Summer Adventures within Driving Distance

Summertime is the perfect time to be spontaneous. If you are looking to set out at the spur of the moment or you are looking for a quick day trip, rafting and tubing centers are just a short drive away. Come for the day or extend your stay at our campground or bunkhouse (or at one of the many area cabins, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns, and hotels). With so many rafting options and lots of nearby attractions, Rolling Thunder is the perfect destination for your summer vacation!

Pick Your Rafting Adventure

  1. Nantahala:Our Nantahala River Rafting Center in Bryson City, NC is only 3 hours from Atlanta and 2.5 hours from Chattanooga. Rafting trips on this river are considered a beginner’s level adventure, making them perfect for families with children (7+ years).
  2. Ocoee:Our Ocoee River Rafting Center and Toccoa River Tubing Centerare located in McCaysville, GA, a quick hour and a half drive from the north side of Atlanta or an hour and a half from Chattanooga. The dam-controlled Ocoee River has two separate “hang onto your helmet” sections of surging whitewater, producing the most continuous stretch of class III and IV rapids of any river in the country—perfect for getting your adrenaline rushing!
  3. Toccoa: Toccoa River tubing, kayaking, and canoeing are perfect float trips for families with children too young for whitewater rafting or for anyone who enjoys a scenic float trip. You’ll have the option of three different length trips so you can choose how long you want to float on the river.

Turn Your Day Trip into a Vacation

Come spend the day on the river with us for a romantic getaway, family vacation, girls/guys trip, family reunion, or any other special event. Admire the breathtaking views; hit the hiking trails; visit the waterfalls; explore the shops; enjoy the restaurants, craft breweries, or wineries. Then go on a few adventurous excursions like biking, boating, fishing, golfing, hiking, or horseback riding. Explore all the nearby natural and cultural history of the area, especially the natural beauty of the Great Smokies and Blue Ridge Mountains. The Great Smokies have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts one of the most diverse ecosystems in North America. They are also home to the most visited national park in the United States—Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Turn your drive into part of the adventure by traveling along the 469-mile scenic Blue Ridge Parkway the highway connects the Shenandoah National Park with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Rolling Thunder River Company

All these adventures are only a few physical miles away from you but they’re a million miles away from it all. At Rolling Thunder River Company we have earned our stellar reputationby being a safety conscious provider of high quality river adventures since 1977. Plan your summer getaway for two or for a groupreserve your trip online  today!

Rolling Thunder River Company is Ready for Your Group Rafting Trip

Are you looking for a fun, challenging, and incredible outdoor experience for your group this summer? Come to Rolling Thunder River Company to experience the unique camaraderie that only develops on a river rafting trip.

Want to Stay Overnight? Check Out Our Bunkhouses Located at our Nantahala Rafting Center

Over the years, Rolling Thunder’s bunkhouses have been a popular choice for numerous church retreats, Scout outings, family reunions, and a variety of other groups looking to extend their rafting trip overnight. Nestled in the trees behind our Nantahala rafting center, our dormitory style bunkhouses sleep up to 60 people and feature a large adjacent bath house. Each bunkhouse is divided into smaller private sleeping rooms with built-in bunk beds and they are equipped with communal full service kitchens and outside grills to make food preparation simple for groups of any size. Groups can “sleep cheap” in our bunkhouses with rates ranging from $10 to $12 per person per night. Stay one night or stay a week!

Other Nearby Activities and Conveniences

There are numerous other activities and convenience within minutes of our property so you can stay as busy as you like. In addition to river rafting, your group can:

  • hike, bike, or walk an amazing array of mountain trails
  • swim in beautiful mountain lakes
  • enjoy a picnic
  • do some bird watching
  • go on educational and inspirational excursions

Great Group Rafting and Lodging Deals

We offer several ways groups can save money on their trip to Rolling Thunder.

