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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Asheville White Water Rafting: Finding the Best Trip in a Drought: Vol 2

07/14/07

It's the weekend, it's summertime, so let's continue in the vein of "stuff to do in Asheville's outdoors".

In this previous posting, we looked at three Asheville rivers for white water rafting. We talked about how free flowing rivers get low during dry weather patterns. The low water can create an unfavorable discrepancy between the white water trip that you imagined, and the one that might actually exist.

The earlier article contained outbound links for real time USGS water levels, and some veteran suggestions for when it is worthwhile to go ahead on a free flowing river, or when it might be best to drive to a location with a dam or hydroelectric plant instead.

Three popular Asheville area rivers were featured last time, The French Broad, The Nolichucky Gorge, and The Big Pigeon. If you are planning a trip to one of them, then by all means use that information. Maybe 200,000 people visit those rivers alone in a season, all are within 60 minutes of Asheville, and it is a good resource.

More Rivers
Today, we will look at some more Asheville rafting trips and provide first hand information to help you get closer to the trip you imagined, and the most for your money. Use the outbound links for real time water levels.

The Nantahala River: Dam controlled, and therefore almost entirely free of any low water problems. Look at the graph for cubic feet per second, (cfs). "The Nanty" is usually at 700 cfs like clockwork on a daily basis. A bit farther from Asheville, (closer to a 90 minute drive), and known for its very cool water in summer. (It comes from the bottom of a deep lake).

Quite easy, but still plenty of fun, with a complete array of boats and trip styles available. Rafts, with or without guides, duckies or inflatable kayaks rule the day here. To the best of my knowledge, the minimum participant under USFS rules is 60 lbs, or 7 years of age. The Nantahala might be the most rafted river in the US.

The Tuckaseegee: Another dam controlled river, with almost no issues about low water. Quite easy, and a step below The Nantahala in difficulty, with the same array of boats and trip styles. Rafts, with or without a guide, duckies and tubes are the norm.

"The Tuck" runs Tuesday-Sunday, and as the graph indicates, is a fairly predictable 400 cfs. To the best of my knowledge, minimum person requirements are 4 years of age or 40 lbs. Check with your outfitter. A bit closer to Asheville than The Nanty, probably 1 hour 15 mins by car.

More Asheville area rivers will be visited in future postings.

From Our Blog: Fishing, fly fishing, and trout fishing in drought, etiquette, licenses, stream flows, etc.

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Black Bear Realty Website
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Filed Under: Taste of Mountain Life - Asheville Items - Buyers' Info - Wolf Laurel Things To Do

Tom Ploski is a 35 year white water veteran, and has paddled or worked as a guide on most southern US rivers.

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