Guided Trips

Guided white water trips

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Self Guided Trips

Self guided white water raft trips

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Rentals & Other

Rentals and other

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Welcome to Nantahala Rafting with Fast Rivers where we are proud to be recommended #1 on Trip Advisor! As the finest company on the Nantahala River, our family owned & operated outfit has been specializing in whitewater rafting adventures for almost 40 years. Putting you #1 since 1979, Fast Rivers Rafting continues to welcome you to miles of fun and exciting Class II and III rapids on one of the country’s most popular rivers.

Trip Adisor: Traveller's Choice 2021

Our goal is to exceed your expectations in all facets of your rafting experience. Our friendly, skilled, and sincere service is second to none and we welcome the opportunity to have you on the river with us.

Fast Rivers is geared to give you personal and knowledgeable service allowing you a wonderful, memorable trip down the Nantahala (nan-tuh-hay-luh) River! We thank you for choosing us and look forward to sharing the adventure of whitewater rafting with you! After all, the most important trip down the river is yours!


We have set aside a spot just for you, whether you’re a rugged whitewater veteran or a beginner enthusiast who has never rafted before. Your river experience can range from a family outing to a high-performance adventure; we offer group discounts, privately guided, guide-assisted or unguided rafting trips, funyaks “duckies”, sit-on-top kayaks, inflatable canoes, lake canoes, river photos, a great T-shirt souvenir shop and much more! For our rafters, a guided Nantahala rafting trip may be your preference and we are pleased to set you up with the best guides on the river. Or if you choose, you may prefer to allow your family or group the excitement of guiding your own rafts. We will stand by our policy to do all we can to help your group understand the “how-to’s” for enjoying the river with a guide or on your own.

In the heart of the Nantahala National Forest, the Nantahala River is a family friendly, nationally recognized river of recreation. The most popular in the Southeast, it is one of the oldest rivers in the world and gets its name from an Indian word meaning, “Land of the Noonday Sun”. The Class II-III river is dam-controlled and pulls its water from the bottom of Nantahala Lake. The water has a scheduled daily release from the dam about 15 miles upstream and is pulled from approximately 250 feet in depth. Since the water does not see sunlight until its release, it stays cool year-round. The pristine, crystal-clear mountain water then runs its course through the Nantahala River emptying into Fontana Lake.

Mid-March through Mid-October, your whitewater adventure begins at the Fast Rivers Rafting outpost located at the put-in of the Nantahala River, in the Nantahala Gorge, 20 miles West of downtown Bryson City, North Carolina and 10 miles East of Andrews, North Carolina. After checking in at the store counter, you’ll get fully equipped, receive personal instruction, and be shuttled to the put-in (1-minute drive) where your whitewater fun will begin. (hours/days vary depending on season ~ please check out Trip Times to verify)

On the area’s most scenic terrain, you will experience over 20 named rapids, including “Patton’s Run”, “Whirlpool”, and “The Bump”. There are plenty of waves to crash through and several calm water opportunities to simply enjoy the natural beauty and wonders of the Nantahala River and the Great Smoky Mountains!

This Season

We are gearing up for another amazing season and are very excited to see all of our friends again. And as always, it is so great to meet many, many new ones. The people are truly what keeps us going and makes our business worthwhile! We absolutely love it & you!

Every year, we try to tweak the areas that will aid in our continued growth! This year…we are happy to say that we will be celebrating our 5th season in our brand new outpost; only a minute’s drive from the put-in!! I guess adding some new boats and funyaks to the fleet will pale in comparison to our new outpost (with hot showers), but we are still proud to say that we have continued to upgrade our fleet. We have also replaced some life jackets, just to keep things fresh!

As always, helping you & your group to have fun is what we are here for. So please contact us with any Nantahala Rafting questions or suggestions. Customer feedback is extremely important to us & greatly appreciated. It is what helps us to continue to be successful in providing you with the best overall experience!

Thank You!

Again, thanks to everyone who continues to make our business what it is today. We truly appreciate each and every one of you. We look forward to seeing you on the river with us over and over again! And remember, we believe the most important trip down the river is yours…

What We Offer?

  •  8.5 Mile Full River Trip down the beautiful Nantahala River
  •  Brand New Bathrooms, Changing Rooms, & Hot Showers
  •  Must be 7 years old ~OR~ 60 pounds (either/or; not both)
  •  Family Owned & Operated Since 1979
  •  Picnic Area & Adventure Play Area
  •  Class II & III Rapids ~ beginner to intermediate (not mild but not wild)
  •  Self-Guided, Fully Guided, and Guide-Assisted available
  •  Funyaks/Duckies, Rafts, Sit-on-top Kayaks, and Canoes available

What people say:

See more fantastic reviews on Tripadvisor & Google

Perfect day.

Mark M.

"Rafting down the river was beautiful and fun, but the staff was the best part. They were amazing and we will definitely be coming back."


Mark & Tasha G.

"I have been rafting with these guys since my first trip. I dont want to go anywhere else for this experience. They are fun, If you want to stop and swim for a sec, they're cool with it. No rushing down the river. There are several things they do with with raft to make it a fun trip. The conversations are great! Awesome Experiences going on 4/5 years now. You will love it."

Great for Large Groups!

Ashley L.

"These guys are amazing!! We took 23 people rafting and they never missed a beat getting us all on the river! They make sure you have an amazing time! Thank you so much Fast Rivers!"

Get in Touch

We're always happy to answer your questions or book your trip on the phone

Find us at the office

1965 US Highway 19, Topton, NC 28781

Give us a ring

Mon - Sun, 9:00-5:00