Lessons & Training

Kayak Summer Camps

Duration: 5-Day

Price Per Person: $850-$900

Dates: July & August

Ages: 9 - 17

Location: Bryson City, NC

COVID-19 CAMP UPDATE: In light of the risks associated with COVID-19, NOC is modifying its operations across all locations, which includes moving any overnight Summer camps to day camps. This includes the Advanced Teen Travel Camp which will now be offered as a day camp. We have also incorporated modified guidelines for health and safety so that can kids and teens can enjoy the outdoors, make new friends, and improve their paddling skills. Please see below for available dates for Summer Day Camps and our COVID-19 Response page for updated guidelines.

Kayak Summer Camps have been a favorite of NOC guests since 1980! Our elite instructors provide summer campers with top-level whitewater kayaking lessons and equipment to learn with, while maintaining a supportive and fun environment on the water. Camps are great for beginner to advanced kayakers, as paddlers are grouped by kayaking experience level, so no whitewater experience is required. Give your young paddlers a reason to unplug and advance their skills this summer at NOC!

Due to state and local guidelines due to COVD19, things may look a little different, but the fun and learning are still the same! All paddling camps will now be day camps, where parents will drop off kids in the morning, and pick them up at the end of the day. Teens with advanced paddling skills may qualify for our Advanced Teen Camp to take on additional area rivers to improve skills, to find out, call us today.

Parents of campers participating in any of our summer camps (with the exception of Teen Travel Camp) are invited to join the group on Family Fun Friday for a trip on a stretch of the Nantahala River, followed by a delicious riverside lunch and closing ceremony. 

2020 Camp Dates

Course Age Range Dates Availability
Summer Overnight Camp Session 1 (Suspended for 2020) 9-17  ---    ---
Summer Day Camp Session 1 9-17 June 15 - 19 Book Now
Summer Day Camp Session 2 9-17 June 29 - July 3  Book Now
Summer Day Camp Session 3 9-17 July 13 - 17 Book Now
Summer Day Camp Session 4 9-17 July 27 - 31 Book Now
Summer Overnight Camp Session 2 (Suspended for 2020) 9-17  ---    ---
Summer Day Camp Session 5 9-17 August 3-7 Book Now
Advanced Teen Travel Session 1 13-17 June 22 - 26    Call For Availability
Advanced Teen Travel Session 2 13-17 July 20 - 24 Book Now

Camps and clinics are available for every skill level from beginner to advanced. For more information on all camps and clinics, call NOC's Paddling School at 828.488.7249 or click here

2020 Parent Handbook & Sample Itinerary

Outpost Overview

NOC's 500-acre adventure center is located at the intersection of the Nantahala River and Appalachian Trail. 


Guest amenities include:

  • Outdoor recreation activities including rafting, kayaking, zip lines, and mountain biking
  • Three restaurants, including two on the riverfront
  • Four retail stores, including NOC's flagship Outfitter's Store
  • Rustic cabin and bunkhouse lodging for over 200
  • Terminus for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
  • One mile of Lake Fontana frontage with lake kayak and SUP program
  • Host to over 30 annual events, from world championships to music festivals


Nantahala Outdoor Center's main campus, the Nantahala River Outpost is located in far Western North Carolina on US Highway 19. 12 miles from Bryson City and on the south side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the outpost is nestled in the Nantahala Gorge.

From Asheville, NC: Take I-40 West towards Knoxville, TN. Take exit 27 onto US 74 West towards Waynesville. Stay on 74 West, the outpost is 50 miles down this road. 8 miles past Bryson City, the 4-lane will split into two 2-lane roads. Stay on 74, the left lane. You will enter the Nantahala Gorge and after 4.3-miles you see the Nantahala River and NOC's Nantahala Outpost.

From Gatlinburg, TN: Take 441 South through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and through Cherokee. Just past Cherokee, get on 74 West. After 15 miles, the road will split into two 2-lane roads. Stay on 74 W, the left lane, and continue the 4.3-miles to the NOC Nantahala Outpost.

From East Atlanta: Take I-85 North to I-985 North. At Gainesville, take 365 North to 441 North. Just past Dillsboro, NC, 441 merges with US 74. 8 miles past Bryson City, the 4-lane splits into two 2-lane roads. Stay on 74, the left lane. Continue 4.3-miles and arrive at the NOC Nantahala Outpost.

From West Atlanta: Take I-75 North to I-575 North. I-575 becomes State Hwy 5, and then Hwy 76. Stay on this road until Blue Ridge, GA where you turn left onto Hwy 60 towards Mineral Bluff, GA. In Mineral Bluff, turn right onto Hwy 60 Spur. Follow it into North Carolina to US 74 East, turning right towards Murphy and Andrews when the road ends. Stay on 74 East, NOC's Nantahala Outpost is 20-miles past Andrews. You will follow the Nantahala River for the last 8-miles.

From Chattanooga, TN: Take I-75 North towards Cleveland, TN. Take the 1st Cleveland exit, the US 64 Bypass Exit. Go 6-miles and take the Ocoee Exit onto US 64 East towards Murphy, NC. In Murphy the road number changes to US 74. Stay on 74 East, NOC's Nantahala Outpost is 20-miles past Andrews. You will follow the Nantahala River for the last 8-miles.

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