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Nantahala River

Nantahala, Cherokee for “Land of the Noonday Sun,” is a family friendly river located in a steep North Carolina gorge that gets it’s name from the fact the sun can only be seen in the middle of the day. As a dam controlled river, it provides reliable flows all summer long. A bottom release dam is used on the Nantahala, which means they release the coldest water in the reservoir, about 50 degrees (F). This cold water rush translates into needing layers, even in summer. Whitewater on the Nantahala is Class II – III rapids.

This is a awesome river for those learning to boat. It offers a steady flow, good eddy lines, fun wave trains and small play features. Nantahala Falls, a class III rapid –not a true waterfall—is the highlight for both river runners and spectators. Commercial raft trips and inflatable kayak trips are available from the many companies in the gorge. Don’t forget to take your wallet on the river for the paddle up pizza joint.