Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question we haven't answered below, please contact us.

General

What Is The Cancellation Policy?

Our trips run rain or shine. Read our full cancellation policy here.

What If The Weather Is Bad?

We operate rain or shine, so please dress for the weather. We will, however, cancel trips in severe weather such as lightning, flooding or high winds. If we feel the conditions are unsafe we will cancel the trip and call you directly. If you have any questions, please refer to the Cancellation Policy, or contact us.

What About Medical or Health Conditions?

Because you will be in a wilderness setting where access to definitive care takes longer than normal and cell service is minimal, we do not recommend that folks participate if they have an existing medical condition that could require urgent care. If you need any fast-acting medications such as an EpiPen, diabetic glucose, or an asthma inhaler it is imperative that you bring them along on your trip.

Should We Tip The Guides?

Our guides are providing a professional service to you, your family, or your group. All of your guides are highly trained and depend on tips as part of their salary. A good rule of thumb is to tip your guide as you would a server in a restaurant, 15-20% of the trip, but of course any tipping is at your own discretion. Gratuity is deeply appreciated.

Should I Reserve Ahead Of Time?

YES! Especially for a guided trip, we strongly encourage making a reservation so we can have the appropriate staffing for the day. If you are planning to come between early June and mid-August we recommend making your reservation early because our peak season trips fill up quickly.

Is There A Photographer For Pictures?

Yes, so smile pretty! One of our photographers will be on the course to take your picture from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend. When you get back to the outpost after your trip, you can view your photos on the computers in the store. Photos that you purchase will be sent to you immediately via email and/or text, and can also be viewed and purchased online after you get home if you don’t have time to look after your trip.

Can I Get a Group Discount?

We offer a 10% discount to groups of 10 or more people. We also offer discounts to active military personnel and AAA members. Additionally, we offer discounts when zipline and rafting or canyoneering trips are booked together, as well as packages with other area attractions. Go to our Groups Page for more information.

Are Your Trips Suitable For Families?

Yes. Being outdoors is always a great family activity! If you have younger family members that want to participate, we recommend our climbing wall, whitewater rafting, or calm water trips. We do, however, ask that all canyoneering participants be at least 12 years of age. If you have children that are not quite 12 yet (8-10) ask about our canyoneering “tag-along” option.

Rafting

What Are The Age Requirements?

Our minimum age limit for whitewater rafting is 8 years old.

How Many People Per Boat?

Our rafts allow for 6-7 guests plus 1 guide.

Will I Fall Out Of The Raft?

Possibly! There is a chance that you may fall out of the raft. But relax and enjoy the float. Your guide will get you back in the raft as quickly as possible. BUT, before you even begin your trip and touch the water, your Trip Leader will go through a safety talk on how to brace into the raft, and what to do if you should fall in the water.

What Should I Wear When Rafting?

REQUIRED: shoes that won’t come off in the water (i.e. sandals with a strap on the back, water shoes, or old tennis shoes).

Spring and Fall – Layers, Layers, Layers!!! Complimentary wet suits (please wear swimsuits underneath) and splash gear (rain jackets and/or pants) are available for all guests as needed at no extra charge. We recommend that you wear wool or synthetic material (i.e. polyester, nylon, or dry-fit). We DO NOT RECOMMEND that you wear cotton (i.e. sweatshirts and sweatpants) or denim for your rafting trip. You may also want to wear wool or synthetic socks (i.e. SmartWool) with shoes during this time. Summer – Swimsuit with shorts and a t-shirt or tank top.

What Is A Duckie?

A duckie is an inflatable kayak made for one person. Prior experience is not required. If you would like to paddle a duckie, please request one when you make your reservation.

Is Whitewater Rafting Safe?

Like all adventure activities, whitewater rafting has inherent risk. Please keep in mind that French Broad Adventures has very experienced and professional staff. We will educate you on rafting procedures prior to your trip, and our guides will always have your safety in mind. However, French Broad Adventures does not assume liability for personal injuries. You will be asked to read and sign a waiver agreement prior to your trip. For everyone’s safety, we do not allow anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol to go on any of our trips. No refunds will be made.

Do Water Levels Impact Trip Distances?

The French Broad River is a free-flowing river and water levels fluctuate depending on rainfall. This is beyond our control. If the river is much lower or higher than normal this can potentially affect the quality and safety of your trip, so we will modify the trip distance or location as necessary. Check current water levels

Do I Need To Know How To Swim?

No. We have taken many children and adults down the French Broad River who do not know how to swim. Not only does French Broad Adventures provide top-notch safety equipment (life jacket and helmet), but our guides are all certified in CPR and first aid, and our Trip Leaders have advanced medical certifications as well as swift water rescue experience.

Ziplining

What Are The Weight Requirements

Guests must weigh between 70-250lbs. No exceptions. Guests will be discreetly weighed at check-in.

Where Does Ziplining Meet?

You will be meeting at our main outpost at 12 Good Adventures Lane Marshall, NC 28753, 30 minutes prior to your trip time. When you arrive, you will park at the bottom parking lot, you will see a large tower with a deck and climbing wall on the side. Park your vehicle and walk up the trail stairs to the check-in office, and our guides will get you oriented.