  • Rafting groups of 10 or more can receive discounted rafting and lodging rates.
  • Groups can save if they visit during the week instead of the weekend.
  • Groups receive off-season rates when visiting before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.
  • Groups rafting both rivers during the same week can get discounted rates.
  • Groups of 15 or more rafters can spend ONE night in our bunkhouse FREE on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday of any week. Space is limited so don’t wait too long to take advantage of this opportunity!*

Our Professional, Knowledgeable, and Friendly Staff

The sheer logistics of getting large groups on the river and off in a smooth and organized manner takes a great deal of experience and precision teamwork. Rolling Thunder has perfected this process during our 40+ years of business. We are a family owned and operated company of highly skilled outdoor professionals who look forward to sharing our love of these majestic mountains and its incredible rivers with your group. Contact us to book your rafting and lodging reservations today.

  • *The free Bunkhouse on weeknights offer is only for guided or guide assisted trips not rental.

Take Advantage of Preseason Deals at Rolling Thunder River Company

Beat the crowd! Come rafting with Rolling Thunder River Company during the month of May before the rivers are flooded with rafters and take advantage of our special preseason savings.

Nantahala River Experience

Nantahala River rafting trips are considered “mild to moderate” adventure level, making them perfect for families with children (7+ years) and beginning rafters. Each trip runs the full length of the river (8 miles through scenic Nantahala National Forest) and averages around three and a half hours with about two hours spent on the river. You will raft through calm spells of sparkling flat water, over 20 named whitewater rapids, and often experience a mystical fog created when the cold water of the Nantahala River meets the warm air. Why not make your rafting adventure a full outdoor experience? Our Nantahala rafting center features a family oriented campground with pea gravel tent sites, a bathhouse, picnic tables, and fire pits. We also have a large bunkhouse which sleeps up to 72 people and has a full kitchen—perfect for groups! If you are looking for more traditional accommodations, many cabins, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns, and hotels are also located nearby.

Book your family friendly Nantahala rafting adventure during the month of May and take advantage of preseason pricing. Plus, all necessary equipment, transportation to and from the river, rain jackets (if needed) and all taxes and river fees are included in the price! We are open daily, so visit us now and beat the crowds!

Ocoee White Water Adventure

The whole world watched the ancient Ocoee River in action when it was chosen as the venue for the whitewater events of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Now you can experience this rowdy, romping, rollicking ride for yourself. The dam-controlled Ocoee River has two separate “hang onto your helmet” sections of surging whitewater, producing the most continuous stretch of class III and IV rapids of any river in the country—perfect for getting your adrenaline rushing! Half day and full day trips are available and our Ocoee rafting center is just 15 minutes from Blue Ridge, GA where you will find an abundance of restaurants and lodging.

The legendary Ocoee River attracts hundreds of thousands of rafters each season. Beat the crowds by booking your Ocoee rafting adventure during the month May to take advantage of preseason pricing. Plus, all necessary equipment, transportation to and from the river, rain jackets (if needed) and all taxes and river fees are included in the price!

Rolling Thunder River Company

Since 1977, over a million guests have chosen and trusted Rolling Thunder River Company to provide them with memorable river trips. We have earned our stellar reputation by being a safety conscious provider of high quality river adventures. Join us for a May family or group adventure on the famous Ocoee and Nantahala Rivers before the height of the summer season arrives! Contact us today!

How a Whitewater Rafting Adventure Will Benefit Your Health

How Rafting Can Benefit Your HealthWe all know how important it is to stay active. Partaking in different activities like jogging and bike riding are well known for boosting your health. But did you know that whitewater rafting can also benefit your health? Here are a few reasons that heading out onto the river will do a lot to help you get in shape.

You’re Working Out

Other than trekking to your location to go whitewater rafting, you’ll also find that the actual activity is great exercise. You’re working out the muscles in your arms and core and getting your heart and lungs active. Meanwhile, you’ll be burning calories.

You’re Breathing Fresh Air

The air near rivers tends to be much cleaner because of the mountains and thousands of trees surrounding them. You won’t get fresh air like this when you’re in the city. Getting a chance to breathe in unpolluted oxygen can be great for your entire body.

