US Whitewater > North Carolina > Watauga River



North Carolina whitewater, Watauga River

Watauga county, US Route 321 Bridge to Route 1200 section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS II-III     4 miles
  The natural beauty of North Carolina and the playfulness of the water beats anything. The rivers for whitewater rafting and kayaking here in North Carolina are often easier than in other states, so keep in mind that many runs in this state are very easy. This is not the only paddling section in this river system, there are others too. There are plenty of hotels here if you want to spend a night, but if you donít have reservations you might
    end up sleeping in your car. And of course, there are campgrounds nearby. Since you're on this site you are probably into whitewater rafting or kayaking, either way this area has a large number of paddling spots. This section
of Watauga River in North Carolina is 4 miles long and is according to American Whitewater a class II-III section of whitewater. This is a pretty decent length section, it's good length for a morning trip. The put-in location is a short drive from Boone, if you're not familiar with the area there's a road map further down the page.

Briefly about the general area:
Don't leave Watauga River without first going for a hike along the Iron
Mountain Trail. This is a popular place for folks from Sugar Grove, and Ward Hollow is certainly a delightful place to stop by. This river is so great. Laurel Creek Falls is an inspiring spot to go to while you're here, and there are good spots to look at along the Daniel Boone Scout Trail. A short journey to Watauga Falls is always worthwhile, and Ski Beech is a nice local ski area. Watauga River is a rather wet place regularly with a great deal of rainfall. The month with most of the rain is May; December is the month with the least moisture. The warmest time of the year at Watauga River comes with high temperatures in the 70's.

Watauga River, US Route 321 Bridge to Route 1200 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 Watauga River.
 Whitewater Near Watauga River:
Watauga River, Watauga County, 2 miles away
      Class IV-V - 4.9 miles long (Guys Ford Bridge to Watauga Lake)
Watauga River, Watauga County, 2 miles away
      Class II-III - 4 miles long (US Route 321 Bridge to Route 1200)
Watauga, Watauga / Johnson County, 2 miles away
      Class IV-V - 4.9 miles long (Guys Ford Bridge to Watauga Lake)
Elk River, Avery County, 6 miles away
      Class IV-V - 8.4 miles long (Route 1326 to Route 1305)
Whitewater Outfitter - High Mountain Expeditions, Avery County, 7 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Elk River, Carter County, 8 miles away
      Class II-III - 4.3 miles long (Route 2520 to US 321 bridge Close to Elk Mills)
Elk River, Avery (NC)/Carter (TN) County, 8 miles away
      Class IV-V(V+) - 4.8 miles long (Route 130 to bridge above Sone Mtn Church Tennessee)
Elk River, Carter and Avery County, 8 miles away
      Class IV-V - 5 miles long (Big Falls to Poga Rd)
Watauga River, Watauga County, 9 miles away
      Class I-II - 12 miles long (North Carolina Route 105 Bridge to US Route 321 Bridge)
Watauga River, Watauga County, 9 miles away
      Class II-IV - 2 miles long (SR 1557 to North Carolina 105)
 Ski Areas Near Watauga River:
Ski Beech, North Carolina , 4 miles away, 830 foot drop, 10 lifts, 15 runs
Hawksnest, North Carolina , 7 miles away, 619 foot drop, 4 lifts, 12 runs
Sugar Mountain, North Carolina , 7 miles away, 1200 foot drop, 8 lifts, 20 runs
Appalachian Mountain, North Carolina , 14 miles away, 365 foot drop, 5 lifts, 9 runs
Wolf Ridge, North Carolina , 48 miles away, 700 foot drop, 5 lifts, 20 runs
Winterplace, West Virginia , 90 miles away, 603 foot drop, 9 lifts, 27 runs
Cataloochee, North Carolina , 94 miles away, 740 foot drop, 4 lifts, 10 runs
 Marinas Near Watauga River:
Pioneer Landing Campground, Butler , 7 miles away
Pappy's Marina and Campground, Butler , 11 miles away
Lakeshore Marina, Hampton , 17 miles away
 Hotels Near Watauga River:
Jackalope's Mountain Lodge, Banner Elk , 4 miles away
Banner Haven Bed And Breakfast, Banner Elk , 5 miles away
Best Western Mountain Lodge At Banner Elk, Banner Elk , 6 miles away
Blue Ridge Village, Banner Elk , 7 miles away
Highland Hills Cabins, Boone , 11 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Watauga River:
Grandfather Campground and Cabins, Banner Elk, 5 miles away
Vanderpool Campgrounds, Vilas, 6 miles away
Mountaineer Falls Shelter - Appalachian Trail, Elk Park, 9 miles away
 Trails Near Watauga River:
Daniel Boone Scout Trail, Caldwell , 9 miles away
Iron Mountain Trail, Johnson , 13 miles away
Little Pond Mountain Trail, Carter , 14 miles away
Yancey Ridge Trail, Avery , 14 miles away
Laurel Fork Trail, Carter , 15 miles away
 Public Lands Near Watauga River:
Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville - NC , 61 miles away
Roan Mountain State Park, Tennessee , 16 miles away
Sycamore Shoals State Park, Tennessee , 20 miles away
Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee , 27 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Watauga River:
Diamond Creek, Banner Elk , 5 miles away
Wilderness Trail, Banner Elk , 5 miles away
Hawksnest Ski Resort, Seven Devils , 7 miles away
 Lakes Near Watauga River
Wildcat Lake, Avery , 6 miles away
Watauga Lake, Carter , 19 miles away

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