Rafting the Nantahala River!
- Meet your leader at the designated meeting point in Asheville at 8:00am, then depart Asheville and begin your journey towards the Great Smoky Mountains (~ 1.5hours)
- Upon arrival, take to the Nantahala River and begin your white water rafting adventure.
- Explore the Great Smoky Mountains by river as you ride class II and III rapids, which are ideal for all experience levels.
- After getting your feet back on dry land, make your way toward Bryson city for some lunch.
- Meander around this quaint mountain town, which is also home to part of the Appalachian Trail.
- Make your way to your campsite, which will be your home away from home for the next two nights.
- Cook your first meal at camp as a group and then snuggle into your sleeping bag as you enjoy your first night sleeping in nature.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Wake up and enjoy a camp breakfast and get ready to explore more of the Great Smoky Mountains...this time, on foot!
- Lace-up your hiking boots and follow the trails to make your way to Lonesome Pine Overlook. This hike is about 6 miles round trip and has a 2,000 foot elevation gain, but the work is well worth the reward!
- Once at the top, take in the breathtaking views of the Nantahala Mountains and the Nantahala National Forest, which is the largest national forest in North Carolina!
- Make another visit to Bryson City for a much-needed energy boost after your morning
- After lunch, visit the Nantahala Brewery, home to many award-winning brews, and learn about their brewing and sustainability practices. They are also known for sourcing their water straight from the Smoky Mountains, which is one of the purest watersheds in the world!
- Make your way to your campsite, for another night spent in nature.
- Cook dinner at camp as a group and then snuggle into your sleeping bag or stay up and keep an eye out for shooting stars.
Hiking the Great Smoky Mountains
- After another delicious camp breakfast, we’ll leave our campsite behind and head out to explore the western part of this national park.
- We will cross into the state of Tennessee, making our first stop at Newfound Gap, where we will take a short hike to the highest point in the park - Clingman Dome. Clingman Dome is not only the highest point in the park at 6,643 feet, it is also the tallest mountain in Tennessee, and the highest point on the Appalachian Trail.
- After Clingman Dome, we’ll continue west, visiting the Sugarlands Visitor Center and stopping in kitschy Gatlinburg for lunch.
- We’ll spend some time this afternoon in the forest, swimming and relaxing by the Little Pigeon River.
- In the late afternoon, we’ll drive back over the mountain pass to North Carolina, for our final night of camping and our last campfire as a group.
Asheville & Departure
- This morning, after breakfast, we’ll pack up camp and return to Asheville, with enough time to explore this funky town.
- Group members will have free time to explore the town, and maybe visit the world famous Biltmore estate.
- This afternoon we will have our final lunch with our new friends, sampling some of North Carolina’s famous barbeque and maybe even enjoy a cold beer from one of Asheville’s many craft breweries.
- Arrive at the designated ending point in Asheville by 4:00 pm and say your final goodbyes to your new friends before making your own way to the airport to catch your flight home departing after 7:00 pm or extend your stay in Asheville.
- Ask your Trip Leader for suggestions if you choose to spend more time in Asheville or the surrounding areas.