Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions about Ocoee River Whitewater Rafting



  • 1.FAQ
  • WHEN SHOULD I MAKE RESERVATIONS?

    For large groups, holidays and weekend reservations we recommend making reservations as soon as you know the date you are interested in to ensure you get the date and time you most prefer.

  • WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?

    Just about everyone can go whitewater rafting. No experience is necessary! It does require paddling, walking on uneven terrain and you will get wet. Every raft is accompanied by a trained guide who will go over a complete safety orientation with you prior to the trip and will be with you all the way down river. Participants must be in good health and have a chest size no larger than 56 inches. Please note we cannot allow pregnant women to raft.

  • CAN I RAFT EVEN IF I HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION OR DISABILITY?

    Depending on your condition or disability, we may be able to accommodate you. Please give us a call to discuss any questions you have. Please note that each trip has a first aid raft with a dry box. Insulin, medications, inhalers, epi-pins, etc. can be carried in the dry box on your raft so that you have easy access to it. We do not allow pregnant women to raft.

  • IS THERE A MINIMUM AGE?

    Yes. The Tennessee state law requires that you must be 12 years of age to go rafting on the Ocoee River. All minors are required to have a signature on the waiver from a parent or legal guardian signifying that he/she is of the proper age. If you sign your child up and they are not the correct age they will not be able to raft and no refunds are made as you were made aware of the age requirement when making reservations.

  • HOW LONG ARE THE TRIPS?

    The Middle Ocoee River trip is five miles long. It will take between 1.5 to 2 hours to run the river. You will receive instructions and safety information and have some time to practice with your guide before you begin your river trip. There is a short drive to and from the river. Plan to spend a total of 4 hours with us for this trip from check-in until departure.

    The Upper Ocoee River trip is five miles. It will take approximately 1.5 hours to run the river. Plan a little over 4 hours with us from check-in until departure.

    The Full River trip is ten miles. It will take approx. 4.5 to 5 hours to run the river on our lunch trip and 3.5 hours for the breakfast trips. For the lunch trip plan about 7 hours with us and for the breakfast trip approx. 6 hours from arrival to departure time.

  • WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE UPPER AND MIDDLE SECTIONS?

    The Middle Ocoee is very continuous with 90% of the river being whitewater and features over 17 major rapids.

    The Upper Ocoee provides an additional 13 rapids, is 70% whitewater and runs through the Olympic section.

  • DO PEOPLE FALL OUT OF THE RAFT?

    It is possible to fall out of the raft as that is an inherent risk of whitewater rafting. You should be comfortable in moving water and be able to assist with your own rescue in the event you fall out of the raft. However we strive to keep everyone in the raft. Each participant is required to sign a release of liability waiver.

  • IS WHITEWATER RAFTING SAFE?

    Quest has been providing whitewater rafting trips for 32 years with any excellent safety record. All of our guides go through an extensive training program, one of the longest on the river. All of our guides are trained in CPR, First Aid and swift water rescue. Many of our guides and all trip leaders have advanced certifications such as a Wilderness First Responder Certification. We take every reasonable precaution to keep you safe but there are inherent risks when participating in an outdoor activity such as whitewater rafting. All participants are required to sign a release of liability waiver before their trip.

  • HOW ARE THE RAPIDS RATED?

    Rapids are rated on a difficulty scale between I and VI. Class I rapids are the easiest and a class VI rapid are the most difficult. The rating of 1 to 6 is a scale of difficulty and danger. The scale is not to be used in considering the fun factor of a river run. The Ocoee River is rated as a class III & IV whitewater river. It is the most popular class III/IV River is the United States.

  • DO YOU HAVE SELF-BAILING RAFTS? WHAT SIZE ARE THE RAFTS?

    Yes we use self-bailing rafts that are 13 to 14 feet in length and specifically designed for whitewater use. The rafts are designed for 7 to 8 rafters; we generally have up to six participants in a raft plus the guide.

  • HOW MAY PEOPLE ARE IN A RAFT?

    We place up to 6 guests plus 1 guide in each raft. We cannot guarantee that you will be seated together unless you make your reservations together under one name. If your reservation is for more than 6 people, we will fill one raft and the rest will go into another raft.

  • ARE GROUP DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE?

    Yes, we offer group rates every day. Please see rate schedule or contact our reservation specialists.

  • HOW SHOULD I DRESS?

    In warm weather wear shorts, bathing suit and a t-shirt. In cool weather bring a wool, fleece or polyester top and pants, NO Cotton as it has no insulating value once it is wet. We provide splash jackets and pants to go over your clothes on cool days at no additional cost. You must wear some type of shoes with backs on the river, NO FLIP FLOPS or shoes without backs.

  • DO YOU HAVE CHANGING ROOMS AND SHOWERS?

    Yes! Quest offers large changing rooms and hot showers for your use before and after your trip. Don’t forget to bring a towel, toiletry items and a plastic bag for your wet items.

