Upper Pigeon River Whitewater Rafting Trips


Trip Details

Difficulty: 3
Minimum Age: 8 yrs

Online Special!
$30.00+taxes & fees

 Welcome to Rafting in the Smokies, your best choice for Pigeon River whitewater rafting trips since 1978. The upper section of the Pigeon River boasts 12 Class III and 3 Class IV thrilling whitewater rapids! Accompanied by one of Rafting in the Smokies friendly, professional river guides, you’ll be escorted down 5.5 miles of lively rapids with equally engaging nicknames such as Too Late, Vegamatic, Razor Blade, After Shave, and Lost Guide. No Experience Necessary! This trip is open to anyone 8 years old or older (or 70+ lbs).  Life jackets/personal flotation devices (PFDs) and helmets are provided and required for all participants, our PFDs are adjustable to 56″. Expect big splashes and bumpy waves during this 1.5 hour trip of spectacular whitewater adventure on the Upper Pigeon River!

The scenery surrounding the upper and lower sections of the Pigeon River is just as breathtaking as the rapids. Skirted by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee National Forest, Martha Sundquist State Forest and the Appalachian Trail, the Pigeon has carved its rocky riverbed through some of the most dramatic country in East Tennessee.

Rafting in the Smokies has the longest operating season and the most amenities available on site. The Pigeon River is dam-controlled with scheduled water releases from Memorial Day through Labor Day on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday. Reservations are recommended to ensure that you and your party secure the date and time of your choice. Walk-in guests are welcome.

If someone in your group needs a little less adventure, we can accommodate! Let us help you plan coinciding whitewater and float trips. The portion of the group rafting the Lower Pigeon Float Trip can be scheduled to coincide with the other portion of the group’s Upper Pigeon Whitewater Trip.

Although surrounded by spectacular mountain wilderness, the Rafting in the Smokies Pigeon River Outpost is the most accessible outpost in East Tennessee!  Just take Exit #447 to Hartford, off I-40 near the Tennessee/North Carolina border and you’re there! It’s that easy! Located only 45 minutes from Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Knoxville, TN, and Asheville, NC. Make this river rafting trip your next whitewater adventure!Summary:


No Experience Necessary!
What to Expect: Big Splashes & Bumpy Waves, Maximum 6-7 People Per Raft + Guide
Minimum Age: 8+ or 70+ lbs
Maximum: Must be able to fit into 56″ PFD
Difficulty: Class III & IV
Location: Upper Pigeon River
Length of Rafting Trip: 5 miles/Approx. 1.5 hours
Safety: Trained Guide in EVERY Raft, Life Jackets/Helmets Provided & Required
Price: $42.00 Per Person Plus Tax
Reservations Recommended: Open Memorial Day to Labor Day – Rain or Shine!
Trips Available: Guaranteed water days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Based on lake levels, we may have trips available other days. Call for availability 1-800-776-7238.

FREE On-site Amenities Include: Our 10-acre family adventure island featuring a nature trail, barbeque grills, picnic area, beanbag toss games and a playground.

Nominal Charge: Professional Photo of Your Adventure, Gift Shop Items, Meals
Combo Packages Include: Family Float Rafting, Ziplines, High Elements Ropes Challenge Course, Horseback Riding

Maps & Directions What to Bring Questions & Answers Liability Waiver


This 1:00pm trip meets at the Pigeon River Outpost in Hartford, TN at 12:15 PM

12:15 PM – After arriving at the Outpost please lock all personal items in your vehicle and promptly check in. Make sure not to leave your signed waivers in the car. We will keep your keys while you are playing on the river. 

12:45 PM – After all participants have checked in you can explore the outpost but stay within the sound of the music on the speakers. The office will announce your trip over the speakers when it is time to assemble for your river orientation and safety talk by the trip leader. You will meet your guide and he will help you choose your life jacket and other gear. You will then board the bus for the short 5-mile ride to the put in at the Powerhouse. Your guide will point out various rapids and interesting facts along the ride to the put in at exit 451 on the North Carolina state line.

1:15 PM – For your safety when you arrive at the put in you will be asked to remain on the bus while we unload rafts.  Once the rafts are on the ground your guide will again give brief paddling techniques and helpful white water rafting tips.  When everyone is ready all rafts are boarded for the trip downstream.  The action starts right away on the Upper Section of the Big Pigeon River!  Within a short distance, you will be running “Powerhouse”, which is a Class III plus rapid.  Make sure you are smiling as you approach this rapid for great photo opportunities.  After this, the rapids come in close succession with “Big Rock” and “Full of Water.”  You will go through many other rapids such as ‘’Big Bend”, “Roller Coaster”, “Lost Guide”, and “Duck N Run”.  Enjoy a nice calm spot of swimming after “Accelerator”.

2:45 PM – We arrive back at the River Outpost where you may view and purchase trip photos of a great day of rafting.  Bring a picnic and relax on our 10 Acre Family Adventure Island where you will find barbeque grills, picnic tables,beanbag toss games and a playground. There is also a nature trail and play area at waters edge! Enjoy the setting and share stories about your exciting rafting adventure with Rafting in the Smokies!