Enjoying the great outdoors should be a part of every Gatlinburg vacation. Many people head to the Pigeon River for a Gatlinburg rafting trip. The river is divided into two sections – Upper and Lower. Rafting companies in the area offer trips on both sections, each perfectly suited to the level of adventure you’re seeking.
Here’s what you need to know to plan your rafting trip:
Upper Pigeon River
The Upper Pigeon River is the trip for you if you want big rapids and lots of white water. Featuring 70 rapids ranging from Class I-IV, this trip lasts 6 miles and 1.5-2 hours. Along the way, you’re surrounded by the beauty of the Cherokee National Forest. Each trip has a certified guide. Take note that participants for the Upper Pigeon River raft trip must be 8 years old or 70 lbs. Prices for Upper Pigeon River Raft Rides range start at $25.00.
Lower Pigeon River
A trip on the Lower Pigeon River is more leisurely and suited for families with little kids or someone looking for a relaxing, scenic float with just a bit of white water. Stretching 5 miles, for about 1.5-2 hours, the float has about 50 Class I and II rapids with one Class III at the end. This option is great for those wanting to get their toes wets and experience a sample of what the Pigeon River has to offer. Certified guides lead all trips and participants only have to be 3 years old. Tickets for the Lower Pigeon River start at $23.00.
The best time to go on a rafting trip in the Smokies is May through September.