If you’re looking for a unique and exhilarating activity while you’re in the Smokies, white water rafting is a perfect choice! With numerous experiences to choose from, you can select the trips that work best for you. To help you plan for an amazing vacation, here’s everything you need to know about white water rafting near Gatlinburg.

1. Who Can Participate

Age restrictions can vary from company to company, and can also depend on the type of rafting trip you’re planning on taking. Usually, the age requirement for white water rafting is 8 years old and 70 pounds for trips with advanced rapids, and 3 years old for the most easy-going rafting experiences.

2. Where to GoA wave hitting a group of rafters

If you don’t really know where to start when it comes to planning a white water rafting trip, you can always visit one of the professionals in town! Smoky Mountain Outdoors is one of the most popular rafting outfitters in the area. They offer a variety of tours that you and your family are sure to enjoy. If you’ve never been rafting before and are a little nervous, don’t be! There will be a trained river guide accompanying you and your group the whole time.

3. What to Wear

When you go white water rafting near Gatlinburg it’s important to dress accordingly so that you can have a great time. T-shirts, shorts, and swimsuits are all great options. You should also consider a pair of water shoes or old sneakers opposed to flip flops so that you don’t lose them. The rafting company you decide to go with should also have life jackets and any other safety equipment you need. Last but not least, don’t forget about the sunscreen because there’s nothing worse than a nasty sunburn while you’re on vacation.

4. Extra Things You Should Bring

It’s easy just to focus on getting out on the water when you’re looking forward to rafting near the Smoky Mountains. However, it’s also important to think about the items you’ll need after your adventure comes to a close. You’ll definitely want to bring along a towel and a dry pair of clothes to change into so that you can be comfortable. It’s also a good idea to bring a bag for all of your wet clothes.

white water rafting5. Understanding Rapid Classes

Before you go white water rafting near Gatlinburg, you should have a basic understanding of the different rapid classes. Class 1 rapids are classified by small waves and multiple stretches of calm waters in between. Rapids categorized as class 2 usually include waves up to 3 feet tall, as well as some wide channels. Class 3 rapids consist of waves up to 4 feet tall, and narrow passages that tend to rock the boat a little more. Rapids that fall into class 4 are made up of numerous high waves, and constricted passages and turbulent waters. Class 5 rapids are categorized by large waves and lots of twists, turns, slashes, and fun!

Now that you know all about what to expect, it’s time to start planning for your visit! Be sure to check out all of the other exciting things to do in Gatlinburg so that you’ll always have a fun activity or attraction in mind.