Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Most Commonly Asked Rafting Questions

Do I need previous experience?

For both of our rivers no experience is required.

Do I need to make a reservation?

Walk-ins are welcome, but to guarantee space on the trip of your choice, we recommend reservations. A lot goes into the planning of a river trip, including scheduling of guides, photographers and bus drivers and ensuring that our equipment is always in top-notch condition.

What happens when it rains?

We raft, whitewater rafting is a wet activity and so we welcome anything extra Mother Nature wants to throw our way. We can’t think of a better way to spend a rainy day.

Will I fall out?

If you raft long enough, you will find that you are always between swims. With that said we provide you with the top of the line gear and give you instructions on what to do when it happens. Most people are in the water for a very short time before being pulled back into the raft.

Do I need to know how to swim?

You do not need to be able to swim but should be comfortable floating in water

Will you take my picture?

Yes (weather permitting). Because memories of your trip are important to us. On all our river trips, you can see your photos right after you raft!

Is alcohol permitted on rafting trips?

NO! Consumption of alcohol before or during any whitewater activity creates a serious risk to all participants on the trip. We do not allow alcohol before or during our rafting trips. Anyone under the influence of alcohol before a trip will not be permitted to participate in the trip. They will also not receive a refund for their trip.

What do listed prices include?

The price of a trip includes all equipment (PFD, helmet, paddle, splash jacket and raft), transportation to and from the river from our outpost, safety orientation and the river adventure itself. T-shirts, souvenirs, and pictures of your trip will be available at the outpost for an additional charge.

Is there risk involved in rafting?

Yes! Carolina Outfitters has established itself in the whitewater industry with over 20 years of experience. We train our guides extensively. However, it is important that you and your group know this: whitewater rafting, like all adventure activities, involves inherent risks. We do not assume liability for personal injuries or death. You will be asked to participate in our safety instructions and to read and sign an Assumption of Risk and Waiver Agreement prior to your trip.

What to Wear rafting?

  • Quick Dry Shirt and shorts are best.  Wool or synthetic clothes are good for early spring or late fall trips.
  • Shoes that will securely stay on your feet. Water shoes are best. Flip flops are not recommended.
  • Don’t forget to bring a towel and change of dry clothes for after your trip. We have comfortable changing rooms for after your trip.
  • Check out our What to Wear page for more info.

What to bring rafting?

Don’t bring anything on your rafting trip that you wouldn’t want to lose or get wet. Only take what you want to get wet in. Never take your car keys down the river! You can leave them at the office, but you can’t leave if they are at the bottom of the river.

What are the age requirements to go rafting?

On the Nantahala River the minimum requirement is 7 years old or 60 lbs. On the Ocoee River the minimum age is 12 years old to go whitewater rafting. These age minimums are not set by us, but by our governing agencies. We strictly enforce these requirements. There is no maximum age for rafting. We have healthy seniors go rafting in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

When is the best time to go rafting?

Anytime the river is running is a good time to go rafting. There are less crowded days though. Going rafting during the week in July and August allows you to avoid the crowds and reduce wait times.  It gives you the feeling of having the whole river to yourself. Check out our page – 5 Reasons to Go Rafting in the Spring

What class rapids is the Nantahala River?

The Nantahala River has class II and III white water. Check out our page on  Whitewater Classifications.

Is there a guide in every raft?

On the Nantahala River having a guide is optional. On the Ocoee River there is a guide in every raft on every trip.

Are there restrooms?

Yes, there are restrooms at the check-in office, at the river put-in, and at the river take-out for your convenience.

What time should I arrive for my rafting trip?

We ask that you arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled trip time.  This gives you time to check-in, fill out paperwork, use the restroom, change clothes, etc. so you will be ready to start your trip at your scheduled trip time.

Should I tip my river guide?

Tipping is never expected but is always appreciated.

Will I get seasick rafting?

Most people do not get seasick while white water rafting. The motion is different.

Where do I meet for my raft trip?

If you are rafting the Nantahala River our outpost address is: 715 US Hwy 19 Topton, NC 28781. If you are rafting the Ocoee River our outpost address is: 225 Industrial Drive Ducktown, TN 37326. Check out our Find Us page.

Is there lodging near the Nantahala River?

Yes, there are lots of great places to stay near the Nantahala River: Murphy NC, Andrews NC, Bryson City NC are all towns close by the Nantahala River with lodging. For more on area lodging check out Area Lodging.

Are there other things to do near the Nantahala River?

Absolutely! We have Zip Lining Tours, Horseback Riding, Bike Rentals, Fishing Tours, and The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad Train excursions all in our local area. For more info check out our Area Activities page.

Where to go white water rafting in North Carolina?

We recommend the Nantahala River in Bryson City NC.  It is only a couple of hours drive from Asheville NC or Atlanta GA. This makes it a great day or weekender trip. 

Where to go whitewater rafting in Georgia?

The Nantahala River is only about 2 1/2 hours from Atlanta GA. The Ocoee River is only a couple of hours from Atlanta, GA and has half day and full day trip options. The Ocoee River is located just across the state line from Blue Ridge, GA. Check out our page Best Whitewater Rafting Near Atlanta