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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!



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.




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 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.

Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before trip time to check-in, change clothes if needed, use the restroom and stow away your belongings.

Please note: all liability waivers must be completed prior to your arrival.


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.

NOTE: A government-issued photo ID must be presented upon Check-In. The last name used on your reservation and Credit Card should match the ID presented.

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.



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 52″ chest and are designed to provide buoyancy for guests that weigh up to 500lb.



UPPER PIGEON ADVENTURE: Our Most Popular Adventure

This is for the adventurous! Perfect for families, friends and couples – beginners and experts alike.

Get ready for 5.5 miles and 1.5 – 2 hours of exciting Class III and IV rapids through gorgeous Smoky Mountain scenery. Our Rat Pack promise is that each expedition is uniquely catered to you! Our guides take the time to get the most out of each rapid, filling the moments in-between with laughter and learning as well. There’s a reason River Rat is top-ranked in the Smokies!

Ages 8+

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Thrill-seekers, this one is for you! After years of offering this premium experience, it’s become a fact: Once rafters try our unique Xtreme Adventure, they rarely raft anything else. Take on the Upper Pigeon Adventure route (described above) in our specialized Xtreme rafts. Our X-Boats are much smaller, which provides your crew with more agility – allowing 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! Our boats seat 4 guests and a guide, but we accommodate large groups! We’ll simply send you out together in multiple boats.

Ages 8+

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LOWER PIGEON ADVENTURE: Popular with Young Families

This route is for our youngest River Rats or those who just want to take it easier. 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 2.5 hours and includes relaxing swimming holes that you’re welcome to enjoy along the way.

Ages 3+

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DAYCATION: Our Full-Day Adventure

This full-day adventure includes 2 Whitewater Expeditions of your choice! 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. You’ll have time to picnic or enjoy lunch from our onsite food truck, Grab It ‘N Growl! Then we will continue the day’s adventures with rafting your choice of either the Upper Pigeon (most popular), the Lower Pigeon, OR if you’re ready for more rapids, take it up a notch and call to upgrade to the Xtreme Upper Pigeon Adventure (highly recommended). This adventure combo helps you make the most of your day on the river and ensures you leave with no regrets!

Ages 8+

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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 Xtreme Upper Pigeon adventure in our premium, specialized Xtreme Rafts. Once we return, it’s time to replenish and refresh with a lunch break. Be sure to try our onsite food truck (Grab It ‘N Growl). Then we’ll hit the rapids again on another Xtreme Upper Adventure – this time maxing out the thrill level and have an adrenaline-pumping good time! This is the most exciting adventure combo and a rare find in the Smoky Mountains!


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.

Since we raft rain or shine (see the “WHAT IF IT RAINS?” tab above), we do not refund for weather.

Cancellation Policy (Individual Trips):

24+ hours before trip time: 100% refund
Less than 24 hours before: No refund. However, we will work with you to change the date of your trip within the same season. No refunds on rescheduled trip dates. Should you reschedule the date/time within 24hrs of your reservation, a $5/person Rebooking Fee will be applied.  We do not refund for weather.

Cancellation Policy (Group Trips – 20+ people):

5+ days before trip time: 100% refund
Less than 5 days before: No refund. We will work with you to change the date of your trip within the same season. No refunds on rescheduled trip dates. We do not refund for weather. Reservation changes during this time period will reflect regular, non-group rates. The difference in price will be applied to the payment amount. If your group cannot reschedule, a Gift Certificate for the following year will be issued in the amount paid.


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.


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.


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.


Sip on a cold draft after you raft with our selection of local brews on tap in our Gift Shop.


Did you know River Rat also offers Tubing adventures at our River Rat Tubing Outposts in Townsend, TN?

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!

View Raft & Tube Combo Details >>