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Think Rafting is Only for Adrenaline Junkies? Think Again!

If you’ve been afraid of rafting because you think all rafting is wild, crazy, and extreme, we want you to know that is not true! This myth has scared people of all ages away from an amazing and fun adventure! If you choose the right class of river and the right adventure package, everyone from young children to senior citizens can enjoy their day on the river. At Rolling Thunder River Company we offer a wide variety of adventures on 3 very different rivers so that all our guests can choose the adventure that is perfectly suited to them and their group.

Choose Your Adventure

Choose your trip that based on your location, the duration you want your adventure to be, and your adventure level.

  • The Toccoa River(Fun and Relaxing): Toccoa River tubing, kayaking, and canoeing are perfect float trips for anyone looking for a calmer river adventure and families with children too young for whitewater rafting. We offer a 1.5-mile, 3 mile and 6 mile float trips.
  • The Nantahala River(A Little More Adventure): Featuring over 20 named whitewater rapids like Root Canal, the Isle of Dumping, and Tumble Dry; the feisty Nantahala River is considered “mild to moderate” adventure level, making it perfect for families with children (7+ years) and beginning rafters looking for a little more excitement than a relaxing float down the river. Several guide options are offered: guide in the raft: follow a guide: and non-guided.
  • Ocoee River(Lots of Excitement):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!

End Your Summer on the River

As summer winds down, less rafters are on the rivers—which can be a great benefit for you! Your adventure will feel like a private day trip on ariver all to yourself! Don’t let summer come to an end without exploring the deep valleys of Appalachia and joining the over ONE MILLION fun seekers who have experienced our river adventures since 1977. We offer a wide variety of options so you can choose the exact amount of adrenaline you want in your Rolling Thunder River Company adventure. Tell your friends and family that summer isn’t over yet by planning your river adventure! Check availabilityor make your reservation onlinefor your Ocoee, Nantahala, or Toccoa River adventure today before the season ends, September 30!

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.

Booking Your 2017 Whitewater Rafting Adventure

If you’re like us and you’re already looking forward to the 2017 whitewater rafting season, we have some good news! Though the season won’t be back in full swing for a few more months, you can book your whitewater rafting adventure today. Our 2017 prices are up, and now is the perfect time to plan your trip to make sure the dates you want are available.

Booking Your 2017 Whitewater Rafting Adventure

At Rolling Thunder River Company, we are thrilled to over whitewater adventures for people of nearly all ages and skill levels. Both kids and adults will love spending a day on the river creating memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rafting enthusiast, make sure a day with Rolling Thunder River Company is part of your summer schedule!

What to Expect

We offer whitewater rafting adventures on the Ocoee River and the Nantahala River. The Nantahala is a favorite among beginners and families with younger children. The 8-mile trip will take you through calm, flat water as well as more than 20 whitewater rapids.

The Ocoee River provides a few more thrills, and you can choose the full river or just the upper section or middle section. The Ocoee boasts the most continuous stretch of class III and IV rapids in the United States, and it’s a favorite among rafting enthusiasts around the world!

Booking Your Trip

When you choosing Rolling Thunder River Company, booking your whitewater rafting adventure is easy! All you need to do is visit our calendar, choose a date, and click on the trip you’re interested in. Let us know how many people will be in your party, select any other options you’re interested in, submit your payment, and you’re good to good! You’ll receive a confirmation of your reservation immediately.

If you need help booking your whitewater rafting adventure, we’re always available! Thank you for choosing Rolling Thunder, and we can’t wait for another great season in 2017!

Will I Get Wet On My Whitewater Rafting Adventure?

Gosh, we hope so! That’s a big part of the fun of splashing down a rollicking mountain river!Whether you and your group are planning a whitewater rafting trip down the Ocoee river, Nantahala river, or Taccoa river, you can expect to get at least a little wet. Some folks ask us HOW wet they will get.  The truth is, there’s really no way to tell just how wet you’ll get on one of our river adventures. Some folks come back barely damp and others come back looking like they took a bath fully dressed.  Believe it or not, most folks want to get soaking wet. So the answer is – it really depends on a number of factors that differ from rafting trip to rafting trip.

While we can’t guarantee just how wet you will or won’t get, there are a few tips that you can follow before even getting on the river.

Sit Toward the Back of the Raft

Those who sit in the front of the raft will usually get wetter than anyone in the raft.

The front of the raft usually hits the rapids first and the ensuing splash will get those in front as wet as rain. There’s no way around it. By sitting toward the back of the raft, you’ll avoid the majority of a large splash, but we can’t guarantee anything about getting splashed from the side!

Wear Water Repellent Clothes

If you are more concerned about getting wet and staying wet, then we recommend wearing light, water repellent clothing.  Most people wear a swimsuit or light fast drying shorts and a t-shirt. You don’t want to wear heavy clothes thinking they will keep you dry. Heavy clothes will actually keep you wet and weigh you down. Light, water repellant clothing works best for those who are trying to stay as dry as possible and dry off as quickly as possible.

Ask Us For A Splash Jack Free of Charge 

Rolling Thunder also offers each customer a splash jacket free of charge. A splash jacket is a long sleeved, rubberized, high necked garment which will keep your top half pretty dry.  Your bottom half will be wet but will usually dry quickly as you bounce from one rapid to another.

In the end, you’re going to get wet on any whitewater rafting adventure that you take. It’s a matter of taking measures to try and control just how wet you’ll get and how quickly you’ll be able to dry off. Always be sure to bring an extra set of dry clothes for after the adventure. You may not need them, but it’s best to be prepared. The only way we can truly guarantee that you won’t get wet is if you stay in the bus – and that’s no fun! 

Rolling Thunder Offers Both Mild and Wild River Adventures

Here at Rolling Thunder River Company, we’re thrilled to offer river adventures for people of virtually all ages and levels of experience. Whether you’re a newbie seeking a mild river adventure or a seasoned pro looking for a wild whitewater rafting experience, we have trips that are perfect for almost anyone!

Mild and Wild Adventures on the Ocoee and Toccoa Rivers

When you visit our Ocoee River Rafting Center and Toccoa River Tubing Center in McCaysville, Georgia, you’ll be presented with multiple options for an unforgettable adventure.

Relaxing Trips Down the Toccoa

The Toccoa River provides tubing, canoeing and kayaking adventures for beginners as well as families with children who are too young to embark on a whitewater trip – ages 5 an up.

Located in north Georgia, the Toccoa River is the perfect destination for anyone who wants to enjoy the gentle flow of the water and relax.

Exciting Ocoee Adventures

The Ocoee River provides some of the best whitewater rafting in the Southeast United States. The Ocoee has two separate sections – the upper and the middle – and both provide unforgettable adventures.

The middle section stretches five miles through nearly continuous class III and IV rapids and takes rafters through the Ocoee’s scenic rocky gorge. The five-mile upper section features more than 20 rapids, some of which that are more intense than those found in the middle section. This span contains the actual course from the 1996 Summer Olympic whitewater events, and it’s the perfect place to actually experience history.

Not sure whether you should choose the upper section or the middle section? On some days, we offer full-river trips. During this adventure, you’ll experience more than 40 rapids and spend nearly the entire day on the river. Our full-day trips also include a catered lunch along the river.

Whether you’re in the mood for a relaxing day floating down the Toccoa River or a thrilling adventure on the Ocoee, contact Rolling Thunder’s Ocoee/Toccoa River Rafting Center in McCaysville, Georgia! We’ll help you plan an adventure that’s perfect for any ages, skill levels and experience levels.