US Whitewater > North Carolina > Oconaluftee River



North Carolina whitewater, Oconaluftee River

Swain county, Smokemont Campground to Birdtown section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS II-III     11.5 miles
  Whitewater rafting and kayaking in North Carolina is often easier than elsewhere, so keep in mind that quite a few of the sections in this state are pretty easy. The Smokemont Campground to Birdtown stretch of Oconaluftee River is 11.5 miles long and it is classified as a class II-III section by American Whitewater. The beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains is a great plus for this river. No matter if you're whitewater rafting or kayaking around
    here you'll find a large number of good rivers. No shortage of good hotels, but you'd better reserve in advance because these hotels fill up quick. This river system has a few good paddling stretches and the Smokemont Campground
to Birdtown section is one of them. The beautiful scenery of North Carolina and the cool fresh water are in themselves reasons enough to come here to paddle. You can enjoy this section more if you take your time, so why not pack your camp stove too. Getting your paddling muscles activated and a chance to spend some time outdoors will make you glad you came. The put-in is not too far from Sevierville, as you can see on the road map further  
down. There are campgrounds quite near the river where you can camp.

Briefly about the general area:
Since you're here at Oconaluftee River why not go to Whiteoak Flats; this is a popular place for folks from Cherokee. All year is a good time in the Great Smoky Mountains if you love the outdoors. During the months of summer here at Oconaluftee River, high temperatures mostly reach the 80's. For the duration of the dark hours of summer temperatures drop down into the 60's. High temperatures through the winter are normally in the 40's with winter lows in the 20's overnight here at Oconaluftee River.

Oconaluftee River, Smokemont Campground to Birdtown road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.


Detailed Map

Stats for this river stretch

Local weather forecast

These outdoors activities are available near Oconaluftee River.
 Whitewater Near Oconaluftee River:
Whitewater Outfitter - Smokey Mountain Tubing, Swain County, 2 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Oconaluftee River, Swain County, 3 miles away
      Class II-III - 11.5 miles long (Smokemont Campground to Birdtown)
Whitewater Outfitter - Smokey Mountain Tubing, Swain County, 4 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Tuckasegee River, Jackson/Swain County, 5 miles away
      Class I-III - 8 miles long (Whittier to Bryson City)
Oconaluftee River, Swain County, 5 miles away
      Class III - 4 miles long (Quiet Walkway to Smokemont)
Raven Fork, Swain County, 7 miles away
      Class II-III+(IV) - 8 miles long (Job Corps Bridge to Confluence with Oconalufftee)
Deep Creek, Swain County, 7 miles away
      Class II - 3 miles long (Bryson City)
Whitewater Outfitter - Blue Ridge Outing, Jackson County, 7 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Carolina Mountains Outdoor, Jackson County, 7 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Raven Fork, Swain County, 7 miles away
      Class V+ - 4 miles long (Gorges to Confluence with Straight Fork)
 Ski Areas Near Oconaluftee River:
Cataloochee, North Carolina , 17 miles away, 740 foot drop, 4 lifts, 10 runs
Ober Gatlinburg, Tennessee , 19 miles away, 600 foot drop, 3 lifts, 8 runs
Scaly Mountain, North Carolina , 28 miles away, 225 foot drop, 4 lifts, 10 runs
Sky Valley, Georgia , 30 miles away, 210 foot drop, 2 lifts, 5 runs
Wolf Ridge, North Carolina , 62 miles away, 700 foot drop, 5 lifts, 20 runs
 Hotels Near Oconaluftee River:
Comfort Suites Cherokee, Cherokee , 1 miles away
Baymont Inn & Suites Cherokee Smoky Mountains, Cherokee , 2 miles away
Cherokee Lodge, Cherokee , 2 miles away
Great Smokies Inn Cherokee, Cherokee , 2 miles away
Hampton Inn Cherokee, Cherokee , 2 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Oconaluftee River:
Bradley's Campground, Cherokee, 2 miles away
Yogi In The Smokies, Cherokee, 2 miles away
Adventure Trail Campground, Cherokee, 2 miles away
 Trails Near Oconaluftee River:
Messer Trail, Cocke , 16 miles away
Palmer Creek Trail, Haywood , 16 miles away
Caldwell Fork Trail, Haywood , 17 miles away
Sugarland Mountain Trail, Sevier , 17 miles away
Lower Whiterock Trail, Cocke , 18 miles away
 Public Lands Near Oconaluftee River:
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg - TN , 17 miles away
Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville - NC , 53 miles away
Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina , 24 miles away
Black Rock Mountain State Park, Georgia , 34 miles away
Oconee State Park, South Carolina , 40 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Oconaluftee River:
Sequoyah National Golf Club, Whittier , 4 miles away
Smoky Mountain Golf Course, Whittier , 6 miles away
Golf Scapes, Whittier , 8 miles away

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Some content, including Reach Name, Class, Coordinates, and Length, comes from American Whitewater with permission.