The following are answers to commonly asked questions about Endless River Adventures. We always prefer to answer your questions personally, so please feel free to contact us if you do not find the answer to your question.
1. Who is Endless River Adventures?
2. Who is the typical Endless River Adventures guest?
3. Where is Endless River Adventures located?
4. Does Endless River Adventures have more than one outpost?
5. What does Endless River Adventures do that is different?
6. Does Endless River Adventures work with groups?
7. Why should western North Carolina be my vacation destination?
8. Does Endless River Adventures offer any vacation packages?
9. How can I join the Endless River Adventures team?
10. Which rivers does Endless River Adventures raft?
11. How are rivers rated for difficulty?
12. Why should I choose Endless River Adventures for whitewater rafting?
13. What kind of equipment do you use for whitewater rafting?
14. Are there discounts for groups?
15. How long are the rafting trips?
16. Does weather affect our rafting trip?
17. Are there limitations as to who can participate on a rafting trip?
18. Do I need an advance reservation?
19. Are there any cancellation fees if I book in advance?
20. Do I have to meet at your main outpost if I am doing the Ocoee or Cheoah?
21. Why are there so many options trip-wise on the Nantahala?
22. What is the difference between a guided trip and a guide assisted trip?
23. Is it appropriate to tip our guide?
24. What is Endless River Adventures’s Instruction Program?
25. Why should I take instruction?
26. What rivers does Endless River Adventures utilize?
27. What equipment is needed for kayaking and instruction?
28. What should I expect from Private Instruction versus group instruction?
29. Are there any discounts for instruction?
30. What can I expect from a day of instruction?
31. Can children take kayak instruction?
32. What roll do you teach?
33. Are there any options for kayaking that are not as learning-intense?
34. Will Lake Touring be fun for my family?
35. What kind of fish are there in the rivers?
36. Why should I expect from a day of fishing?
37. What river would we use?
38. What equipment is needed for fly fishing?
39. What does Endless River Adventures do in the winter months?
40. Which country is better for me—Costa Rica or Ecuador?
41. Why should I join an Endless River Adventures international trip?
42. Will paddling in a group limit my options?
43. What skill level is necessary to go on an international trip?
44. Do I have to bring my own kayak?
45. Are there options available for non-paddling participants?
46. Where is the Endless River Adventures Outfitters Store located?
47. Does Endless River Adventures have an on-line store?
48. What brands does the Outfitters Store feature?
49. Can I special order an item not found in your store/on-line store?
50. Can I demo a boat before I buy it?
51. What if I have not previous experience and want to buy my gear?
52. Do you take trade-ins if I purchase a new kayak?
53. Is the store open year-round?
54. What are the store hours?
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1. Who is Endless River Adventures? Established in 1993, Endless River Adventures is an outdoor recreation company, specializing in kayaking, rafting, fly fishing, international trips and an outfitters store.
2. Who is the typical Endless River Adventures guest? We attract anyone interested in spending time in the out of doors. Our guests tend to be more discerning. They spend more time researching their trips, expect a higher level of quality, and after time with us, consider themselves part of the Endless River Adventures family.
3. Where is Endless River Adventures located? We are located in western North Carolina, in the Nantahala Gorge. This puts us 20 minutes from Bryson City, North Carolina and 45 minutes from Murphy North Carolina.
4. Does Endless River Adventures have more than one outpost? We have purposefully chosen to coordinate all our activities from our Nantahala outpost. This allows guests the ability to enjoy time in western North Carolina without moving around for each activity. And we provide the transportation to each recreational area we use—taking the hassle out of vacation!
5. What does Endless River Adventures do to differentiate themselves from all the other companies? We have chosen to be a “small giant” in our industry, maintaining a smaller size to guarantee a quality service. Three words sum us up: staff, equipment and facility. We are a hand-picked group of professionals who take enormous pride in the role we play at Endless River Adventures. Each of us are cross-trained in multiple areas. You will find the same familiar faces each year as we share a long-term commitment to the company. Equipment: we were the first company in the southeast to choose to use only self-bailing rafts; and we provide complimentary wet suits and paddle jackets to make the trip more comfortable. Facility: when you pull up to Endless River Adventures you will find a clean, professional outpost and a staff that greets you with a smile and a handshake.
6. Does Endless River Adventures work with groups? Our small size allows us to provide the same service to a group as to an individual family. Our size also allows us to cater a trip to the needs of a group—whether a church group needing a meeting area, a corporate group needing a catered lunch, or a scout group needing to meet requirements for an outing.
