Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors in Hartford, TN

3299 Hartford RdHartford, TN 37753
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Overview

Conveniently located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains on the Pigeon River, White Water Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors offers an exciting adventure for everyone to enjoy. Guests can choose between Lower Pigeon River Rafting (with class 1 and 2 rapids), Upper Pigeon River Rafting (with class 3 and 4 rapids) or Upper Pigeon Extreme Rafting for experienced riders only.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Hartford Travel Experts
  • Raft Upper or Lower Pigeon River.
  • Upper section features Class III & IV rapids.
  • Lower section features Class I and II rapids.
  • 60+ rapids on Upper section tour.
  • 45 minute drive from Gatlinburg.
  • Bring a change of clothes & towel.
  • Closed toed shoes required.
  • Raft rain or shine
  • Cameras allowed at own risk.
  • Souvenir photos available.

Description

from Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors
Enjoy an exciting River Rafting Trip or Combination Adventure Package with Smoky Mountain Outdoors, recipient of Tripadvisor's prestigious Certificate of Excellence year after year.

The Pigeon River, located about 45 minutes from Gatlinburg, in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, offers breathtaking scenery and whitewater thrills! Experience the Class III and IV Upper Pigeon River section for ages 8+, or the milder Class I and II Lower Pigeon River section for ages 3+.

No prior experience is necessary. All of our Tennessee rafting trips include an professional river guide to keep your adventure safe and enjoyable. White water rafting is something the whole family can enjoy.

Bring a change of clothes and a towel. We have changing rooms, showers, and an on-site casual eatery.

Everyone must wear secure fitting shoes. No Flip-flops or bare feet.

We offer inflatable kayaks, guided hikes, and full-river trips.

Please note: rafting is not available in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. Please check in at our riverside outpost in Hartford, TN one hour prior to your trip time.

Reserve Gatlinburg Customer Reviews

45 Reviews
Donna Gusewelle
Edwardsville, IL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Awesome"
August, 2018 NEW
Our guide was the greatest. We had a great experience, lots of fun. Everything went as planned from reservations to trip down the river. Thanks.
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Allie Frierson
1 Review
"Guides"
August, 2018 NEW
This was our second time here. Rachel, our guide, was the bomb! We got to do things the other rafts didn’t. She was entertaining, knowledgeable, competent, and a joy to be around. Good choice this summer. She made our trip wonderful.
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Tip: Bring towels!

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Randee M.
Winston Salem, NC
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Excitin Adventure !!!"
August, 2018 NEW
The experience was good, we started early and it was just about right since it wasn't as hot as I could imagine for those who took the noon trip, overall experience was fun, the only downside is their photo package is extemely expensive at $79 with only 1 set of 15 pictures taken from just one location, it would have beem better if they shoot from various locations and rapids to give a very memorable experience.
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Michelle McWhorter
1 Review
"100% guaranteed great time!!"
August, 2018 NEW
Our guide was Josh, and he was awesome! He explained the different rapids as we passed them, was extremely knowledgeable and was very thorough with our directions. We had ages from 9-49 in our raft and we couldn’t have been in better hands. We did notice other companies on the river and decided in the end, Smoky Mountain Outdoors was by far the most professional and safety is their number one priority! Great time was had by all seven of us! We are ready to experience more!! Thank you SMO and Josh!!
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Elizabeth Wachenschwanz
1 Review
"Great rafting experience"
August, 2018 NEW
It was our family’s first time white water rafting and it was AMAZING! It was a great experience and our guide made it that much more fun. They are very upbeat and helpful!!! I would recommend this company to anyone.
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Tip: If you get the chance to have Bart as your guide, you’re in for a treat! He’s awesome!! And, tip your guide!

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Sue Atkins
Colleyville, TX
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"KID FRIENDLY RAFTING, but adults will LOVE IT TOO!"
August, 2018 NEW
Fun times for all, kids ages 10, 6, & 4, and three adults. Guide was very very good. Beautiful river, rapids were "just right" for first experience. Look forward to coming again!
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Garrett Kerley
Temperance, MI
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great time"
July, 2018 NEW
Very fun safe trip. Enjoyed the whole tour and I do not have one complaint.
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Tip: Tip your guide

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Reynae Herrera
San Antonio, TX
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains"
July, 2018 NEW
Our family had a blast white water rafting! The guides were great & made the trip a lot of fun.
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Tip: Be prepared to have fun

