Canyoneering

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Man rapelling down cliff

Canyoneering is an adventure sport that plunges you into the remote mountain wilderness, venturing where few tourists or locals dare to go. Delve into the concealed canyons nestled within Pisgah National Forest and the Grandfather Ranger District of Western North Carolina, navigating a mix of hiking, boulder-hopping, and waterfall rappelling. Embrace the serenity of the canyons, where sparse cell service grants respite from the daily hustle and bustle.

Available Canyoneering Trips


Person rappelling a waterfall during a canyoneering trip in Asheville, NC.default trip image with fba logo
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Canyoneering Expedition

141.00
4-6 Hours
Moderate
Young woman rappelling down waterfalldefault trip image with fba logo
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24.00
/pp

Ridges & Waterfalls

Ziplining + Full-Day Canyoneering

216.00
2 Days
Moderate
Woman at top of waterfall ready to repel down canyondefault trip image with fba logo
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20.60
/pp

Whitewater & Waterfalls

Half-Day Rafting + Full-Day Canyoneering

185.40
2 Days
Moderate
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21.60
/pp

Whitewater & Waterfalls Plus

Half-Day Rafting (w/ Lunch) + Full-Day Canyoneering

194.40
2 Days
Moderate
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23.70
/pp

Whitewater & Waterfalls Expedition

Full-Day Rafting (w/ Lunch) + Full-Day Canyoneering

213.30
2 Days
Moderate

Conquer the Canyon

No prior outdoor experience? No problem! You don't need it to rappel down ancient waterfalls or plunge into mountain rivers. Our seasoned canyoneering guides will teach you the ropes (literally), ensuring you can confidently navigate the stunning and thrilling land formations of Western North Carolina.

What is Canyoneering?

Canyoneering, also known as canyoning, is an adventure sport that combines hiking, boulder-hopping, and waterfall rappelling in order to traverse down a canyon. Think of it as nature’s obstacle course.

Where will we go?

Trips meet at our outpost in the beautiful River Arts District of Asheville, NC. From there, we’ll travel about 40 miles southwest to the wild and rugged Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC. Pisgah National Forest is the birthplace of forestry and remains one of the most sought after trail systems for lots of outdoor adventures, including canyoneering.

FAQs

Will I Get Wet While Canyoneering?

Yes, so dress accordingly and bring a towel and change of clothes for after your trip. We will be rappelling through, or adjacent to, waterfalls, so you will spend time in the “spray zone”. Additionally, you may be wading through pools in the creek and may also have the option to swim, slide and jump in, so expect to be wet.

Where Does Canyoneering Meet?

You will be meeting your Canyoneering Guides at 284 Lyman St. Asheville, NC 28801 (Hi-Wire Brewery - RAD) look for our white transit van with the French Broad Adventures logo.

When Is French Broad Adventures Open For Canyoneering?

Canyoneering trips are available from March through October, with a minimum of two people. If you don’t see availability online just give us a call.

What Should I Wear for Canyoneering?

We recommend that you wear loose, comfortable clothing that is not bulky (because you will be wearing a harness). Multiple, thinner layers are preferable, as weather conditions can change rapidly throughout the day. You will have some opportunities to add or subtract layers if needed, so plan to carry them with you in your pack (we will provide you with a small backpack). You may also wish to bring a light rain shell, especially if there is rain in the forecast. We don’t require pants, but if you choose to wear shorts we recommend they be a longer style so they don’t get bunched up in your harness.

Clothing, please try to avoid wearing cotton or denim as these fabrics do not breathe or dry well; choose wool or synthetic materials (such as polyester, dry-fit or wicking materials) instead.

Water shoes, we provide footwear for optimal traction on slick rocks. We believe the only shoes you’ll ever want to wear canyoneering are from the local brand, Astral, based right here in Asheville. We are so convinced these are the best performance water shoes for outdoor activity, we are going to provide them for you (for use not, forever)! If you want purchase your own shoes and bring them with you, we recommend the Astral Brewer 2.0, as that is what we use. Bring socks and just let us know what size shoe you wear when you get here.

What Canyon Will We Go To?