7. Why should western North Carolina be my vacation destination? Located just outside of Bryson City, NC-- designated by Outside Magazine as one of the "Top 10 Whitewater Towns," you are not only at the epi-center of whitewater recreation, but also at the gateway to the Smokies. ABC's Good Morning America and National Geographic Adventurer named NC the "#1 Vacation with a Splash" featuring the Nantahala River. Whitewater, mountain biking, lake touring, hiking, exploring antique stores, relaxing on the porch to watch a gorgeous sunset over the mountains--there is no better place to come to rejuvenate the spirit.
8. Does Endless River Adventures offer any vacation packages? The western North Carolina area is host to any number of inns, cabins, lodges and bed & breakfast accommodations. We do outdoor recreation very well, our partners do accommodations very well. We maintain a list of preferred partners and support a number of them with special vacation packages.
9. How can I join the Endless River Adventures Team? The kind of person that joins Team Endless River Adventures is an outdoor enthusiast who has a professional attitude and appearance, good work ethic, good people and communication skills, the ability to work under minimal supervision, a commitment to being a team player; and highly motivated to excel in the job. Though job openings are infrequent, we are always looking for great prospective employees. If you are interested in being a part of our team and would like to “get your foot in the door,” please contact us for a job application and details on specific jobs available for this year.
10. Which rivers does Endless River Adventures raft? We raft the Class II-III Nantahala, the Class III-IV Ocoee River and the Class IV-IV+ Cheoah River. Having three options provides opportunities for rafting at all skill levels. We highly encourage you to enjoy more than one of our rivers! If you enjoyed your guided trip on the Nantahala, try a ducky trip or a self-guided raft; two-day Nantahala/Ocoee and Ocoee/Cheoah packages are available also.
11. How are rivers rated for difficulty? Rivers in the US are rated on an American version of the International scale of river difficulty--from Class I to Class IV. This system is not exact; rivers do not always fit easily into one category, and regional or individual interpretations may cause misunderstandings. Resource the American Whitewater International Scale of Difficulty for more specific information.
12. Why should I choose Endless River Adventures for whitewater rafting? Hands down-because of our guides. They are whitewater professionals, committed to making sure you have a great time on the river. They are the core of who we are. And the caliber of the ERA guide you will spend time with on the river is such that even on a Class IV+ river like the Cheoah River, you will not find them in need of back up guides in the raft with them. Our guides are a step above.
13. What kind of equipment do you use for whitewater rafting? We use all self-bailing rafts. Our pfd’s are Type V Coast-guard approved (pfd stands for personal flotation device, or lifejacket). On the Nantahala, we offer splash jackets, complimentary wetsuits for all ducky guests, and optional helmets. On the Ocoee and Cheoah Rivers, splash jackets, wet suits, pfd and helmets are all part of the package.
14. Are there discounts for groups? We provide discounts for groups, sepcial rates for boy scouts and girl scouts for rafting and isntruction, as well as school and camp group rates.
15. How long are the rafting trips? The Nanatahala is an 8-mile, four hour trip (two hours for actual river time, and additional time for check-in, orientation, shuttle and end-of-trip loose ends). We offer two options for the Ocoee River: a full-day seven hour trip (four hours of actual river time, an hour for lunch and additional time for shuttles), or a half-day trip (two hours of actual river time). The Cheoah River offers a full day eight hour trip (six hours of actual river time, an hour for lunch and additional time for shuttle) or a half-day trip.
16. Does weather affect our rafting trip? Whitewater rafting trips go rain or shine! And with complimentary splash jackets and wetsuits, a rainy day on the river is just as fun and just as wet as a sunny day!
17. Are there limitations as to who can participate on a rafting trip? Whitewater rafting is fun for the whole family! On the Nantahala River, US Forest Service regulations mandate that children must be either seven years old or weigh sixty pounds. No previous experience is needed. On the Ocoee River, children must be twelve years old. No previous experience is needed, but is recommended.On the Cheoah River children must be sixteen years old. Previous experience on Class III-IV rivers is mandatory.
18. Do I need an advance reservation? Walk-ins are welcome on the Nantahala. But we do recommend advance reservations in order to have your trip ready for you when you arrive. On the Ocoee and Cheoah Rivers, advance reservations are required.
19. Are there any cancellation fees if I book in advance? All reservations are prepaid in advance. We have a generous cancellation policy that accommodates changes that do come up. For group reservations, we are happy to work with you on payment by check, or payment by individual group members.
20. Do I have to meet at your outpost for the Ocoee River? Our Ocoee full-day trips include complimentary transportation from our Nantahala Outpost. For those who would find it more convenient to meet us at the Ocoee, we are happy to do so and provide specific directions to the Ocoee.
