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The North Carolina Mountains Sights

Nantahala River

  • Body Of Water/Waterfall
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 10/13/2014

Fodor's Review

The most popular river in western North Carolina for rafting and kayaking is the Nantahala River, which races through the scenic Nantahala Gorge, a 1,600-foot-deep gorge that begins about 13 mi west of Bryson City on U.S. 19. Class III and Class IV rapids (Class V are the most dangerous) make for a thrilling ride. Several outfitters run river trips or rent equipment. At several points along the river you can park your car and watch rafters run the rapids—on a summer

day you'll see hundreds of rafts and kayaks going by.

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Sight Information


U.S. 19, beginning 13 mi west of Bryson City, Bryson City, North Carolina, 28713, United States


828-524-6441-Nantahala Ranger District, National Forest Service


Updated 10/13/2014


What's Nearby

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Apr 18, 2006

Great to float or drive

Beautiful scenic drive with many excellent photo spots. Excellent Rafting river nice gentle rapids with a few exciting moments and an excellent ending. Most of the outfitters are professional and helpful, would reccomend guided rafting tours for beginers and a duckie for the more adventurous. Be wary though the water is very cold even in the warmest of weathers.

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