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Nicole B
"CHECK WEATHER BEFORE YOU GO!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 2 out of 5
Reviewed August 14, 2018 NEW
I Have two kids 11 and 7. On the way to Smoky Mountain Outdoors we were getting bad weather alerts through the radio and my phone alerts. Naturally the sky looked fine. I checked to radar and could see that Weather was moving in. Upon arrival I asked about bad weather and if they postpone etc and they acted as if it was the first time they had heard that there was bad weather. The ladies behind the counter just said that they had not gotten any alerts and that they hardly ever have bad weather there. She did say I could reschedule if I were not comfortable. I was on the fence and then waited for our guide and I expressed to both of the guys my concern and they talked me out of my fear saying that they never get Weather and we will be just fine. So we get in the raft and naturally 5 minutes later it is a downpour along with small hail and of course thunder/lightning. So we are freezing and I’m trying to put on a good face for my children who are in front. Our guide was super friendly and tried to make the most of it by saying this is a great adventure etc. To top it off the photographer that sets up along the side of the river put the wrong lens on and our pictures were in black and white- which they only offered a $10 off discount for it and they were terrible anyways. The entire trip was a waste of money and we were looking so forward to it. So note to self- CHECK WEATHER!!! It’s obviously rain or shine and they just want your money. I don’t care to be around water with thunder and lightening.
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jabee71
Federalsburg, Maryland
"Fun For All!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 11, 2018 NEW
We had a great trip thanks to our guide...Lane! She was so enthusiastic and encouraging! We knew we were in good hands with this guide...and this company! Definitely a must do when you are visiting the Smokey Mountain area!! Thanks for an awesome adventure!!
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Bethany C
"Rafting with “The Rev”"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 10, 2018 NEW
Our party of 5 from age 11 to 54 had an amazing time thanks to our guide “The Rev” Dean. We would definitely go with him again if we ever make it back to the Smokies.
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Christy l
"Brennan, Rockstar guide!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 09, 2018 NEW
This was mine and our 10yr old's first rafting excursion so we were a little nervous and excited! We arrived on time, followed the requirements given and waited patiently (took in the beautiful view) for instructions. The staff was very pleasant and instructed us on various things we needed to know while putting on our gear(which was a little smelly but expected.) On the bus ride, they went over special instructions while on the river, made us repeat them several times while also being funny. We were paired with our awesome guide Brennan, who told us step by step what we needed to know before entering the river and also what was coming up and what to do before each rapid. He was very personable, funny and informative about the vegetation and birds around us. His rockstarness came in when we were going through what I would call a class 3 rapid and one of our passengers fell out, he quickly scooped her out of the water then continued instructing us through the rapid. Still put our minds at ease after that! Kudos Brennan for a great experience for first time rafters!
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R1635TNrebeccaa
Ortonville, United States
"Great fun for the whole family!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 09, 2018 NEW
This was our first trip to the Smoky Mountains. We traveled with our 16, 14, 12, and 9 year olds. We actually scheduled two trips on two separate days. As we had never been white water rafting previously, we chose to make the first trip on the Lower River. This was a VERY easy trip. A nice opportunity to see the river with class 1 and 2 Rapids. No problem at all for our kids to manage. In their opinion, it was too easy. The only part of us that got wet was waist down and a tiny bit of splashing. The guide was fabulous. Very personable, fun, and knowledgeable. Our second trip was on the Upper River. Also no problem for our group to manage. Class 3 and 4 Rapids were a blast! We all loved the experience! We got soaked with the people in the front getting the most water. Again, our guide was fantastic and very experienced with this river giving us a super ride. If we went again, we would SURELY make an effort to try to get him as our guide. The whole experience was extremely well organized. The website provided ALL the necessary information to best prepare for the trip so there were no surprises. We booked ahead of time making it nice not to have to wait once we arrived. A must do activity!!
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Frequently Asked Questions about Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors

Are all Smoky Mountain Outdoors rafting trips guided?
Yes, all trips are fully guided.

How far is Smoky Mountain Outdoors from Gatlinburg?
The Smoky Mountain Outdoors Pigeon River Outpost is located about 45 minutes north of Gatlinburg. It is the closest whitewater rafting to the Smoky Mountain area.

Do I have to know how to swim?
No, every guest is issued a type 5, Coast Guard approved personal floatation device. The "PFD" is designed to give you all of the floatation needed on the river.

However, guests who reserve the Raft and Kayak River Combo must know how to swim.

Can I go if I am a bit overweight?
There are no upper limit weight requirements for rafting. Our "PFD's" can accommodate a chest girth of 54". Kayaks have a weight limit of 250 lbs.

Is there a minimum age requirement?
The minimum age/weight for the Upper Pigeon trip is 8 years old or 70 pounds. You have to be at least 3 years old to go on the Lower Pigeon trip. For kayaking trips, guests must be a minimum of 12 years of age.

When are raft trips scheduled?
The Pigeon River is not a free flowing river. About ten miles upstream from our launch area there is a dam that regulates the amount of water flowing down the river. From Memorial Day to Labor Day the flow is consistent and we can schedule accordingly. During the summer months we raft Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday starting 11AM and trips depart every half hour until 5PM. The spring and fall trip availability will be based on local rainfall.

If I am pregnant can I go?
We do not recommend rafting if you are more than two months pregnant.

What do I wear for a rafting trip with Smoky Mountain Outdoors?
Shorts, t-shirt and secure fitting shoes. No flip-flops or bare feet allowed. During the Spring and Fall avoid cotton clothing, it really absorbs water and will make you cold. Wear clothing that will not absorb much water like wool. Good synthetic fabrics are fleece and polypropylene. Do not wear jeans.. We also provide nylon jackets and pants to wear over your clothing at no extra charge. Also, bring a dry change of clothes and a towel for after the trip. If for some reason you forget secure shoes, they are for sale at the outpost. 

Can I bring a camera on the rafting trip?
We recommend that you lock all personal items in you vehicle. Anything that you bring on the river will get wet and could possibly get lost during the trip. We will take pictures of your boat during the trip that can be seen and purchased after your trip.

Do you raft in the rain?
We raft rain or shine. Rafting is one of the best rainy day activities because getting wet is part of the fun! We may delay the trip for a few minutes to allow a strong storm to pass.