risk.
  • Souvenir photos available.

Description

from Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors
Enjoy an exciting River Rafting Trip with SMO 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 whitewater 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 our 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.

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.

Tripster Customer Reviews

55 Reviews
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
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
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
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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Donald Weber
Oak Ridge, TN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Awesome"
July 2019
This company was very organized and our guide MacKenzie was a gem. She made the trip a lot of fun. We wanted to add her to our family. We had a great time.
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Tip: MacKenzie is awesome!

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Tammy Miller
Gainesville , GA
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Smoky Mountain Outdoors Rafting"
July 2019
Lots of fun! Awesome guide! Great customer service. Recommend it to all!!!
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Tamara Langerak
Sand Lake, MI
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Fun!"
August 2018
Had a great time white water rafting and Kayaking. The kayaking was a little rushed would.have like to slow down and enjoy the view but had to keep up with the white water rafting trip and they had a lot more paddles! Great deal though for the double package and lunch Included. Had a good time with the guides as well. Overall a great time for sure!
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Melissa Weidner
Noble, IL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Family Trip"
August 2018
We rafted the lower river since it was the first time for some of us and our groups ages ranged from 6 to 72! A great time was had by all, our guide was very knowledgeable and fun! Definitely recommend for a great family activity!
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TripAdvisor Reviews
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sashasantiagio
"Awesome Time!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 02, 2020 NEW
We are a family of 3 with a 5 y/o with us. We did the lower pigeon area , we had another family joined us.Our guide(Jax) was great , we had swimming time and one planned accidental fall! All kids had a fantastic time...Will definitely come back to do the upper river when my son is older.
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guest12345678909
"Great Trip"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 31, 2020 NEW
SMO made the whole process smooth and easy. Our guide DJ was great and made the whole trip fun. Highly recommend you ask for him to be your guide.
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meda9s
Colorado Springs, Colorado
"Great for beginners "
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed July 23, 2020 NEW
The wife and I booked due to the great reviews. Let me start off by saying the staff and facilities were great. Nice bathrooms and big pavilion to wait under. Check in was ok but extremely crowded. Just a tip...fill out your waivers online when you get your confirmation. They will make you do this and it will hold you up if you don’t. Our guide was a guy called “Oakes.” He was fantastic and very professional. Now for the not so good- Our trip was very crowded. There were boats everywhere. We were constantly being ran into. It was like one big game of bumper boats. The river was not that exciting. A couple of class 3 rapids but mostly just floated along. Again this is a great trip for beginners who have never white water rafted before. If you are an experienced rafter, you will be disappointed. I would recommend doing the Ocoee. It is way more exciting.
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HoustonBusyMom
Houston
"Ton of fun"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 22, 2020 NEW
We rafted the upper river with our 9 and 12 year old. They’re familiar with a paddle so we had no problem with them handling the class 2 and 3 rapids. Our tour guide Ziggy guided us through the rapids like a beast. We handled each rapid effortlessly. It was a blast!! It does include a 10 minute bus ride to the river where every bus seat is filled and we were the only ones wearing masks.
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csquaredssquared
Virginia Beach, Virginia
"A Wet and Wild Adventure"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 20, 2020 NEW
What a blast!! I’d been whitewater rafting before but my husband and two kids hadn’t. My 13 year old daughter was very nervous, I’m sure the other rafters heard her screams but she wants to try it again she had such a good time!! My 16 year old son wants to work for the company. He is hooked!! The bus ride made me nervous because it was filled but we wore masks and eyeglasses, used hand sanitizer, and then everyone got on their own rafts so that was fine. I did convince my son and daughter to jump into the river with me, but my hubby stayed in the raft. Hitting the rapids was awesome! We felt very safe with the guides. If your zip lining too definitely book online...SMO partners with CLIMBWORKS and you can get an additional discount.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors

Are all Smoky Mountain Outdoors rafting trips guided?
Yes, all trips are fully guided.

How far is Smoky Mountain Outdoors from Gatlinburg?
The Smoky Mountain Outdoors Pigeon River Outpost is located about 45 minutes north of Gatlinburg. It is the closest whitewater rafting to the Smoky Mountain area.

Do I have to know how to swim?
No, every guest is issued a type 5, Coast Guard approved personal floatation device. The "PFD" is designed to give you all of the floatation needed on the river.

However, guests who reserve the Raft and Kayak River Combo must know how to swim.

Can I go if I am a bit overweight?
There are no upper limit weight requirements for rafting. Our "PFD's" can accommodate a chest girth of 54". Kayaks have a weight limit of 250 lbs.

Is there a minimum age requirement?
The minimum age/weight for the Upper Pigeon trip is 8 years old or 70 pounds. You have to be at least 3 years old to go on the Lower Pigeon trip. For kayaking trips, guests must be a minimum of 12 years of age.

When are raft trips scheduled?
The Pigeon River is not a free flowing river. About ten miles upstream from our launch area there is a dam that regulates the amount of water flowing down the river. From Memorial Day to Labor Day the flow is consistent and we can schedule accordingly. During the summer months we raft Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday starting 11AM and trips depart every half hour until 5PM. The spring and fall trip availability will be based on local rainfall.

If I am pregnant can I go?
We do not recommend rafting if you are more than two months pregnant.

What do I wear for a rafting trip with Smoky Mountain Outdoors?
Shorts, t-shirt and secure fitting shoes. No flip-flops or bare feet allowed. During the Spring and Fall avoid cotton clothing, it really absorbs water and will make you cold. Wear clothing that will not absorb much water like wool. Good synthetic fabrics are fleece and polypropylene. Do not wear jeans.. We also provide nylon jackets and pants to wear over your clothing at no extra charge. Also, bring a dry change of clothes and a towel for after the trip. If for some reason you forget secure shoes, they are for sale at the outpost. 

Can I bring a camera on the rafting trip?
We recommend that you lock all personal items in you vehicle. Anything that you bring on the river will get wet and could possibly get lost during the trip. We will take pictures of your boat during the trip that can be seen and purchased after your trip.

Do you raft in the rain?
We raft rain or shine. Rafting is one of the best rainy day activities because getting wet is part of the fun! We may delay the trip for a few minutes to allow a strong storm to pass.