About The River

Nantahala River – Family Rafting in NC

Nantahala River rafting trips alternate between calm spells of sparkling flat water to over 20 named whitewater rapids. This feisty river is a particular favorite of families with younger children since it is ideal for beginners. Almost anyone can participate in the fun of paddling and maneuvering a raft down the Nantahala River – from young children to active senior citizens. Children only have to be 7 years of age OR weigh at least 60 pounds to go down this river. North Carolina rafting on the Nantahala River is a low cost, high value experience which will add great memories to your vacation.

Eight Miles of Fun

Our Nantahala River rafting trips on the Nantahala River run the full length of the river – 8 miles through western North Carolina’s most scenic rainforest. Often the cold water of the Nantahala River meets the warm air creating a mystical fog floating above the river which adds even more beauty to the surroundings. The river runs through the Nantahala National Forest – the largest of the four national forests in North Carolina. On a Nantahala rafting trip you will encounter an array of lively rapids such as Root Canal, the Isle of Dumping and Tumble Dry. Your Nantahala rafting trip will end with a big, bouncy splash at Nantahala Falls- the only class III rapid on the river.

Whitewater rafting in North Carolina on the Nantahala River has become one of the most popular destinations in the Southeast for family rafting adventures and group outings. It is the perfect introduction to the sport of whitewater rafting. Hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains have found Nantahala rafting trips with Rolling Thunder River Company to be the highlight of their vacation.

Dogs that are 35+ pounds are welcome on all of our Nantahala River experiences. They must have their own life jacket and booties. If you choose to raft with a guide, you’ll have to purchase 6 seats to assure you have a private boat. (That way we don’t have to worry about other guests interacting with your pet.) If you’re going Guide Assisted or Rental, the number of guests being booked is irrelevant. If you reserve online, please note that you’re bringing a pup. If you call to make your reservation, just let us know they’ll be joining the trip.