Wildwater Nantahala Adventure Center

Wildwater Nantahala Adventure Center

About
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.
Bryson City, North Carolina

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2022

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Wildwater Nantahala Adventure Center
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Travelers talk about
(304 reviews)
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
1,548 reviews
Excellent
1,420
Very good
94
Average
16
Poor
5
Terrible
13

Danae C
2 contributions
May 2022 • Family
My 6 year old and I spontaneously stopped in after seeing a road sign on our drive home to Chattanooga. Kenneth was amazing working with us even though we didn’t have reservations. He got us geared up to zip and thoroughly explained all the equipment and walked us though the steps as my son had never been and it was only my second time.
There was three courses at varying heights on the kid zip with 4-5 zips on each which was well worth the money. Kenneth came up to zip with us more than once to help my son take the leap when he got scared. He was very good talking with my son, having him take a deep breath and feel comfortable to build his confidence to make the jumps on his own. He was very patient and informative on a child’s level with all my sons questions and he cheered us on the entire time. Kenneth went WAY above and beyond to ensure we had a great experience!!!

I was impressed with the number of courses, safety measures, and zips but what was most impressive was the customer service which is why I will definitely be coming back with a group next time.

ATTN manager/owner: Give Kenneth a pay raise!!!
Seriously, he did a really amazing job!
Written May 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

shootingstarbeauty
Lancaster, PA230 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
My husband and kids signed up to do the KIDS ZIP. From the moment I met Emma and Kenneth, I knew my family would be in capable hands. Safety was prioritized while ensuring everyone had fun.

Both Emma and Kenneth were patient with my kids. One needed extra teaching time to understand how to operate the carabiners and trolley while the other one was petrified of taking the first steps off of the platform. In fact, Kenneth backwards-chained the beginner course for him to ensure my son was comfortable.

I highly recommend Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours to anyone looking for zip lining fun for the entire family.
Written July 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Joanna P
1 contribution
Aug 2022
We took our family of 4 (Dad, Mom, son (14) & daughter(11)) whitewater rafting and zip lining for the first time ever with Wildwater in Nantahala. We had the time of our lives! On the first day we went down the river with our guide LJ. She was extremely knowledgeable of the river. She shared lots of interesting facts that we would have never known. We all had a fantastic time, got soaking wet and worked just enough to make us feel like we had done something without being totally exhausted at the end.
After rafting we stayed in a yurt at Falling Waters Yurt Village. The yurt itself and the community bathhouse were extremely clean and comfortable. The yurt had multiple windows, fans, heaters and blankets so we could be comfortable regardless of the weather. Our yurt was very private and the view was breathtaking.
The following morning we went zip lining with Richard and Katelyn. We could not have had two more incredible guides. They kept us laughing and their rapport with each other was hysterical. 15 minutes in everyone in our group was laughing and cheering each other on like old friends. On the first zip line my daughter got cold feet and refused to try the first zip. Richard and Katelyn took their time (never got frustrated) and absolutely worked magic getting her to trust them and somehow they got her to give it a try. From then on my daughter was smiling, laughing and flying through the treetops happy as could be! By the end we were all eager to do it again.
Finally, we took a guided jeep tour through the Nantahala Forest with LJ. Her knowledge of the area and its history were remarkable. The ride is not for the faint of heart as the roads wind and twist all the way up the mountain and then all the way back down but the view and scenery are not something to be missed.
Every single person that we encountered at Wildwater Adventure Center was absolutely incredible. All of the guides take safety VERY seriously and before we started any of our adventures we were briefed on safety, all gear was double checked and they were constantly monitoring the surroundings.
We cannot wait to go back again next year. We only hope LJ, Richard and Katelyn will still be there!
Candid photos taken at the end of the rafting and canopy tours were wonderful!
Written August 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

De G
1 contribution
Jul 2020 • Family
Wildwater ziplining canopy tours

Absolutely the worst experience we've had ziplining. We made reservations online the night before and no where...even on the waiver that we electronically signed were we told that we would be required to wear a mask the entire time in 90deg hot, humid weather. We drove an hour 1/2 out of our way going home to enjoy the canopy tour to be suffocating the entire time.
I explained that I was not comfortable wearing a mask outdoors and for long periods of time. My kids wanted to go despite it so we reluctantly went through with it. Miserable the entire time. We were all dizzy and lightheaded & on the walk back, I came close to falling over. It was all I could do to make it back to the car and to the A/C. Once I recovered the next day, I emailed them through the website again to let them know how sick I had béen & what a bad experience it was. After a week of no response I called and spoke to the manager. Instead of listening to me she kept interrupting and lied about it being a statewide law to have to wear masks outdoors too. I looked it up & It varies per county and mayor and it was not a requirement and certainly not a law to force people to endure such a harmful & unnecessary rule. The manger refused to listen and was very rude and obnoxious. She laughed and flat out refused to give us even a partial refund of the $250 we paid.
Whether your a fan of mask or not, I wouldn't recommend wasting your $ on this business. Disappointed in every aspect.
Written August 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
It was a very hard decision to require face coverings while ziplining but due to the close proximity of everyone on small platforms in the trees made it necessary; we generally recommend going earlier in the day when it is not so hot and there is less chance of afternoon summer thunderstorms. I am sorry you missed the information that you have to wear a mask on our tours. There is a link on our homepage to an "Opening Guidelines" page with information all canopy tours will operate with face coverings. Our link email to the waiver has a statement that face coverings are required. Please note our rafting trips only require face coverings in the building and on the bus ride. All Guest comment emails from the website come to my inbox, I cannot find an email from you, can you call me directly at 864-482-0450 or contact me directly so I can find your reservation and make it right? As far as our staff being rude, providing misleading information and laughing at you I am shocked and embarrassed you had this experience, please let me know what day and time you came so I can look into it further. Jack Wise, Wildwater Ltd.
Written August 5, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

