Smoky Mountain Ziplines: Blaze through the Nantahala Gorge

As we breeze through yet another radiant summer here in the Great Smoky Mountains, it’s impossible not to daydream about ziplining through the dense, rolling Nantahala National Forest. Most thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts who visit this sprawling, undeniably beautiful landscape love fishing, hiking, and whitewater rafting. That being said, the region’s Smoky Mountain ziplines continue to rise in popularity, particularly during summer’s hearth and autumn’s peak. 

The Top 3 Smoky Mountain Ziplines

There are three exhilarating courses near Bryson City, home to Great Smokys Cabin Rentals. We provide a wide selection of Smoky Mountain cabins in Bryson City, Almond, Whittier, and Sylva, so you’ll always be a short drive from heart-pounding, mid-air action! Without further ado, here are three of the most enthralling (and scenic) Smoky Mountain ziplines. Helpful tip: Instead of searching for “zipline tours near me” this summer, simply bookmark this page for future use.

Nantahala Outdoor Center

The Nantahala Outdoor Center remains one of North America’s premier adventure-based destinations, primarily because thrill-seekers can experience some of the wildest whitewater rafting and ziplining in one fell swoop. In fact, the one-day Adventure Pass includes rafting, ziplining, mountain biking, and paddleboarding. The half-day mountaintop tour soars above the National Forest, where panoramic views of Fontana Lake and the Nantahala River Gorge are obtained. A pulse-pounding half-mile zip caps off the trip. Buckle up for the thrill ride of a lifetime! For those less interested in the widespread beauty, the shriek-inducing moonlight tour is quite a spectacle as the stars, various light displays, and moon provide guidance.

Wildwater’s Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours

Wildwater’s kid-friendly Smoky Mountain ziplines were the first of their kind in the Nantahala National Forest. Recent alterations allow children as young as eight years old to partake in the non-stop thrills. Wildwater is just up the road from the Nantahala Outdoor Center, so the valley views are quite similar. However, Wildwater’s 11-zip course provides views of Clingman’s Dome and even a few waterfalls, as well as Fontana Lake itself. Young ones, in particular, relish the time spent on the seven sky bridges.

RidgeRunner Ziplines

RidgeRunner doesn’t gain a ton of accolades because it’s located near the sleepy town of Andrews, approximately 17 miles south of the Nantahala Outdoor Center. In a typical year, there’s ample availability, even on weekends. This allows walk-in appointments and more one-on-one time with the charismatic guides. The mountains near Andrews are as “smoky” as they come, which is a nice bonus. Note: RidgeRunner is closed for the 2020 season.

Luxurious Cabins near Bryson City, NC

After three to four hours on the best zipline in the Smoky Mountains, retreat to one of our luxurious, pet-friendly cabins in North Carolina’s most beloved national forest. When you’re not on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, chasing waterfalls, or fly fishing, take full advantage of the various amenities inside or near your luxury cabin rental. Most of our Bryson City cabin rentals feature an outdoor hot tub, fire pit, wraparound deck (with jaw-dropping mountain vistas), Wi-Fi, fireplace, ample square footage, and private acreage. The time to book a long-awaited late-summer or autumn escape into the glorious Smoky Mountains is right now as availability will likely dry up as the calendar flips to August. Please browse through our inventory at (or call us today at 800-655-9771).