Cheoah Rafting

Cheoah Whitewater Rafting

The Cheoah River is the ultimate whitewater rafting experience in the southeast.

The Class IV-IV+ rapids are made up of steep, vertical ledges and technical boulder fields. The rapids continue to climb the whitewater scale until arriving at Big Fat Gap Bridge. Here begins two of the steepest commercially rafted miles of whitewater in the U.S. With non-stop rapids , the river chases a constantly disappearing horizon. The action does not let up until the final plunge into Lake Calderwood.

The Cheoah River is a fully-guided trip. The rafts are arranged to have a maximum of four guests and a guide in each raft.

Your trip includes a full day of action-packed Class IV+ rafting,, a mid-river hike up Bear Creek Falls, a delicious riverside lunch and beverages, an optional hike up Yellow Creek Falls, as well as all equipment – including a complimentary wetsuit, pfd, paddles and helmets.

For Cheoah guests who need some Class III-IV experience, we recommend the Ocoee River and offer a special Ocoee River/Cheoah River Double Header.

Extremely continuous and physically demanding, the Cheoah is the perfect choice for those looking to take the whitewater experience to that next level. A dam-controlled river, release dates are limited to select dates during the year.

Requirements strictly enforced by the U.S. Forest Service:

  • Previous rafting experience on minimum Class III-IV whitewater
  • Participants must be in good physical condition.
  • Minimum age requirement on the Cheoah is (16) sixteen.

2021 Cheoah River Release Dates

February 27, 28 (Saturday, Sunday)
March 20, 21, 22 (Saturday, Sunday, Monday)
April 3, 4 (Saturday, Sunday)
April 17, 18 (Saturday, Sunday)
April 24, 25 (Saturday, Sunday)
May 15, 16 (Saturday, Sunday)
May 29, 30 (Saturday, Sunday)
June 19, 20 (Saturday, Sunday)
October 09 (Saturday)
November 13 (Saturday)

Trip Options

Cheoah Full Day

Welcome to the best Class IV+ river in the southeast. Extremely continuous and physically demanding, the Cheoah is the perfect choice for those looking to take the whitewater experience to that next level. Our trip includes twelve miles of Class IV+ whitewater, a delicious riverside lunch, and an optional hike up Yellow Creek Falls. With very limited release dates throughout the season, check for release dates that will work for you.

Ocoee/Cheoah Combo

Looking for a multi-day whitewater adventure? Or to gain Class III-IV experience in preparation for the Cheoah? ​The Ocoee/Cheoah combination is perfect for the adrenaline seeker who just cannot get enough whitewater fun. The full-day Ocoee trip will help provide the experience you need to enjoy the Cheoah.

​***Note: the trips do not have to be done on consecutive days, but the Ocoee must be done before the Cheoah.

Cheoah Rafting Prices


Adults (age 16 and over)

Cheoah Full Day


Cheoah/Ocoee Combo Trip


Included in the cost of your trip

Friendly Professionals

A smile when you walk in the door from all of our river professionals. We love sharing our passion for whitewater with you.

All Equipment

All the equipment you will need for your raft trip, including complimentary wetsuits and paddle jackets.


Transportation from our outpost to the put-in and takeout. Once you arrive at our outpost, we take care of all the logistics so that you can just have fun on the river.

Check our Plan Your Trip page for a link to waivers, directions to the river, and a trip prep checklist.

Make Your Reservation

We offer rafting year round. Contact us 828-488-6199 or via email at with any questions you might have. We can help you choose the river and type of trip that is best for you. While we do recommend advance reservations, we also welcome walk-ins.

Whitewater rafting goes rain or shine! And if there is rain in the forecast, there is no better outdoor activity to enjoy than whitewater rafting. Ready to book? Call us at 828-488-6199 or book your trip specifics today.

Group organizers:
We allow individual payments within a group reservation so that one person is not responsible for the entire payment. Group rates and custom day itineraries are available. If you are the planner for a large group, please call us for assistance with the logistics of your trip planning. 

Payment Policy:
Reservations are recommended to insure trip time and availability. We request full payment at the time of your reservation. Please be prepared to pay by check, Visa, MC, Discover or American Express. All groups of 12 or more will receive a group rate. In order to receive group rates, reservations must be paid in full two weeks in advance.

Trip Requirements:
The minimum age for rafting on the Cheoah is 16 years old.  Class III-IV whitewater experience is mandatory.  You should be in good physical condition to raft the Cheoah.  We do reserve the right to pull an individual off the trip if they are not qualified to participate in the trip. 

Cancellation Policies:
Nantahala Rafting: You may cancel your reservation up to 7 days before the trip for a 100% refund. Within 7 days, there is no refund.

Ocoee/Cheoah Rafting: You may cancel your reservation up to 14 days before the trip for a 100% refund. Within 14 days, there is not refund.

What about the weather?
Our trips go rain or shine. Advanced weather predictions are rarely predictive of actual day-of weather. And if it looks like it might be a rainy day, we have complimentary wetsuits and splash jackets to ensure you have fun on the river.