KCDawsey
Denham Springs, LA243 contributions
Apr 2021 • Family
I booked the rafting and zip lining excursions for my family of four including an 8 year old and 14 year old, my husband and myself. And everyone had the absolute best time.

The rafting trip down the Nantahala was perfect! My 8 year old was a little nervous at first but once we got on the River and started going she became a thrill seeking junkie. Ryan, our raft guide, was super friendly and did an awesome job for navigating us down the River abs making us all feel comfortable. When we got to the “small” big rapid at the very end we were allowed to pull over and walk down to view the rapid to make sure we wanted to go through it before we actually did. We chose to go down a
It and the 8 year old was totally up for doing it again. I would HIGHLY recommend this place for whitewater rafting and we will be back to do it again.

We also did the zip lining, which was the highlight for both my girls trip! Braydon, Marissa and Paxton were the three best guides we could have asked for. We all felt comfortable and safe and knew we were in excellent hands. Again my 8 year was beyond thrilled to zip through the trees and my teenager had the best time as well. This is definitely an excursion our whole family enjoyed. Again we will be back to do it all again soon.

All in all I give Wildwater a 10/10 star rating!

Ps: but the photos! They are memories you’ll keep forever!
Written April 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MelGilbert_GA
Marietta, GA9 contributions
Jul 2021
What an adventure! I'm not a fan of heights and still made it through the entire course. Chad and Madeline were fun guides and helped me feel safe the entire way through. If you're on the fence, there are a couple of options to leave the tour if you decide it's not for you. The views from white pine were amazing even though the sky was hazy on our trip. It was abnormally hot but still enjoyable with some nice breezes in the treetops in between zipping. Your hands will smell like sweaty feet after 3 hours of wearing those very necessary gloves, but it's a small price to pay for such a beautiful experience.
Written August 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marisa O
6 contributions
Jul 2021
We had a great time and it was awesome our 9 year old could go on her own. I've been ziplining before and this time was only able to be in a seated position and this one was self breaking. Suspension bridges freaked me out and having so many people on platform. Chad and Nina were great guides Ziplining and Brayden was great on White Water Rafting.
Only suggestion would be- mentioning tipping policies, and maybe show a map with photos online to help clueless people like us, and mention in reservation in emails to come 30 minutes early. I would have liked to be on our own for ziplining and white water rafting due to Covid and spacing but this wasn't the case even if outside. We did both activities same day. If you go with another family try and split the costs with the photos and USB :) You can totally take your phone if you have a button or zipper or a laynard holding your phone. I wish i would have known this beause we didnt go upside down so i could have taken my phone on a laynard.
Written July 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

carrie d
Port Charlotte, FL2 contributions
Jul 2022 • Couples
My husband took me here for my 58th birthday. Our guides Richard and Abby had us laughing the entire time❤️. They are very serious about safety and make sure you are completely comfortable before going up.

Not only did we zipline, laugh, sing, hoot and holler…. We also got a lot of history and facts about the land.

I highly recommend spending a morning or afternoon here and if you get this dynamic duo… plan to forget all else in the world and just have a good time with the two of these amazing guides❤️
Written July 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TarHeel
Durham, NC1,024 contributions
Aug 2022
We had booked a package that included a train trip and rafting and frankly, the rafting was the best part. Our guide Parker was what you'd think a guide would be -- laid back, funny, but also professional. Our particular rafting trip had it all: some rain, someone falling out of the raft, some purposeful collisions with rocks to bump us around, and some calm spots by the banks. I'm surprised by how many people on our trip were not properly dressed or prepared. You will get wet! You can bring towels and a change of clothing that they will keep on the bus. When you finish up, they load you on a bus and take you to their homebase which has warm showers and some cocoa or hot apple cider. When we were done with that, a driver took us back to the train depot in Bryson City where we started. Definitely recommended.
Written August 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RUSS T
4 contributions
Jul 2020
Whitewater rafting = the time of our lives! Our guide, Ryan, thoroughly taught us newbies the safety essentials and then he skillfully lead us on the adventure of a lifetime. We felt perfectly safe. We had times of serene beauty and moments of thrill. It was the perfect ride for first-timers. He maneuvered us down the river like a pro. He provided plenty of information about what to expect and gave us options on the level of excitement we wanted to experience. He even navigated our timing so as not to interfere with other rafts which we ocassionally encountered and told us to smile at the end because they take photos for you to purchase and enjoy your moments of thrilling joy on the river for years to come. Our photos turned out great and the t-shirts they sell were the best designs and the best prices we saw anywhere in the area! We can't wait to do this again and again! Fantastic experience we'd recommend to anyone.
Written July 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Wildwater Nantahala Adventure Center (Bryson City) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go