21. Why are there so many options trip-wise on the Nantahala? The Nantahala River has been enjoyed by folks for over thirty years. And because it is a Class II-III river, we are able to offer a number of options depending on a group’s experience. For participants who are not experienced on whitewater or those with younger children, we highly recommend a guided trip. Our guided trips are fully guided—not guide assisted. For experienced participants, self-guided trips are available, as well as ducky trips both guided and self-guided. The number of options accommodates participants of all skill levels.
22. What is the difference between a guided trip and a guide-assisted trip on the Nantahala? On a guided trip, you are guaranteed there will be a professional guide in the raft with you. With a guide-assisted trip, you may be guiding your own raft somewhere behind a guided raft, or paying extra to guarantee the guide is in your raft. Our guides make you trip more fun! They are professionals--trained to meet the requirements of the US Forest Service. Knowledgeable and pleasant, they are with you to make sure you have a memorable experience on the river.
23. Is it appropriate to tip our guide? Our guides are paid above industry standard as a reflection of their above-average experience and training. But many are working to put themselves through school or are a professional in a seasonal business; and therefore, gratuities are greatly appreciated.
24. What is Endless River Adventures’s Instruction Program? We are best known for our quality kayak instruction—specifically because of the depth of experience found in our hand-picked group of instructors. We specialize in private instruction—working with a group of between one and four paddlers with mutual goals. Some come to us to learn the basics, some to improve and move to the next level, and some with the goal of paddling Class V rivers.
25. Why should I take instruction? Whitewater kayaking is a technique sport. The better your technique, the better a boater you will be. Advancing as a kayaker involves building off of a foundation—the stronger the foundation, the better you will paddle. And if you value your time, instruction will help expedite the learning process. While learning from fellow boaters is always fun, spending time with a professional instructor guarantees that the foundation you receive will make you a better boater, faster.
26. What rivers does Endless River Adventures utilize? The rivers we use depend on the individual. For a beginning boater we will start off on the lake and then head to the Little Tennessee or Tuckasegee River in the afternoon. For more advanced instruction we use the Nantahala, Ocoee, Pigeon, Chattooga Rivers, as well as any number of rain-dependent rivers that may be available on a specific day of instruction.
27. What equipment is needed for kayaking and instruction? We provide all the gear you will need for instruction; while we do not provide a discount for those who already have their equipment, we do offer the use of any of our gear without charge. The only investment you will need to make is in a pair of nose clips!
28. What should I expect from Private Instruction versus group instruction? With private instruction, we are hands-on with you, focusing on your goals and needs. You do not have to share your time with a group of paddlers that may not have the same goals. Your instructor works at your pace. And with private instruction we have greater flexibility to work a group with varying needs/special needs.
29. Are there any discounts for instruction? With instruction, we offer a $25 discount for paddlers who can provide the transportation to carry the instructor and equipment. We will still take care of coordinating shuttles, etc. And with private instruction, with the option of up to four people in a group, the per-person rate drops.
30. What can I expect from a day of instruction? Expect a day paced around your needs. The focus is on learning as much as possible. Instruction will be hands-on and based on your learning style. You will go away having accomplished personal goals for the day, and at the same time working towards goals you have for the year.
31. Can children take kayak instruction? We are known for our work with younger kayakers! While ten years old is the ball park age, we have had kids as young as seven and as old as seventy two! And with state-of-the-art equipment designed for smaller people, kayaking is great for all ages. Our Paddle It Forward Program will help keep your kids in proper-fitting gear difficult during mutiple growth spurts.
32. What roll do you teach? We firmly believe in presenting a solid foundation when teaching the roll. There are basic tenants to any roll that are the same, regardless of the name; the set up, body position, hip snap and finish. These do not change. Our success in teaching you to roll is not by whether you “got up” but by providing you with a comfortable learning environment, and helping you build a strong foundation. This leads to a solid roll. We work to alleviate bad habits from the beginning. And we have a big bag of tricks for problem solving rolling issues.
33. Are there any options for kayaking that are not as learning-intense? Lake touring is the perfect option for those interested in a fun day on the water without the pressure of learning technique. You are in our touring boats—which are longer, more stable, and have a rudder; and spend the day on one of the beautiful lakes found here in western North Carolina.
34. Will Lake Touring be fun for my family? Imagine a day paddling about a beautiful lake, stopping for lunch alongside a creek, spotting birds and local mammals, and maybe a walk through Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest as icing-on-the-cake.
