Adventure-enthusiasts of ALL experience levels, welcome to River Rat Whitewater!
River Rat is home to the top-rated, guided Whitewater Rafting adventures in the Tennessee Great Smoky Mountains. All of our guides are triple-certified in safety training and ready to uniquely cater your adventure to the rafting experience your crew is looking for.
We are very glad you chose to raft the Pigeon River with our Rat Pack during your time in the Smokies! LET’S RAFT!
WHAT TO WEAR
Wear clothes that you are comfortable getting wet in and secure footwear is a must. Most folks wear swimsuits or shorts.
Secure footwear is required. You must have something secure around the back of your heel. We recommend water shoes, old tennis shoes, or sports sandals with a heel strap. BAREFEET and FLIP-FLOPS are NOT ALLOWED. Water shoes are available for sale in our retail shop.
WHAT TO BRING
You will be on the river for 2+ hours, so please apply before your trip! Sunscreen is available in our gift shop as well.
TOWELS & DRY CLOTHES
Towels and dry clothes to change into after your trip should remain in your vehicle until you return to the outpost after your trip. Also, do not forget to bring something to put your wet clothes in after your trip.
**Do NOT bring valuables or electronics or anything else that you do not want to get wet or possibly lose.
GIFT SHOP – Forgot Something?
Our Gift Shop carries all the river gear you’ll need including water shoes, sunscreen, towels, sunglasses, and other awesome souvenirs.
If you completed your waivers online ahead of time, please arrive no less than 15 minutes before your scheduled trip.
If not, plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled trip in order to allow time for you to complete waivers, change clothes if needed, and stow away your belongings.
Park either in front of the outpost in the grass field that you will see between the driveway and the road or in the large grass field located beside our outpost. Plenty of bus parking is available.
Make your way back to the front of the building (if you parked beside it) and proceed through our large entryway and up the stairs. There, you will be welcomed by our staff, who will validate the waivers you may have already completed online or will assist you in completing them onsite if necessary.
After check-in is complete, you may utilize our changing rooms to get ready for your trip and use the restrooms if you’d like.
We offer a car-locker system, so lock up all valuables you don’t want lost or wet inside your vehicle and then bring your keys back to the front desk – where our staff will secure them until you return from your trip.
Promptly at your scheduled trip time, we will begin your rafting safety orientations. This is required information for all rafters, so we try to make it a bit entertaining as well. At the end of the safety orientation, you will meet your guide and they will assist you in getting suited up with a personal flotation device (PFD), helmet, and a paddle for your adventure.
LIFE JACKETS (PFDs) / EQUIPMENT
PFDs and helmets are required and we provide them.
Is there a weight limit? You must be able to fit in and meet the buoyancy limit of the PFDs. U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type V personal flotation devices will fit up to a 56″ chest and are designed to provide buoyancy for guests that weigh up to 500lb.
YOUR RIVER JOURNEY – WHAT TO EXPECT
UPPER PIGEON ADVENTURE: This expedition is for the adventurous!
Get ready for 5.5 miles and 1.5 – 2 hours of exciting Class III and IV rapids through gorgeous Smoky Mountain scenery, refreshing swimming holes to stop and swim in if you’d like, and a rock jump along your route. Due to the physical requirements of this trip, all rafters must be ages 8 and older.
XTREME UPPER PIGEON ADVENTURE: Thrill-seekers, this one is for you!
Take on the Upper Pigeon Adventure route described above in our Xtreme rafts. Our X-Boats are much smaller, typically only holding up to four guests and a guide. These smaller boats allow you to hit each rapid in a whole new way, do more than you could in a normal raft, and make the most out of every rapid! After years of offering adventures in our Xtreme rafts, it’s become a fact: Once rafters try our X-Boats, they rarely go back to choosing a normal raft. The age requirement is the same as with our Upper Pigeon Adventure – ages 8 and older.
LOWER PIGEON ADVENTURE: This adventure is for younger River Rats and those wanting to take it easy.
The Lower Pigeon route features 6.5 miles of unforgettable Smoky Mountain views and Class I and II rapids that are exciting enough to satisfy your craving for adventure, but mellow enough for your little River Rats. This adventure will last about 2 hours and includes relaxing swimming holes that you’re welcome to enjoy along the way. This adventure is suitable for those ages 3 and older.