  • WHAT DO I DO WITH MY PERSONAL BELONGING AND KEYS WHILE ON THE TRIP?

    You will lock all personal belongings in your vehicle and you can check your car keys in the office while on your trip. If you arrive on motorcycle, you can store your personal belongings and helmets in the office.

  • WILL THERE BE PHOTOS OF THE TRIP?

    Photos are taken on all trips and will be available at the outpost immediately after your trip. You can purchase an 8x10 print or a JPEG file on CD. The copyright is released on JPEG files only. You can also purchase your photos online after your trip. Photos will be online for 2 weeks. If you forgot to look or don’t see your photos online, please give us a call and we will repost your photos.

  • WHAT IF IT RAINS?

    Trips go rain or shine; rafting is the perfect rainy day activity as you are going to get wet anyway. On cool days we provide splash jackets and pants at no additional cost. In the event of severe lightening, trips may be delayed or will stop and pull over along the bank. Keep in mind that the river is in a deep gorge with high ridgelines and trees so exposure on the river is minimal. Please note that we do offer trip cancellation insurance that would allow you to cancel for any reason including inclement weather.

  • CAN I CANCEL MY TRIP?

    Middle Ocoee Trips and Upper Only trips can be canceled up to 10 days prior to trip (for parties of 7 or less) for a full refund. No refunds or vouchers will be issued for cancellations under 10 days regardless of the circumstances unless you purchased the trip cancellation insurance when you initially made your reservation.

    Group reservations (parties of 8 or more), all Full River Trips and lodging can be cancelled up to 21 days prior to trip/check-in for a full refund. No refunds or vouchers will be issued for cancellations under 21 days regardless of the circumstances unless you purchased the trip cancellation insurance when you initially made your reservation.

  • WHAT IS TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE AND WHAT IS THE COST?

    Quest Expeditions’ trip cancellation insurance allows you to cancel your reservation for any reason (weather, deployment, sickness, car troubles, someone changes their mind, etc.) up until 24 hours prior to your trip time for a full trip refund. If you have to cancel under 24 hours, as long as you let us know 30 minutes prior to trip, you would receive a *1 year voucher with some restrictions. Absolutely no vouchers issued under 30 minutes prior to trip. *Vouchers cannot be used on Saturdays in July or August or Holiday weekends.

    Trip cancellation insurance is $4.00/person for Middle Ocoee or Upper Only trips and Full River Trips are $8.00/person. Insurance must be purchased on or before the cancellation date for your trip. We regretfully cannot allow you to purchase insurance under the cancellation date.

    Cancellation insurance can also be purchased for your lodging reservations at Quest Expeditions. The lodging cancellation insurance allows you to cancel your lodging reservations for any reason up until 12 noon the day before check-in for a full refund, after that time up until 12 noon the day of check-in you will receive a **1 year voucher with restrictions. No vouchers will be issued after 12 noon the day of check-in. **Vouchers cannot be used on weekends in July or August or Holiday weekends.

    Lodging cancellation insurance is 10% of the lodging rental cost. Insurance must be purchased on or before the cancellation date for your trip. We regretfully cannot allow you to purchase insurance under the cancellation date.

  • WHAT TIME SHOULD I ARRIVE FOR MY TRIP?

    Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled trip time. This will allow for sufficient time to check-in, sign waivers, change clothes and lock your personal belonging up before the trip departs.

  • WHAT IF I ARRIVE LATE?

    As it is clearly stated in our Reservation and Cancellation Policy, arriving late constitutes a cancellation and no refunds will be made. Our trip times are highly regulated by the State of Tennessee. On most days we are unable to accommodate late arrival. Plan your travel time accordingly. Trip cancellation insurance is highly recommend and allows for rescheduling if you are running late.

  • CAN I BRING LUNCH OR A COOLER ON THE RAFT?

    No. There is no space in the raft to accommodate coolers and dry bags. Please plan your meals around the trip. Our café is open for breakfast, lunch and early dinners. The Full River Trips include a breakfast or lunch.

  • CAN WE HAVE A PICNIC OR COOKOUT AT THE OUTPOST AFTER OUR TRIP?

    Yes you can! We have a covered picnic area and charcoal grills for your use before or after your trip as well as a sand volleyball court and horse shoe pit. To simplify your outing, let Quest handle your cookout with a catered meal through our café. Please call for menu options or visit the café page.

  • IS ALCOHOL PERMITTED?

    Absolutely no alcohol is permitted on the river or before your trip.  Anyone impaired by drugs or alcohol before the trip will be excluded from participation without refund.  Alcohol may be consumed responsibly after the trip once you have arrived back at the outpost.

  • SHOULD I TIP MY GUIDE?

    You are not required to tip your guide and it is not included in the price of the trip. If however you thoroughly enjoyed your experience and want to express you appreciation to your guide, gratuities are genuinely appreciated. Typical amounts are $5 per person or $30 per boat on Middle Ocoee Trips.

  • DO I NEED A WAIVER FOR YOUTH?

    Yes, the waiver can be found by clicking here.