You’re Relieving Stress

Getting away from the hustle and bustle of your daily life can be a relief for a lot of people. Taking time to do something that is fun and relaxing can be the key to reducing built up stress. It’s also been found that doing activities that induce adrenaline can help boost endorphins, the chemical in your body responsible for happiness!

Nature has always been a healthy treat for the human body. Getting away from the pollution, stress, and bad habits associated with your city or suburban life can be a big plus for your health. Find a whitewater rafting getaway to get in shape or stay in shape this year!

If you’re interested in Ocoee river rafting, you can schedule a fun and healthy adventure with Rolling Thunder River Company. For rafting in Santa Fe NM or an exciting Taos rafting adventure, you can take a guided trip with New Mexico River Adventures. Plan your trip today!

White Water Rafting in Asheville North Carolina

If you are looking for an exciting adventure near Asheville, you’ve come to the right place! At Rolling Thunder River Company, we offer thrilling white water rafting in Asheville, North Carolina and the nearby areas. We’ve taken thousands of beginners and experts alike on river trips and helped build countless memories. If you are going to be in the Asheville area summer, you definitely don’t want to miss Rolling Thunder!

White Water Rafting in Asheville North Carolina

Asheville is the premier place to be for thrilling white water adventures. In fact, according to Whitewater Paddling Magazine, Asheville, North Carolina is one of the top 10 best white water cities. ABC’s Good Morning America also called North Carolina the “Number One Vacation with a Splash.”

The Nantahala River is the area’s best known white water rafting river. It offers alternating flat water and thrilling rapids, and it is the perfect spot for beginners and seasoned rafters alike. Here at Rolling Thunder, we provide adventures on the Nantahala for anyone over the age of 7 or weighing at least 60 pounds.

White Water Rafting Near Asheville

Our Nantahala adventures carry guests through 8 miles of the beautiful Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina’s largest National Forest. Get your thrills on the lively rapids, then catch your breath and enjoy the scenery while floating through the calmer sections. There are plentiful opportunities to spot wildlife along the shore, and since the Nantahala is dam-controlled, you never have to worry about there not being enough water.

Rolling Thunder River Company’s Nantahala River Rafting Center is located in Bryson City, just about an hour’s drive from downtown Asheville. Whether you’re an area resident or coming to North Carolina on vacation, for white water rafting in Asheville, North Carolina, be sure to check out Rolling Thunder! Contact us today to make a reservation.

Hiking Trails to Visit

After rafting the Nantahala River in western North Carolina with Rolling Thunder enjoy a visit to one of

our favorite closeby areas – Deep Creek. Hiking trails, waterfalls and more. This pdf map will show you the variety of hiking trails you can explore.



Waterfalls to Visit

We love water whether it’s running down a river or cascading off the top of a mountain. There are lots of incredibly beautiful waterfalls to see while you’re visiting us in the mountains. You just have to know how to find them. After your Ocoee rafting trip with Rolling Thunder pick a waterfall and go find it. It’s a beautiful – and free- adventure Waterfalls Fannin County

Whitewater Rafting in NC

If you love whitewater rafting, North Carolina is the place to be this summer! Whether you’re a local or you’re planning a vacation, the Nantahala River in Bryson City, NC is an amazing place to spend a day on the water. In fact, the Nantahala River has been named the “#1 Vacation with a Splash” by Good Morning America.

At Rolling Thunder River Company, we are your source for amazing whitewater rafting in NC. We offer Nantahala River Rafting adventures for people of all skill levels, and we love helping our guests create memories that last a lifetime.

Whitewater Rafting in NC on the Nantahala River

The Nantahala River is a family favorite that alternates between 20 thrilling rapids as well as various pools of calm waters. It is the perfect destination for first-time rafters as well as those with a bit more experience.

The Nantahala River is dam-controlled. This means that a consistent, predictable flow is available throughout the entire rafting season regardless of the weather. While other rivers may be shut down due to lack of rainfall, you’ll never have to face that disappointment when you choose to go whitewater rafting in NC on the Nantahala.

