Nantahala River

Classic Family Rafting in Western North Carolina

North Carolina's shimmering Nantahala River offers river rafting through family-friendly rapids that are mild but exciting. The Nantahala features eight miles of practice on easy Class II rapids before splashing through the exciting Class III whitewater of Nantahala Falls.

The Nantahala is also headquarters of the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Founded in 1972, NOC is located at the intersection of the Appalachian Trail and the Nantahala River in the Nantahala National Forest. Originally a roadside inn, the company has evolved into one of the largest outdoor recreation companies in the nation, hosting well over one million guests each year. 

NOC's 500-acre adventure center offers whitewater rafting, four aerial and zipline activities, mountain biking on nine miles of private trails, and stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Fontana. In between activities, you can shop at one of NOC's four retail stores including NOC's flagship Outfitter's Store, eat at NOC's two riverfront restaurants, and even stay in a cabin adjoining the Appalachian Trail. 

Nantahala River Rafting: Fully-Guided

Bryson City, NC

Distance: 8 Miles

Duration: 3 Hours

Price: $59.99-$64.99

Age: 7+ years or 60+ pounds

Intensity: Beginner

The best introduction to whitewater rafting on the Southeast’s quintessential mountain river. A must-do experience. Learn More

Nantahala River Raft & Duck Rentals

Bryson City, NC

Distance: 8 Miles

Duration: 3 Hours

Price: $29.99 and up

Age: 7+ years or 60+ pounds

Intensity: Intermediate

Guide your own raft. NOC supplies the boat, paddles, gear, shuttle and basic instruction. Previous experience recommended. Learn More

Mountaintop Zip Line Tour

Bryson City, NC

Duration: 3-4 Hours

Price: $87.55-$119.99

Weight Range:100-250 Pounds

North Carolina’s premium zip line tour. Experience 2 miles of zip lines including the breath-taking 1/2-mile Mega-Zip. Learn More

Nantahala River Rafting: Guided Duck Trip

Bryson City, NC

Distance: 8 Miles

Duration: 3 Hours

Price: $59.99-$64.99

Age: 9+ Years

Intensity: Intermediate

For a bigger challenge on the Nantahala, captain an inflatable kayak or "ducky” with the support of a trained NOC guide. Learn More

Nantahala River Rafting: Discount Trip

Bryson City, NC

Distance: 8 Miles

Duration: 3 Hours

Price: $49.99-$54.99 $39.99-$44.99

Age: 7+ Years

Weight Range:60+ Pounds

A fully-guided Nantahala River rafting experience at off-peak times. This means less crowds and more savings. Learn More

Zip Line Adventure Park

Bryson City, NC

Duration: 2.5 Hours

Price: $49.99

Weight Range:60-250 Pounds

Take on 16 different aerial obstacles and fly down the 550’ Wesser Zip in this 2-hour multi-stage challenge course. Learn More

Rapid Transit: Whitewater Rafting and Scenic Train Excursion

Bryson City, NC

Distance: 8 Miles

Duration: 6.5 Hours

Price: $99.99-$119.99 (includes lunch)

Age: 7+ year or

Weight Range:60+ Pounds

Intensity: Beginner

This guest favorite combines a scenic Great Smoky Mountains Railroad train excursion with a Nantahala River rafting trip. Learn More

Guided Fontana Lake Tour

Bryson City, NC

Duration: 3-4 Hours

Price: $39.99 - $54.99

Age: 4+ Years

Paddle your own boat on Lake Fontana with instructional and interpretive assistance from an NOC expert guide. Learn More

Fontana Lake Kayak & SUP Rentals

Bryson City, NC

Duration: 2 Hours

Price: $29.99

Age: 4+ Years for Kayak, 8+ Years for SUP

Lake Fontana Kayak and SUP rentals enable you to explore the lake at your own pace. Find waterfalls, see wildlife and improve your paddling. Learn More

Mountain Biking

Bryson City, NC

Price: $39.99-$59.99

Rent a mountain bike and hit the trails. Ride at the nearby Tsali trail system or at NOC’s on-premise Flint Ridge Trail. Learn More

Guided Fontana Lake Kayak Fishing Tour

Bryson City, NC

Duration: Half-Day or Full-Day

Price: Starting at $249

Age: 12+ Yearas

Weight Range:Less than 350lb

Join our partner, Fontana Guides, for the ultimate fishing experience on beautiful Lake Fontana. Learn More

Train Excursions

Bryson City, NC

Ride the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. The popular passenger train offers multiple scenic trips, including a Nantahala Gorge Excursion. Learn More

Guided Waterfall Hike

Bryson City, NC

Duration: 2 hours

Price: Call for Group Pricing

Discover the 40' waterfall hidden on NOC's campus! Your guide will explain the history of Nantahala Gorge and point out native flora and… Learn More

Adventure Mud Race

Bryson City, NC

Duration: 1.5 hours

Price: Call for Pricing

Age: 8+

Crawl, run and jump through obstacles to help your team win the Adventure Race. There is no shortage of mud and smiles at the finish line! Learn More