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Whitewater Rafting the Nanthala River in May

Overview

The Nantahala river is a scenic whitewater river that is full of great views and also offers some thrills. Nantahala is a Cherokee word which, when translated into English, means land of the noon day sun. the river is called Nantahala because of the steep walls of the gorge. The walls are so steep that some parts of the river only get direct sunlight for the middle part of the day. The Nantahala river is a relatively short river that runs from Lake Nantahala to Lake Fontana. The section that is actually rafted is on the last eight miles of the river. The sections above the commercially rafted section are popular fly fishing spots. There are also scheduled releases for whitewater kayakers who want some class IV-V thrills. The section that is commercially rafted is only class II with one class III at the very end of the run. This river is great for kids and first time whitewater rafters. Kids must be at least sixty pounds to be allowed to raft river. The water is colder than fifty degrees year round due to the fact that it is sucked from the bottom of the four hundred foot deep Lake Nantahala. This water will give you a wake up call when you round the first turn and splash through Patton’s Run.Nantahala River In May

Rafting The Nantahala In May

When you raft the Nantahala river in May you can warm air temperatures ranging from the high sixties to the low eighties depending on the year.  The weather can be very unpredictable with pop up thunderstorms being common this time of year. Just check the weather before booking your trip. By this point in the season the trees are fully leaved and the river traffic starts to pick up. You will start to encounter numerous whitewater kayakers making the run down the river. The river will not be as busy as in June or July but it will be noticeably busier than April. If you want to whitewater raft the Nantahala River in may, some outfitters offer discounts if you book your trip before memorial day. Peak season starts memorial day weekend which is May 30th. Rafting in may is a great vacation idea if you are looking to float down the river and just enjoy the ride. Depending on the day you could also go for a swim to cool off. It is all up to you.

Lodging 

When searching for lodging in the mountains of western North Carolina you have a few different options. If you want to stay in a rental cabin, there are hundreds of options within range of the Nantahala gorge. The area surrounding Nantahala is full of beautiful cabins to suit any desire or price range. Another great option is camping there are plenty of campgrounds to choose from that are inside the gorge and just outside of it. Each campground offers a different camping experience. The weather in May is perfect for camping; with lows in the low fifties camping is a real possibility.  Rain showers are common so bring a tarp to put over your tent to keep extra dry, or just bring a camper if you have one.

Nantahala River

 

Whitewater Rafting the Nantahala River in April

Overview

The Nantahala river is a scenic whitewater run that is full of great views and also offers some thrills. Nantahala is a Cherokee word which, when translated, means land of the noon day sun. the river is called Nantahala because of the steep walls of the gorge. The walls are so steep that some parts of the river only get direct sunlight for the middle part of the day. The Nantahala river is a relatively short river that runs from Lake Nantahala to Lake Fontana. The section that is actually rafted is on the last eight miles of the run. The sections above the commercially rafted section are popular fly fishing spots. There are also scheduled releases for whitewater kayakers who want some class IV-V thrills. The section that is commercially rafted is only class II with one class III at the very end of the run. This river is great for kids and first time whitewater rafters. Kids must be above sixty pounds to be allowed on the river. The water is below fifty degrees year round due to the fact that it is sucked from the bottom of the four hundred foot deep Lake Nantahala.

Nantahala River in April

What to Expect in April

April is the first true month of spring in the Nantahala gorge. The trees have started to gain their leaves and the gorge begins to bustle with life. Rafters should expect temperatures in the mid sixties most days. Depending on the year there could be some much colder days or some warmer days. Just depends on the weather. Whenever you are in the Nantahala Gorge there is a chance of rain showers. Especially in the spring and late fall, check the local weather forecast. If the weather man says it is going to rain it is up to you weather or not to hit the water. The weather is very unpredictable in this area of the mountains. It could just be a sprinkle or it could be a downpour for hours. It all depends on how the weather system reacts when it hits the rugged mountains. The river will not be very crowded in April as in June or July. This is due partly to the fact that most kids are still in school. It is also due to the fact that the air temperature is not to the point where most people want to jump into the fifty degree water. If you raft the Nantahala in April you are most likely just looking for some views and a relaxing trip down the river. If you are looking to cool off from the heat and have an exciting trip full of splashing and getting soaked, you should raft later in the season.

Lodging in April 

When searching for lodging in the mountains of western North Carolina you have a few different options. If you want to stay in a rental cabin, there are hundreds of options within range of the Nantahala gorge. The area surrounding Nantahala is full of very beautiful cabins to suit any desire or price range. Another great option is camping there are plenty of campgrounds to choose from that are inside the gorge and just outside of it. Each campground offers a different camping experience. The weather in April can be a little chilly. Getting down into the forties at night you should have either a camper or some cold weather gear.

Nantahala River