Trying to decide if rafting is the right choice for you? Getting ready for your rafting adventure and need a few answers to some last minute questions? Below you can find answers to many of the most common questions we receive.
Not finding the answer you’re looking for? Feel free to call us toll free at 877.642.7238. Our reservations staff is here to serve.
What time of year are trips available?
The Pigeon River is dam controlled. Scheduled water release days start in May and continue until the end of August. Depending on seasonal rainfall, our season can begin as early as March 1st, and end as late as October 31st.
We want to make sure each group gets the best rafting experience possible. Whenever possible, we try to schedule trips on days when we can be very confident that there will be sufficient water on the river.
Fore more info, including a Rafting Calendar, please check out our Water Levels & Rafting Schedule blog post.
How do I get there?
Click here for directions.
What if I need to cancel my reservation?
To receive a full refund, reservations must be cancelled at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled trip time. Cancellations made within 48 hours before the scheduled trip time will receive a 50% refund.
Groups of 10 or more are required to complete the cancellation process at least 10 days prior to the trip time to receive a full refund. Cancellations made within 10 days before the scheduled trip time will receive a 50% refund.
After check-in time, anyone impaired by drugs or alcohol will be excluded from participation without refund.
If you need to cancel your reservations, please contact as soon as possible by calling our toll free number at 877.642.7238
What is the minimum age?
We have rafting trips available for ages 3 to 103!
The minimum age/weight for the Upper Pigeon River Trip is 8 years old or 70+ pounds.
The minimum age for the Lower Pigeon River Trip is 3 years old.
What precautions are taken for my safety
All guests are required to sign a participation agreement and will receive an orientation briefing before the trip. Each guest is provided with a personal flotation device, helmet, and paddle.
All guides are professionally trained and certified in first aid and CPR, and many of our guides have advanced certifications and experience. You can read more about our guides, as well as their experience and certifications, by checking out our whitewater raft guide bios.
Do you offer group rates?
We do offer group rates to parties of 10 or more. For more information about our Group Discounts contact our reservations staff toll free at 877.642.7238. We would be happy to put an adventure together for you and your group. We’re here to serve!
Need some help organizing your group adventure? To receive great info to bring back to your group, you can also request our Group Planner.
What time are your trips?
Trip times vary depending on the day and time of year. Trip time information is available on the profile page for each of the trips we offer. To choose the trip that would suite you best, check out our Rates & Dates page.
You can also see all available days and times by clicking on the Book Now buttons throughout the site, or by visiting our rafting reservations page.
Please Note that the trip times are check-in times. There is no need to arrive prior to your check-in time. We typically allow approximately 30 minutes prior to starting your orientation talk. This allows time to get checked-in and changed.
Can I take a camera?
We do not recommend taking anything on the river that you do not wish to lose or get wet.
We have disposable waterproof cameras available for purchase in our outpost store. Also, professional photos are taken of your group on the river, and can be purchased on a CD after your trip.
What if I can’t swim?
All of our guides are experienced in helping those unable to swim. Absolutely no prior experience is necessary for any of our trips. In fact many of our guests have little to no experience, and many do not know how to swim. Each guest will be provided with a personal floatation device (aka life jacket). Furthermore, we do not recommend swimming in whitewater.
One of the many things that makes Big Creek Expeditions the best rafting company in the Smoky Mountains is our experienced staff of guides. Our guides average over 10 years of professional rafting experience. Check out our About Us page for our whitewater raft guide bios.
What if the weather is bad?
Big Creek Expeditions runs trips rain or shine. We can delay the trip during inclement weather if necessary.
If extreme weather leaves us no option other than canceling the trip than guests will receive a full refund. For recommendations on what clothing to wear in bad weather, please refer to our What to Bring Checklist.
How will I get back to my car?
You get to us, we’ll take care of the rest.
Guests on the Upper Section will receive a brief shuttle to the beginning point of their rafting trip. The Upper concludes back at our outpost where you parked your car, and no transportation is necessary.
Guests on the Lower Section begin their rafting trip at our rafting outpost. Upon completion of the rafting trip, guests on the Lower Section recieve a brief shuttle back to our outpost.
For a visual of the rafting sections, check out our River Map.
Where do we keep all our valuables?
Never take anything on the river that would be missed if lost.
We recommend that you lock all valuables in your vehicle. We have a secure location in our outpost where your keys will be kept until your return.
Do I need to be physically fit?
Participation is required on all Big Creek Expeditions trips. You will want to be in good physical condition. You may be asked to help, along with other guests, to assist in carrying the raft both at the put-in and the take-out. However, we do not exclude guests from participation based on physical conditioning, unless your doctor would advise against rafting. Please consult with your physician before taking part in strenuous activity.
If you are pregnant, please understand that you will not be allowed to participate.
Is alcohol permitted?
Absolutely no alcohol is permitted on the river or before your trip. Anyone impaired by alcohol before the trip will be excluded from participation without refund. Alcohol may be consumed responsibly after the trip on the campground premises.