DAYCATION: A full day of exciting, river-bound adventures awaits!
This full-day adventure includes 2 Whitewater Expeditions and a delicious lunch provided from our onsite food truck, Grab It ‘N Growl! Your Daycation will last approx. 5 hours including the safety briefing and travel from the outpost to the start of each raft trip. You’ll start the day off with thrilling Class III and IV rapids on our Upper Pigeon Adventure. Once you return, we will replenish and refresh you with a lunch break. Then we will continue the day’s adventures with rafting your choice of either the Upper Pigeon, the Lower Pigeon, OR if you’re ready for more rapids, take it up a notch and upgrade to the Xtreme Upper Pigeon Adventure. This adventure combo helps you make the most of your day on the river and ensures you leave with no regrets! Due to the physical requirements of this rafting package, all rafters must be ages 8 and older.
DOUBLE XTREME DAYCATION: Thrill-seekers, look no further for your ULTIMATE full-day vacation. (ONLY available by calling to book)
If you think you can handle it, try taking on our Xtreme Daycation and spend a full, adrenaline-filled day on the Pigeon River with River Rat. Start the day off with the rush of Class III and IV rapids as you raft the Upper Pigeon route in our sporty “X-Boats”. Once we return, it’s time to replenish and refresh with a lunch break that includes a meal from our onsite food truck (Grab It ‘N Growl). Then we’ll take it up a notch and do it again, but this time we’ll max out the thrill level and have an adrenaline-pumping good time! This is the most exciting adventure combo. It helps you make the most of your day on the river and ensures you leave with no regrets and maybe just enough sanity left for the drive home! All rafters must be ages 8 and older.
It’s time to collect your keys from the front desk, change clothes, and take a warm shower. If you forgot your towels or clothes, our retail shop has some that also make great souvenirs.
Then check out the action shots we took of your trip, which are available for purchase, and enjoy a cold beverage too.
Lastly, share your adventure with the world on our “River Rat Whitewater” Tripadvisor page. If you had an awesome time, you can help your guide win “Guide of the Month” by mentioning their name in your review!
We raft rain or shine! If a lightning storm appears in the area, we will simply wait until it passes and then go.
Cancellation Policy (Individual Trips):
Cancellation Policy (Group Trips – 20+ people):
Upper / Xtreme Upper Pigeon Adventure: Ages 8 and older
Lower Pigeon Adventure: Ages 3 and older
Daycation: Ages 8 and older
Secure footwear is a requirement. This may include- but is not limited to- water shoes, tennis shoes, and Chacos. Ensure that your shoes at least have a strap around your heel securing your shoes to your feet. Bare feet and flip flops are NOT ALLOWED.
LIFE JACKETS (PFDs) / EQUIPMENT
All rafters are required to wear a PFD and a helmet. This equipment will be provided by our outpost. The maximum circumference of our helmets is 24 inches.
This activity is not recommended for individuals over 300 lbs, unless they are physically fit and regularly participate in vigorous exercise.
As all rafters are required to wear a PFD, they must be able to properly fit in our PFDs. Our U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type V personal flotation devices will fit up to a 52″ chest.
Due to the inherent risk associated with this activity, whitewater rafting while pregnant is not allowed.
We’re proud to call our River Rat guides pros. Each of our rapids experts completes our thorough safety training beyond base guide training requirements, regardless of previous experience level, making your safety our top priority.
We’ve also been told they’re pretty funny (they like to think so), but we’ll leave that one up to you to decide.
We offer a car-locker system for your personal belongings. You will lock up all valuables you don’t want lost or wet inside your vehicle, and then bring your keys back to the front desk – where our staff will secure them until you return from your rafting adventure.
REFRESHMENTS AND LUNCH OPTIONS
Delicious lunch options are served up daily from our onsite Grab It ‘N Growl food truck. Visit our Rafting Food Options page for more info and to view their menu.
COLD BEER ON TAP
Sip on a cold draft after you raft with our selection of local brews on tap in our Gift Shop.
RAFT & TUBE COMBO:
Receive $5 OFF when you book both adventures! Check out our Raft & Tube Combo for info on how to receive your discount.
Get the most splash and savings out of your vacation!