Guided and Non-Guided NC Whitewater Rafting

We offer both guided and non-guided trips when you raft the Nantahala River with Rolling Thunder River Company. You can choose whether you would like to have a guide or not. If you’re new to rafting, a guided trip is the best way to go. Your guide will teach you the right paddling techniques and make sure you understand how to stay safe while on the river.

Non-guided trips are best for people with some whitewater rafting experience. Choosing this option means you’ll be allowed to explore the river at your own pace with your friends and family.

Whitewater Rafting in NC with Rolling Thunder River Company

We’ve been offering whitewater rafting adventures in North Carolina for more than 35 years. In fact, we were one of the first companies to offer whitewater rafting in NC on the mighty Nantahala River. We’ve entertained hundreds of thousands of guests over the years, and we’re proud of our outstanding safety record and reputation within the rafting community.

Join us this summer for a North Carolina whitewater rafting adventure you won’t soon forget! Book your trip today.


Planning Your Next Whitewater Rafting Trip

Spring is finally here, and before you know it, it will be time to hit the river for your next rafting adventure. At Rolling Thunder River Company, we love taking our guests on unforgettable whitewater rafting trips on some of the best rivers in the Southeast. Our goal is to ensure that all of our guests have an amazing time, but there are a few things you can do, too.

Whether you’re a seasoned expert or a newbie, here are a few tips for planning your next whitewater rafting trip.

Planning Your Whitewater Rafting Trip with Rolling Thunder

Book in Advance

We only have so many openings every day, and sometimes, those spots fill up quick. It’s best to book your adventure in advance to secure your spot, especially if you’re visiting with a large group. We fill up fast on weekends during the summer.

Making a reservation online is easy. Check the calendar for available dates, choose the river and date you’re interested in, input the number of people on your party, and click continue. You’ll receive instant confirmation of your reservation.

What to Bring/Wear

Dress comfortably for your trip. Choose clothing that’s appropriate for the weather. Tee shirts and comfortable, lightweight shorts are perfect for summer trips. If it’s chilly, you may want to opt for fleece or polypropylene. We also rent wetsuits. Wear shoes that fit properly – not flip flops! Old tennis shoes are perfect.

We recommend sunglasses, but make sure you have an eyeglass retainer so they don’t get lost in the river. The same goes if you need prescription eyewear.

Bring sunscreen and apply liberally before heading out on the river. Sunburns are a serious risk even on overcast days.

Don’t bring a lot of excess “stuff”. Leave your jewelry at home or locked securely in your car, and don’t bring hoodies or other bulky clothing. Don’t bring alcoholic beverages or arrive after drinking.

We provide lifejackets/PFDs and helmets. We also rent rafts, paddles, etc. Lunch is provided on some trips.


If you’ll be visiting our Nantahala location, we offer affordable lodging in our bunkhouse. Rates range from $10 to $12 per person, per night. These dormitory-style lodges can sleep up to 72 people, and they’re divided into smaller rooms with bunk beds. There is a full-service kitchen as well as outdoor grills. There’s also a large bath house.

We also have several campsites with campfire pits and picnic tables. The campsites are also located near the bath house.

Camping not your style? Looking to stay somewhere else? Check out this page for links to several lodging options near our Nantahala, Ocoee and Toccoa locations.

Help Planning Your Adventure

Need help planning your adventure? We’re always willing to answer any questions you may have to ensure that your trip goes smoothly. Give us a call at 800-408-7238.

How to pick a whitewater rafting company for your next adventure

With many rafting companies to choose from when planning a river adventure how do you pick the right one?

Do you choose the co

We could start by telling you how wonderful we are but we are obviously going to be a bit biased. Instead, we think online reviews are a much better tool for you to use since you can hear about someone’s experience with us in their own words. – not ours.

Check out our many, many online reviews on sites such as and decide for yourself if you want to book your trip with us. We hope you do and that you’ll write your own review after your trip.