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“Zippin in the Smokies” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Wildwater Nantahala - Rafting Adventures

Wildwater Nantahala - Rafting Adventures
10345 Hwy 74 W, NC 28713
+1 866-319-8870
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Type: Tours, Adventure
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Attraction details
Owner description: At the Nantahala, Wildwater is the original outfitter for the Raft & Rail excursion, and also offers Jeep Tours, raft and inflatable kayak rentals,fully guided whitewater rafting trips and zipline canopy tours with Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours. For a multi-day experience, Wildwater Nantahala also offers group lodging and unique Yurt lodging at Falling Waters Resort across the street from our Nantahala Adventure Center. Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours, the first zipline canopy tour in Western NC, is also located on the Falling Waters property. Family owned and operated since 1971, Wildwater is the only company to offer a Quality Service Guarantee. Wildwater offers over 15 different trips on four different rivers in the Southeast.
Van Buren, Arkansas
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Zippin in the Smokies”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

Love, Love, Love, ZIPPIN! This was third zip tour but first in the Smokies. Great views from 13 lines. The first 6 or so are short but the last ones are pretty high and long. The braking on each tour has been different, this one you pretty much brake yourself by your gloved clad hand.

Visited September 2013
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246 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Knoxville, Tennessee
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Raft Guides Are Negligent”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

On July 6, 2013 me and three others went down the Nantahala river with Allie (Wildwater Rafting) , as a raft guide. The river was running at three times it's normal flow.

Our raft overturned at the last fall (Nantahala Fall) and we were all dumped from the raft into at least 45 mile per hour moving water. Three of us were rescued by NOC personnel (another rafting company that didn't allow their customers to go down this last rapid due to the danger because of the excessive amounts of rain the area had experienced.

I nearly drown and have a sprained neck, that is still healing 2 months later. After I was pulled out of the water, the head river guide, who I only know as smart axx white boy (it was a sticker on the front of his helmet), asked me what was wrong with me. I told him that my head and neck hurt really bad. He said in a condesceding manner, "Want me to call you an ambulance?" and walked off. Also, my finger was bleeding and I wasn't even offered a bandaid.

Our raft guide Allie decided to ride again with another boat after she swam to safety. She did not try and locate her raft customers (us) before she took the rapid again. 2 members of our boat were past the 1st bridge and luckily were rescued by NOC (another raft co). Again, Allie nor any of the other Wildwater personnel were interested in rescuing us (their customers). I approached Allie after seeing her get out of the boat. I asked her why she didn't account for all of us before she went down the rapid again? Her mother, who was also a guide, got in my face and advised me that we had all signed waivers.

I have never been treated so badly in my life. I will NEVER raft with this company again and if I were you, I wouldn't either. All they cared about was the money and didn't take into consideration other people's lives, just because we signed a waiver. That was obvious by their lack of concern of rescue or attention.

Other rafting companies, on the same river and the same day, would not allow any of their customers to ride the last rapid because it was unsafe. I will definately go with NOC the next time.

Visited July 2013
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Bahama_Jack, Manager at Wildwater Nantahala - Rafting Adventures, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
On July 6th the water level on the Nantahala was indeed higher than normal. It is true different companies on the river handled the day differently. Since all of Wildwater's rafts are guided we had more staff available and there was a long discussion about rafting Nantahala Falls. All Guests and Guides scouted the Falls and it was made very clear that the rapid was optional, it is a very easy walk around the Falls. The Trip Leader remained below the Falls to hold rope.

"Stargazer" and her party chose to raft the falls since they were experienced rafters. Their raft did indeed flip due to the high water. Other less experienced rafters on the trip choose to walk around. As in many rescue situations, staff from other companies assisted. We are thankful our Guests and Allie were all able to get out of the water safely. Allie did go back upstream to assist another raft.

Our staff may have come across as rude, but given the serious nature of rafting at high water they were focused on safety, scene awareness and what was happening on the water. However, even given the heightened activities of the moment, rudeness and uncaring attitudes are unacceptable at Wildwater, there was an additional training session at the next staff meeting addressing these very issues.

As far as cost and money is concerned, "Stargazer" and her party were rafting on a free pass. Our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee clearly states a Guest not satisfied with our services is eligible for another trip or a full refund. Neither seemed appropriate in this situation.
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Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Awesome Zip Line”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

Our Guides were Tracy & Blake. Was a bit afraid to zip line, but with the help of our Guides they made the trip really special. I'm not in perfect shape & a grandmother and I thought this would be an activity for little 20 something rubber people. But it wasn't. Totally fun for us Older Folks Too! Definitely will do this again!

Visited September 2013
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Spartanburg, South Carolina
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great time at WW Nantahala”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

Tis is the second time I have used WW first was Pigeon river, both trips were great, awesome guides, George was ours on the Nantahala. We are planning more whitewater trips, WW has been a great experience, I will book with them again.

Visited August 2013
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Saint Louis, Missouri
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

I was very apprehensive to go whitewater rafting but our guide, Pappy, made me feel very comfortable and at ease. Pappy definitely knew his stuff (he's been doing it a long time!). We went on a Wednesday and they offered a 20% discount, which their competitor, NOC, could not match. Would definitely recommend Wildwater to anyone looking to have a great time. Would also recommend doing the "Raft N Rail" if you have some extra time. You won't be disappointed!

Visited August 2013
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