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Ready for an exciting whitewater rafting trip on the Ocoee River? Come rafting with Quest Expeditions!
281 US Highway 64, Ocoee, Tennessee 37361
800-277-4537

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Chattanooga Whitewater Rafting

 

white water rafters

If you’re in Southeast Tennessee and looking for an adventure, then you’ve come to the right place. There’s nothing that will get your heart pumping quite like whitewater rafting near Chattanooga!

Located just a quick drive from downtown, the Ocoee River offers some of the best whitewater rafting in Tennessee with plenty of Class III and IV rapids. In this post, we’ll look at which Ocoee River rafting trip is best for you, the difficulty level, what you should bring, and more. Ready to book now? Head over to our river trips and choose your adventure!

Where Can I Go Whitewater Rafting Near Chattanooga?chattanooga aquarium

The closest opportunity for rafting near Chattanooga is on the famous Ocoee River. Our outpost on the Ocoee is a quick 45-minute drive from Chattanooga and just minutes from I-75. Of course, the actual length of your drive will depend on where you’re staying. The Ocoee has long been a favorite for whitewater enthusiasts as it was the site of the first Olympic whitewater event on a natural river in the summer of 1996. How cool is it that you can raft on the same river as the Olympians? The Ocoee is by far the best option as it offers the closest whitewater rafting trip to Chattanooga. The Nantahala and Pigeon Rivers are both 2.5 to 3 hours away, which makes for a tough drive after you’ve spent all that energy on the river. Plus, the Ocoee is more fun.

 

Fall morning at Quest ExpeditionsWhat Are the Best Chattanooga Whitewater Rafting Trips?

Here at Quest Expeditions, we offer two different rafting trips on the Ocoee. Each one is fantastic in its own right, the one you choose dependent on what type of trip you want and how long you are comfortable spending on the river! Note that participants must be 12 years of age or older for all Ocoee River trips.

Middle Ocoee Trip

One of our most popular trips is the Middle Ocoee section which takes you through five miles of Class III and IV rapids. This is perfect for both experienced rafters and first-timers alike. As a half-day trip, you’ll want to allow four hours for this trip which makes it great for families, friends, and groups. A few groups that enjoy the Middle Ocoee are churches, scout troops, clubs, and even corporate groups looking for a team building exercise. You’ll paddle through 17 major rapids along the beautiful scenic gorge in Cherokee National Forest. Trips are available 5 days a week, Memorial Day through Labor Day, with none running on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We run on Saturdays and Sundays during April, May, September and October.

Book your Middle Ocoee Adventure here.

Full Day Trip

For a full day of whitewater rafting, our Full River Trip is a great whitewater adventure. This trip is only available on Saturdays and Sundays mid-May through mid-September. Plan for about seven hours with us as you make your way through 10 miles of thrilling whitewater. The day starts with a bang as you take on the Upper Section of the river which includes the rapids of the Olympic Course. You’ll stop for a picnic lunch right beside the river where you can make your own sandwich before continuing on to the Middle Section of the Ocoee. We’ll stop for a quick swim before the trip is over! This trip offers stunning views of the river and surrounding gorge. It gives a new meaning to jaw-dropping beauty! Perfect day outing from Chattanooga.

Book your Full Day Trip here.

Difficulty Level of Ocoee River Rafting

If you aren’t familiar with the whitewater rapid classification system, the scale is Class I through VI, but it is meant only as a guide since ratings are subjective. Lower numbers are easier sections while the higher numbers are more difficult rapids. The largest rapids you encounter on the Ocoee are Class III and IV rapids. Class III are rapids with high, irregular waves and narrow passages that often require precise maneuvering. Class IV are long, difficult rapids with constricted passages that often require complex maneuvering in turbulent water. The Olympic Section in the Upper Ocoee is the most difficult part of the river with multiple Class IV rapids to go through. There is a mix of Class III rapids in there as well. The Middle Ocoee is a bit easier where you’ll encounter Class III+ or IV rapids depending on water levels.

What to Bring When Whitewater Rafting Near Chattanooga

You’ll want to wear proper attire for your whitewater adventure. People typically wear bathing suits under quick dry shirts and shorts. For men, swimming trunks with a quick dry shirt. We recommend NOT wearing blue jeans or any cotton clothing on your trip. Shoes are incredibly important! Do not wear flip-flops without a back strap. Closed-toed water shoes or water sandals (with a back strap) like Chacos or Tevas are the best options. We provide all necessary whitewater gear like PFD’s, helmets, and paddles. Bring a change of clothes and a towel for after the river as you will get wet even if you don’t fall in. Finally, don’t forget your wallet which you can leave in your locked vehicle while on the river. We will happily keep your keys in our outpost. Don’t take any valuables with you on the river like jewelry or electronics as these can be easily lost. If you loved your guide and they made your trip fantastic, don’t forget to tip!

FAQs on Rafting Near Chattanooga, TN

Does Chattanooga have whitewater rafting?

Yes! You can take a whitewater rafting trip with Quest Expeditions located about 45 minutes from Chattanooga and we offer multiple trip options on the Ocoee River.

What are the best whitewater rafting rivers in Tennessee?

There are three different rivers in Tennessee where you can go whitewater rafting – the Ocoee, Pigeon, and Nolichucky. All are in eastern Tennessee with the Ocoee being the closest one by far to Chattanooga.

How much is whitewater rafting in Chattanooga?

Our Ocoee River trips cost anywhere from $35 to $106 depending on which trip you choose, the season, and day of the week. We do offer group discounts if you are coming with more than eight people.

When should I book my trip?

Weekends during peak season fill up quickly so ideally try to book well in advance. Weekdays are typically less crowded. If you’re planning a trip at the last minute, check our site for any open spots or cancellations while you’re here. 800-277-4537