Safety is something we take very seriously, and we support the Forest Service Waterfall Safety Initiative. In an effort to dissuade unsafe copycat behavior from the general public, we do not publicly disclose the location of the canyons and waterfalls we use. We now have multiple canyon locations to choose from, and we are VERY excited about this. For any given canyoneering trip day we will monitor weather, check river gauges, and factor in other accessibility issues – and then pick the “best trip of the day” for your canyoneering adventure.

If you have been canyoneering with us already and want to check out something new, just ask! We’ll see if we can get you to a different spot.

Is Canyoneering Safe?

While any outdoor activity has inherent risk, at French Broad Adventures our top priority is always reducing and mitigating any risks. Our company has been a leading outdoor adventure provider for over 40 years now, and we bring that collective experience to canyoneering. In addition to their varied backgrounds in climbing, rigging, and rope access technology, all of our guides have extensive training based on the ACA (American Canyoneering Association) curriculum. Also, your Guides have advanced training in first aid, so you can rest (play!) easy knowing you will always have a Guide on your trip with a minimum of a WFR (Wilderness First Responder) Certification. Please don’t forget – you are responsible for your own safety too. Listen carefully to safety briefings and always follow your Guide’s instructions – because a safe trip is a fun trip!

I Can’t Swim. Can I Go Canyoneering?

Though swimming is not required on the trip, canyons on the East Coast are often blessed with more water than their desert Southwest counterparts. Therefore we do not suggest that those with an intense fear or aversion to swimming go on a canyoneering trip.Being able to rappel down canyons with waterfalls is part of what makes this trip so spectacular. It is possible that the that there will be opportunities to swim and slide down wet rocks and generally play around in the creek.

I Am Terrified Of Heights. Should I Go Canyoneering?

Put simply, no. A healthy respect for heights is welcome, and we can work with someone who is working on “getting more comfortable” at height, but if you have an intense fear of heights this is not the trip for you.

Do I Need To Have Previous Canyoneering Or Rappelling Experience?

Not necessarily, but familiarity with climbing, ropes, or rappelling (even if it was at a camp, climbing gym, or challenge course) may help you feel more comfortable with the activity.First-timers with a sense of adventure are always welcome, and of course, your Guides will give you a demonstration and safety briefing prior to the start of your canyoneering trip and will assist you throughout the day if you have any questions.

Do I Need To Be In Good Physical Shape To Go Canyoneering?

Yes. Time in the canyon averages between 3-4 hours depending on the size of your group and the canyon location. You will be outdoors on steep, boulder-strewn, and potentially slick terrain (what fun would a waterfall be without water?). A good indicator that you are physically fit enough for canyoneering is that you can comfortably walk 3 miles on semi-steep and/or uneven trails carrying a light pack, comfortably hike on uphill and downhill slopes, can climb or descend 5 flights of stairs, and can climb a ladder with ease.

Can I Wear Glasses Or A Hat While Canyoneering?

If you need prescription glasses or contact lenses, please wear them. Sunglasses are also a nice item on a sunny day. We do suggest that you have a strap for your glasses though, as they can fall off and get lost easily. You are also welcome to wear a hat for sun protection, just make sure it is low-profile enough to fit under a helmet. Light knit hats and baseball caps are usually fine, but things like bulky winter caps and wide-brimmed sun hats/visors can be a little difficult to fit under your helmet comfortably.

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What a great time.. the guides are hilarious and made me (a first timer) feel safe in their capable hands.. going back and bringing the kids.

Tatiana Garcia - Hettinga

We just finished our trip and it was excellent. We have gone numerous places throughout the US and this is the top by far! We had A.J. and Shawn as our guides and they did a great job. Very friendly, knowledgeable, and overall great guys. The facilities were nice, clean, organized, everyone was friendly and helpful, and there were no complaints whatsoever. Would highly recommend and will definitely be coming back!

Matt Hamel

Amazing time our family enjoyed it so much!!!!! Tom was the best guide ever!!!!!! We will definitely be doing it again soon!!!!! The pictures they took of our family were the best. The ladies in the gift shop were so nice and friendly.

Pamela Burnette Fannin

Went on Canyoneering trip on June 3. Guides were knowledgable and made the trip fun. Would definitely recommend this trip.

Tim Pickett

We used this company 22 years ago for our honeymoon. They were fantastic... so much so we will be returning with our 3 kids this summer!!

Laurie Beth Chris Keller