Pigeon River Gorge
Pigeon River Gorge
This exciting trip down the beautiful Pigeon River Gorge (Class III+) is for moderately experienced whitewater boaters who can roll and have paddling experience in Class 3 rapids. You should be able to catch eddies, peel out and ferry in moderately fast-moving water. The Pigeon is considered a step up in difficulty from the Nantahala, but less difficult than the Ocoee. Interstate-40 conveniently runs alongside, but cannot be seen from river level and does not detract from the beauty. (See AW river description link below)
Pigeon first-timers can expect to have each significant rapid’s lines explained before they are run. The “gorgeous” nature of the river makes portaging and scouting from the bank impractical for many of the rapids. Summertime water temperature is pleasant—rafters routinely jump in after passing the last significant rapid (Accelerator).
Required equipment: PFD, helmet and whistle. Whitewater kayaks need spray skirts. Recreational boats are not permitted. A towel and dry clothes for afterwards are recommended. Bring drinking water and sunscreen.
We will meet at 7:30 AM at the SC DMV office (map link below) to organize the carpooling. Alternatively, meet us at the the put-in (map link below) at 11:00 AM. After signing the waiver and shuttling, we should be on the river by noon and off by about 3 PM. The trip is 4.7-miles long. If the first run is quick and the group agrees, a second lap is possible. Hot showers are available at the take-out, some are free, some charge $5.
Please do not just show up on the day of the trip; you must first sign up or contact the trip coordinator. Space will be limited, depending on your abilities and how many safety boaters sign up.
Plan to attend? Contact the coordinator. Please inform the Coordinator or alternate contact in a timely manner if your plans change and you can no longer attend.