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North Carolina whitewater, Watauga River

Watauga county, Guys Ford Bridge to Watauga Lake section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS IV-V     4.9 miles
There are commercial rafting outfitters from both NorthCarolina and Tennessee run the section of the Watauga River flowing downstream of the TVA Wilbur Dam Resevoir to Elizabethton, Tennessee.'' Says Robert Ritchie

The scenic beauty of North Carolina and the water flowing gracefully down Watauga River attract people from near and far. The average North Carolina whitewater rafting or kayaking river tends to be a bit easier to master
    than those in other states, so you'd better keep in mind that many of the rivers in this state are not very demanding. This section of Watauga River is 4.9 miles long and is rated by American Whitewater as a class IV-V section.
This section is long enough to enjoy a good non stop paddle, you can easily run it on an afternoon. The put-in location is a reasonable drive from Boone, as you can see on the road map further down. There are so many sections to paddle in this river system, the Guys Ford Bridge to Watauga Lake section is just one of many. A bit of exercise and a chance to spend some time outdoors are great reasons to come. Whether you're whitewater rafting or  
kayaking there are lots of good spots for that around here. The campgrounds here at Watauga River are pretty good.

Briefly about the general area:
Roan Mountain State Park is worth checking out if you're at Watauga River, and close by you stumble on Keller Gap which is a glorious site to visit. Hiking is a popular thing to do around Watauga River; Iron Mountain Trail is a pleasant local trail. You're sure to come across some smiling people from Sugar Grove here; great hiking is available along the Little Pond Mountain Trail. Everybody nearby loves skiing at Ski Beech.

Watauga River, Guys Ford Bridge to Watauga Lake 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, Watauga / Johnson 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 IV-V - 4.9 miles long (Guys Ford Bridge to Watauga Lake)
Elk River, Carter County, 5 miles away
      Class II-III - 4.3 miles long (Route 2520 to US 321 bridge Close to Elk Mills)
Watauga River, Watauga County, 6 miles away
      Class II-III - 4 miles long (US Route 321 Bridge to Route 1200)
Elk River, Avery County, 6 miles away
      Class IV-V - 8.4 miles long (Route 1326 to Route 1305)
Elk River, Avery (NC)/Carter (TN) County, 6 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, 6 miles away
      Class IV-V - 5 miles long (Big Falls to Poga Rd)
Whitewater Outfitter - High Mountain Expeditions, Avery County, 9 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Doe River, Carter County, 12 miles away
      Class II-III - 4.6 miles long (Crabtree to Blevins Bridge on Bear Gauge Road)
Watauga River, Watauga County, 12 miles away
      Class I-II - 12 miles long (North Carolina Route 105 Bridge to US Route 321 Bridge)
 Ski Areas Near Watauga River:
Ski Beech, North Carolina , 5 miles away, 830 foot drop, 10 lifts, 15 runs
Sugar Mountain, North Carolina , 9 miles away, 1200 foot drop, 8 lifts, 20 runs
Hawksnest, North Carolina , 10 miles away, 619 foot drop, 4 lifts, 12 runs
Appalachian Mountain, North Carolina , 18 miles away, 365 foot drop, 5 lifts, 9 runs
Wolf Ridge, North Carolina , 45 miles away, 700 foot drop, 5 lifts, 20 runs
Cataloochee, North Carolina , 91 miles away, 740 foot drop, 4 lifts, 10 runs
Winterplace, West Virginia , 91 miles away, 603 foot drop, 9 lifts, 27 runs
 Marinas Near Watauga River:
Pioneer Landing Campground, Butler , 3 miles away
Pappy's Marina and Campground, Butler , 7 miles away
Lakeshore Marina, Hampton , 14 miles away
Fish Springs Marina, Hampton , 18 miles away
Lake View Dock, Bristol , 18 miles away
 Hotels Near Watauga River:
Jackalope's Mountain Lodge, Banner Elk , 5 miles away
Banner Haven Bed And Breakfast, Banner Elk , 7 miles away
Best Western Mountain Lodge At Banner Elk, Banner Elk , 8 miles away
Blue Ridge Village, Banner Elk , 10 miles away
Highland Hills Cabins, Boone , 15 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Watauga River:
Mountaineer Falls Shelter - Appalachian Trail, Elk Park, 6 miles away
Grandfather Campground and Cabins, Banner Elk, 7 miles away
Pappy's Marina and Campground, Butler, 8 miles away
 Trails Near Watauga River:
Little Pond Mountain Trail, Carter , 10 miles away
Iron Mountain Trail, Johnson , 11 miles away
Laurel Fork Trail, Carter , 12 miles away
Laurel Fork Trail, Carter , 12 miles away
Daniel Boone Scout Trail, Caldwell , 12 miles away
 Public Lands Near Watauga River:
Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville - NC , 59 miles away
Roan Mountain State Park, Tennessee , 13 miles away
Sycamore Shoals State Park, Tennessee , 16 miles away
Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee , 24 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Watauga River:
Wilderness Trail, Banner Elk , 7 miles away
Diamond Creek, Banner Elk , 8 miles away
Sugar Mountain Golf Club, Sugar Mountain , 9 miles away
 Lakes Near Watauga River
Wildcat Lake, Avery , 8 miles away
Watauga Lake, Carter , 15 miles away
South Holston Lake, Sullivan , 18 miles away

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