Rafting

We offer a variety of white water rafting trips for people of all ages and experience. Fill us in on your comfort, budget, and the level of adventure you seek and we’ll provide a trip that suits you and your whole family. For added adventure, ask about our Be-a-raft-guide-for-a-day Program.

Watauga River (section 5)

Featured as our beginner rafting trip, the Watauga is appropriate for all ages and skill levels. Watauga, the Cherokee phrase for ‘sparkling water’ describes these clear, immaculate waters perfectly. Cruise downriver through plentiful class two and three rapids, surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest and surrounding east Tennessee farmland. 

Our trips are twice as long as our competitors. They all get out of the water at our halfway point, making ours the longest trip on the river. We are a smaller company and will not put you on the river with a school bus full of people.

We will price match any of our completion.

Difficulty: Class II & III
Distance: 10KM/6+miles
Number of Rapids: 18+
Approximate River time: 2 hours
Minimum Age: 0 & up with an expert guide! 

Itinerary

When you arrive at our convenient riverside outpost in Elizabethton, Tennessee, you will be personally fitted with top of the line gear. Then, you and your friends and family will load up into a River and Earth Adventures van where our expert guides will give you a brief scenic tour of the area until we reach our put-in location.

After a thorough and entertaining safety talk by your guide, you will board your rafts just under the notorious, raging Wilber Dam. Enjoy an introductory float, then jump off a twenty-foot cliff into the brisk waters beneath—a great way to wake you up for the adventure to come!

Several class one and two rapids will prepare you for the infamous Anaconda Rapid. This class three rapid is iconic southeastern whitewater. The cascading boulders and hidden holes make this stretch of river an exhilarating adventure for the whole family. 

The remainder of your rafting journey will wind through smaller rapids and skinny side waters then wraps up directly behind our outpost where we provide changing stations.

raft cave trip

Rafting/Caving Combo

Enjoy a morning cave tour followed by lunch at our outpost in Elizabethon before heading upstream to experiencing everything the beautiful Section 5 of the Watauga River.

We will price match any of our completion.

Difficulty: Class II & III
Distance: 10KM/6+miles
Number of Rapids: 18+
Approximate time: 3 hours
Minimum Age: 0 & up with an expert guide! 

Available Mon – Sat.

Itinerary

When you arrive, by 10am, at our convenient, riverside outpost in Elizabethton Tennessee, you will be personally fitted with top of the line gear. Then, you and your friends and family will load up into a River and Earth Adventures van where our knowledgeable, expert guides will give you a brief scenic tour of the area until we reach our put-in destination.

With all your gear, you’ll be ready to undertake the misty, unforgettable beauty of the Watauga. After a thorough and entertaining safety talk by our expert guides, you will hop into your rafts just under the notorious Wilber Dam. After an introductory float trip, you will have the opportunity to jump off a twenty-foot cliff into the brisk waters beneath—a great way to wake you up for the adventure to come! Take pictures or your friends will never believe this invigorating leap of faith.

After maneuvering through several class one and two rapids you will be prepared for the infamous Anaconda rapid. This class three rapid has become the iconic image for southeastern whitewater. The cascading boulders and hidden holes make this stretch of river an exhilarating adventure for the whole family. Also, make sure to smile for our hidden cameraman ready to capture your surprised faces as you tumble down Anaconda!

The remainder of your rafting journey will wind through a plethora of smaller rapids and skinny side waters. As you bump and rumble through these rapids it will be impossible to miss the beautiful scenery with plenty of colorful birds and other wildlife. Through the final section of river there are many possibilities to take a quick dip in the river or explore a nearby bank. Your adventure wraps up directly behind our outpost where we provide changing stations and even an ice cream cone!

Full-Day French Broad Trip

This is our premier full-day, high adventure wilderness whitewater rafting experience. This trip flows for more than nine breath-taking miles through the pristine wilderness of Pisgah National Forest. Abundant class three and four rapids await you on this unforgettable stretch of river. 

Distance: 13KM/8+miles
Number of Rapids: 30+
Approximate River time: 4-5 hours
Minimum Age: 7 years  

Itinerary

Meet us at our log cabin outpost in Marshall, NC, by 10:30 am. No more long shuttles. Once you have been personally fitted with our top of the line gear and prepared with safety information from your guide, the river is a stone’s throw away. 

The first few rapids you will encounter include the continuous, downward drops of Stairstep, the twisting and turning maneuvers throughout the upper and lower Maze, and the exhilarating switchback of S-Curve

Following these jolting, introductory rapids, the raft will drift to overlook a cliff twenty feet tall known as Jump Rock

Your trip includes an all-you-can-eat, deli-style lunch at our immaculate, riverside picnic lunch spot overlooking the infamous Turtle Rock and Big Pillow rapid. This hearty lunch will provide you the energy to continue down and conquer the long, boulder-clogged chute, culminating into a four-foot drop and large hole that is Big Pillow. 

Next, glide through Sandy Bottom Rapid and eddy out to cool off with a swim in the fresh mountain water. Now coast pass the center island and ride some big waves and deep holes at The Ledges. Look off to the right and catch a glimpse of the historic Stackhouse, but remember to keep paddling! Pass by the bridge where Big Laurel flows into the French Broad and don’t miss the awe of jutting, slender boulders towering above you as you ride the rollercoaster towards Needle Rock Rapids. Hold on tight and paddle hard for the upcoming rapid known as Needle Falls or Kayaker’s Ledge

The grand finale of your whitewater experience consists of a series of big broken ledges funneling down to a giant, roaring hole. This extreme, class four, deep water rapid is known as Frank Bell’s. Finally, cruise on down to our take out in Hot Springs, NC, where a River and Earth Adventures van will be waiting to escort you back to your car.