35. What kind of fish are there in the rivers? Western North Carolina rivers and streams are known for trout and small-mouth bass.
36. What should I expect from a day of fishing? Learning to cast a fly rod is the foundation behind good fly fishing. Also understanding the entimology, knots, and how to think like a fish. For new anglers, we will spend time on the basics and the art of casting. For experienced anglers, you have the choice of wet wading, oar-rigged raft, or drift boat for a day out with our guide.
37. What river would we use? One of the advantages of western North Carolina is the 230 miles of rivers and streams. The Nantahala is a stocked trout stream, the Little Tennessee a small mouth bass river, the Tuckasegee another trout river, and then the streams in and around the Smoky Mountains are all treasure chests for fishing.
38. What equipment is needed for fly fishing? The only additional item you will need is a NC fishing license with a trout stamp. There are a number of local shops that sell fishing licenses, as well as retailers such as Wal Mart anywhere in North Carolina.
39. What does Endless River Adventures do in the winter months? We travel to Costa Rica and Ecuador and host week-long paddling and biking trips.
40. Which country is better for me—Costa Rica or Ecuador? We are hard pressed to name a “favorite” between the two. Costa Rica is the perfect country for first-time international travelers and those wanting a quality week of boating amazing rivers with little hassle. Once you descend into South America, the adventure travel part of the vacation increases. Costa Rica is better known for its eco-tourism; Ecuador for the culture and the Galapagos Islands. Both share similar river itineraries as far as the variety of river available to paddle.
41. Why should I join an Endless River Adventures international trip? While traveling solo internationally is always an adventure, sometimes you want to have all the logistics taken care of for you. We have been running trips outside the country for twenty years, have a remarkable infrastructure for logistics in each country, and we know the rivers we paddle intimately. We will take care of all the logistics that might take time away from paddling.
42. Will paddling in a group limit my options? You are joining a small (maximum of seven) group of like-minded paddlers. We are careful to screen boaters for the appropriate skill level. And there is no reason to not come alone! You are joining a great group--expanding your network of paddling friends just that much more.
43. What skill level is necessary to go on an international trip? We have trip itineraries that go from Class II-III to Class IV+.
44. Do I have to bring my own kayak? We keep a fleet of boats in each of the countries we use, and work to keep those fleets updated so that you are paddling in a boat that is familiar and fun. Traveling with a kayak is not easy, and if you would like to try to bring your own boat, we will make sure you have a back up just in case.
45. Are there options available for non-paddling participants? Both Costa Rica and Ecuador are fantastic countries to spend time in both on and off the water. We are happy to help with non-paddling itineraries that shadow the paddling week, or for before or after the trip.
46. Where is the Endless River Adventures Outfitters Store located? We are located in the Nantahala Gorge, a mile upstream from Nantahala Falls. You can see our climbing wall from the river.
47. Does Endless River Adventures have an on-line store? As much as we look forward to helping you in person, we recognize that you cannot always get away; therefore our on-line store is available 24/7 for you.
48. What brands does the store feature? Our store is stocked by paddlers and staffed by paddlers ready to help you out. We feature paddling gear that we know and use personally. Featured is Wave Sport and Fluid kayaks, AT Paddles, Lightning paddles by Robson, SnapDragon spray skirts, Sweet, WRSI and Shred Ready helmets, NRS, Level Six and Stohlquist for apparel; as well as a great selection in t-shirts and off-river gear.
49. Can I special order an item not found on your store/on-line site? Absolutely! We cannot carry every item our manufacturing partners offer, but that does not mean we cannot get that "something special" for you.
50. Can I demo a boat before I buy it? We highly encourage you to demo the Wave Sport or Fluid boat you are interested in before purchasing it. We want to make sure you paddle the boat that is right for you. Our demo policy is a 2-hour complimentary demo on the Nantahala River.
51. If I don't have any experience, how do I decide on my gear? Let us help you! We are more than happy to take the time to sort through all the options available for you. And often we will encourage a day of instruction before deciding on the boat that is right for you.
52. How do I sell my used boat if I buy a new boat? Leave your old boat with us to sell on consignment on our front porch. For consignment boats, we do not take any commission. And our porch is always a good place to check for used boats. And for kids-- our Paddle It Forward program is the perfect solution for new and used kids gear.
53. Is you store open all year? We are open seven days a week! From the beginning of November through the end of February we do encourage you to call ahead of time if you are interested in something specific, as we do go to winter hours.
54. What are your store hours? We are open seven days a week, from 9AM to 5PM--or until the door is closed and the lights out. Always stop in and say hello when you are coming through the Nantahala Gorge.