When Is French Broad Adventures Open For Ziplining?

Zipline Canopy Tour trips are available from March 1 through November 1. If you don’t see availability online just give us a call.

What Should I Wear When Ziplining?

Wear clothing that is appropriate for the weather, we suggest bringing multiple layers on colder days. As a general rule thinner and less bulky clothing is preferred as loose or thick clothing can interfere with safety equipment.

Close-toed shoes with a secure backing (so they won’t fall off your feet) ARE REQUIRED. No flip flops, sandals or any other shoe where the foot/toes are exposed.

Every participant will be wearing a full-body harness that wraps around the legs and goes over the shoulders. Although a tee shirt or tank top is totally fine, a shirt with a collar may be more comfortable as it offers some protection from the possibility of the shoulder straps rubbing on your neck. Longer shorts or light pants are recommended, and we suggest guests refrain from wearing short shorts, as they tend to bunch up in the harness leg straps.

What If I’m Afraid Of Heights?

If you are intensely afraid of heights a zipline trip may not be for you. However, if you are just “a little hesitant” in high places you may be pleasantly surprised at how much fun you’ll have. Many people say that they feel so secure on the course that they are able to overcome their fears. You will be in a full-body harness attached to a safety system at all times. Zipping is more about moving laterally from tree-to-tree, with only a very gradual decline in height, and lots of beautiful scenery to make you smile along the way.

Is Ziplining Safe?

While no one can guarantee you anything, safety is of the utmost importance to us at French Broad Adventures. Our course is inspected by professional vendor members (PVM) of the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) to assure that it consistently meets ACCT Standards for Design, Performance and Inspection for zipline canopy tours. Our operational safety procedures are also reviewed by a PVM to meet ACCT's Operation Standards, and we were the very first company in the world to attain ACCT Operation Accreditation status. The Owner/Operators and Managers of French Broad Adventures have a wide breadth of knowledge, training, and numerous relevant certifications that qualify them to operate a zipline canopy tour. Your guides have extensive initial and ongoing training, and will be there every step of the way to be certain that your trip runs smoothly, so relax and have fun!

For more information, visit our Safety & Accreditation page.

Canyoneering

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 our new outpost in the River Arts District of Asheville (191 Lyman St, Unit 320), 30 minutes prior to your trip time. The Riverview Station building is a red brick building that has multiple studios and shops. Our office is on the far left side (as you look at it from Lyman St.) of the building, next to Art Garden. There is a small courtyard, and a large metal, green stairwell up to our front door.

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.

Everyone In My Group Wants To Go, But I’m Afraid Of Heights. Can I Tag Along?

We understand that canyoneering isn’t for everyone. If you have (at least two) family members or friends that are booking a trip with us, please feel free to ask if there is room on the trip for you. For a discounted price, you can come with us and skip the rappelling. This will give you a great opportunity to be the “designated picture taker” for your group – an important job indeed. You’ll still need to meet the basic physical requirements of the trip (minus the physical qualifications like harness fit) because you will be hiking trails with us, boulder-hopping, and maybe even swimming in the river if you want! And you’ll essentially be getting a guided trip to one of the area’s best waterfalls. How awesome is that? Adults are welcome, any children under the age of 14 that are “tagging along” will need to be accompanied by an adult though. Please call our office for more details and to check availability.

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.

Climbing

What should I wear Climbing?

Wear clothing that is appropriate for the weather, we suggest bringing multiple layers on colder days. As a general rule thinner and less bulky clothing is preferred as loose or thick clothing can interfere with safety equipment. Close-toed shoes with a secure backing (so they won’t fall off your feet) ARE REQUIRED.

Every participant will be wearing a full-body harness that wraps around the legs and goes over the shoulders. Although a tee shirt or tank top is totally fine, a shirt with a collar may be more comfortable as it offers some protection from the possibility of the shoulder straps rubbing on your neck. Longer shorts or light pants are recommended, and we suggest guests refrain from wearing short shorts, as they tend to bunch up in the harness leg straps.

How many routes are there?

A total of 2 belay stations and 4 main routes.

How long can I climb?

1 hour/ or all day. The rate is the same.

Is Climbing Open Daily?

Climbing is only available upon request/reservation. We need prior notice to have staff available.

Do I Need A Reservation?

Yes. Please contact us for a reservation.

Where Do I Meet For Climbing?

Zipline Tower Check-in - 12 Good Adventures Lane Marshall, NC 28753

COURSES

What Classes are offered?

We hold Private/personal and Professional Instruction in Whitewater rafting, Oar boating, Swiftwater Rescue and Ziplining. Please contact us for the current courses.

Certifications: All private rafting courses offer ACA certifications upon completion. Professional / Commercial Whitewater Training will meet or exceed ACA certification and Zipline guide training will allow the guide to sit for the ACCT certification.

Where Do I Meet For Instruction Courses?

Our Marshall Outpost, 12 good Adventures Lane Marshall, NC 28753