Beat the Heat: Unforgettable River Rafting in the Smoky Mountains

Enjoying Summer Fun: River Floating in the Smoky Mountains

The Smoky Mountains offer a plethora of outdoor activities, but one of the best ways to beat the summer heat is to float down the river. Whether you’re renting a tube for a leisurely float with your crew or opting for a guided rafting adventure, river floating in the Smoky Mountains is an unforgettable experience. This activity not only keeps you cool but also lets you enjoy the water and create magical memories with your family.

River Tubing in the Great Smoky Mountains

One popular option for river floating is river tubing in the Great Smoky Mountains. River Rat Tubing is a fantastic way to spend a lazy afternoon. As of 2024, rates are $22/adult and $17/youth. Imagine drifting along in a comfortable tube, surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Smokies. The gentle current carries you downstream, providing a relaxing yet exhilarating experience.

River Rat outpost in Townsend, TN

River Floating Near Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

For those staying near Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, river floating is easily accessible. Many outfitters offer rental services and shuttle transportation to and from the river, making it a hassle-free adventure. River floating near Gatlinburg, TN, is particularly popular, thanks to the proximity of the Little Pigeon River. This river runs through the heart of the Smoky Mountains and offers various spots perfect for floating.

Guided River Rafting Adventures

If you’re looking for a bit more excitement, consider a guided river rafting adventure. Professional guides ensure your safety while you navigate the river’s rapids. There are sections of rivers that are suitable for most all ages, although this option tends to be better for families with older children or groups of friends seeking a thrilling experience. River rafting combines the tranquility of floating with the adrenaline rush of navigating rapids, making it a versatile activity for all ages.

Current River Floating Conditions

Before you head out, it’s essential to check the current river floating conditions. Local outfitters and park services regularly update this information, ensuring you have a safe and enjoyable experience. Knowing the water levels and flow rates can help you plan your trip more effectively, whether you’re tubing or rafting.


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Mountain views from the deck
Mountain views from the deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Fire pit at dusk
Fire pit at dusk
7-seater hot tub
7-seater hot tub
Game room equipped with ping pong, foosball, and pool
Spacious Game room and movie space
Open living room
Open living room
Dedicated movie space + Popcorn machine!
Battle on the arcade games
Battle on the arcade games
Dining room + Kitchen island
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Second upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
2nd upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
2 twin bunk beds in the open game room
Jacuzzi off the 2nd king bedroom
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Driveway at dawn
Driveway at dawn
Access to the community pool
Access to the community pool

What River Runs Through the Smoky Mountains?

The primary river running through the Smoky Mountains is the Little Pigeon River. This river is a favorite for many outdoor enthusiasts due to its accessibility and the variety of floating experiences it offers. From calm stretches perfect for tubing to sections with mild rapids ideal for rafting, the Little Pigeon River caters to everyone. There are also plenty of fishing holes in the area, so be sure to check out our ultimate fishing guide for the Smokys.

River Floating in Gatlinburg: A Must-Do Activity

River floating in Gatlinburg is a must-do summer activity. With various rental shops and guided tours available, it’s easy to find an option that suits your preferences. Whether you’re a seasoned rafter or a first-time tuber, the rivers in and around Gatlinburg provide the perfect backdrop for a memorable adventure.

Recommended Outfitters and Guides

Here are some recommended outfitters and guides to help you plan your river floating adventure in the Smoky Mountains:

River Rat Tubing

Smoky Mountain Outdoors

Rafting in the Smokies

Smoky Mountain River Adventures

Wildwater Rafting

River Floating Near Chattanooga

Although the Smoky Mountains are the primary attraction, river floating near Chattanooga is also very popular and worth exploring. The Ocoee River, just a short drive away, offers both tubing and rafting options. Known for its challenging rapids, the Ocoee River is ideal for those looking for a more adventurous experience.

In conclusion, river floating in the Smoky Mountains is an excellent way to stay cool, enjoy the water, and create lasting memories with your family. From river tubing in the Great Smoky Mountains to guided rafting adventures and floating near Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, there’s something for everyone. So, grab a tube or a raft, and get ready for an unforgettable summer adventure in the Smokies!

What other river adventures have you tried? What company would you recommend? We want to hear from you!

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