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“Best Day Ever”

High Mountain Expeditions
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Welcome to High Mountain Expeditions. We are located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with two locations to serve you in Boone and Banner Elk, North Carolina. High Mountain Expeditions offers outdoor activities, such as whitewater rafting, caving, and hiking for every member of your group or family.The team at High Mountain Expeditions invites you to join us in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains on one of our many outdoor adventures.
Reviewed 13 August 2013 via mobile

So my husband wanted to go white water rafting on a more adventurous river this trip, we had already done the Watuga, and I thought it was great, but he wanted more excitement. 18 years ago he took his oldest daughter with HME and they both still rave about the Nolichucky. I was a little hesitant, more like scared to death! We arrived and got on the bus, stopped for a little breakfast and continued to our river drop off. Erika was to be our guide, and now that it is over, I would ride ANY river with her!!! My heart was pounding as we entered the first rapid, my hands clenched on a death grip on my paddle, I was concentrating so hard on her instructions, it was great! I looked over at my family, huge smiles and laughter at the cold water splashing over them. One rapid after another, Erika guided us through safely and efficiently and made the best of every rapid. My girls rode the "bull" which means to straddle the front of the raft, 9,10 and 13 got the ride of their lives over "big eddy" and we got to "surf" , I relaxed and really started to take in every moment. If you want a great family experience, one that 20 years from now, everyone will still talk about, then HME and the Nolichucky is the one, and if your lucky Erika will be your guide!

Thank blueskiescd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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161 - 165 of 223 reviews

Reviewed 9 August 2013

Our group of 5 (ranging from ages 16 to 46) enjoyed the rafting and our enthusiastic river guides. The 2 guides made the trip all about us, we got to choose when we ate lunch and where, and when we asked to go on a short hike in the morning after camping they lead us to a great view. The actual camping site we rafted to was beautiful our only complaint was the train passed by quite loudly while we slept. The food was delicious, we had fajitas, s'mores and pineapple. Over all it was a great trip thanks to Erica and Parker.

Thank Jeff T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2013

My family of 7 (60s parents, 40s wife and sister and me, kids in their early teens) spent the week in Banner Elk, and did 3 separate excursions with High Mountain.

Watauga River Rafting: This is a good warm up for the real rafting trip on the Nolichucky. Mostly, it's floating/bumping down the river, with a 12-ft rock you can climb/jump off of, water guns to shoot at other boats, and VERY cold water. The water of the Watauga comes from the bottom of the dam-created lake, and it's about 50 deg. This is a very fun day, but not much on the excitement scale. They feed you first with cold cuts, bread, and fruit... not the best catering, really, and about the only down tick for the week. Oh, they take pictures on this trip, and the disc is worth it if you have a decent-sized group that would buy pictures anyway. Physical rating: 2/10

Nolichucky River Rafting: This is what you're looking for as far as rafting goes. Quite a long day of rafting through several stage 3s, a couple stage 4s, and a few stage 2 rapids. You will be feeling this the next day. If you like rafting, this is a great trip. If you're new to it, I'd try the Watauga first, as a warmup and to learn how to stroke, etc. If you don't know what an adductor muscle is... you will. Again, they feed you the deli lunch (which they have to bring on the boats, so it's more understandable). I'll talk about the guides later. This was the highlight of the week for me. Physical rating: 7/10

Worley Cave exploring: This is an unusual trip my wife found out about. You drive out to the cave, then spend 3-4 hours walking/climbing/crawling through a living cave. There are several fairly tight crawl-ways, all of which can be bypassed by more open, yet not easier trails. I suggest doing the crawl-ways if you can fit (only 1 is really tight). My mother of 64 with a 2-yr-old hip replacement did fine, if a little slower than she liked. You'll see some great water-sediment structures (stalag-, stalact- and full columns/walls). We even saw a bat! Physical rating; 6/10

Note, each excursion included at least an hour in a school bus. I'm 6'0", and I was fairly cramped riding around, especially after the rafting when I got very stiff. Bring some Ibuprofen or something to take for the trip home.

The guides are what make these trips special. These guys really know the area (or enough to fool us), and on the water/in the cave they're very competent and helpful. Be sure to let them know how good a job they did ($).

All in all, High Mountain's summer excursions are a great way to spend a week. The food is nothing to write home about (I was hoping for some BBQ, but there's some of that around), but everything else was very fun and exactly as advertised.

3  Thank Bill J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2013

The morning temp. was brisk & cool. We were initially concerned that the air temperature and the water temperature would be to cold for everyone. The twisting & turning transport ride on the short bus was almost as hair raising as the level 3 & 4's white water river ride that we encountered. It was so much fun and great sandwich type lunch that was provide. Thanks for the memories.

1  Thank Medic-At-Large14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2013

This could have been just an average trip down a river with class I-III rapids. But the tour guides from the High Mountain Expeditions made it fun, exciting, and above all, memorable. From the bus ride of jokes to water fights in the lazy parts of the river, we were smiling and laughing the whole time. They were both helpful and personable. If you decide to take any adventure (caves, skiing, rafting, tubing, etc.) around this area, you MUST go with High Mountain Expeditions. Whether as a couple (like we did) or as a family with children of all ages (as many others did), this is an adventure you don't want to take with any other companyt!!

Thank Timothy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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