Canyoneering and River Snorkeling
Canyoneering and River Snorkeling
Jump into New Adventures
Canyoneering and River Snorkeling in Transylvania County
The best part about being a basecamp for outdoor adventure is that there are always exciting new activities to try.  Brevard and Transylvania County’s mountains, waterfalls, rock faces, and clear mountain rivers and streams offer a wide variety of thrilling ways to get out there and experience the landscape from a completely new perspective. Canyoneering and river snorkeling are among the most unusual.
Canyoneering combines climbing, rappelling, walking, wading, scrambling, boulder-hopping, and sometimes even jumping into pools of water. It’s particularly well-suited to a region known for its steep rockfaces, narrow river gorges, and 250 waterfalls. It’s an exciting, sometimes challenging, way to explore hard-to-get-to places, including a few beautiful waterfalls that are off the beaten path.

The local experts at Pura Vida Adventures offer guided canyoneering experiences for adventurers from beginner to expert level, including a “Canyoneering the Games” trip that is based around “The Hunger Games” and oriented toward families (kids ages 6 and up). All trips, even at the beginners’ level, require a certain level of fitness (ability to hike four miles on a trail and climb five flights of stairs).  With the range of options available, most visitors find a canyoneering adventure that is right up their alley.

For beginners, Pura Vida recommends Gauntlet Canyon and Cove Creek Canyon, the latter of which involves plenty of splashing around for those looking to cool off on a hot summer day. These trips can be done individually or combined for a full day trip. Wet canyon trips are extremely popular, so it’s recommended that you make your plans well in advance during summer months.

Canyoneering offers thrills throughout the seasons with fall and spring trips offering spectacular long views of mountains, colorful foliage and the awesome beauty of Transylvania’s remarkable little corner of the world.
River Snorkeling
In a place known for its epic natural water features, Transylvania County’s rivers and streams are a central piece of our landscape. While paddling, tubing, wading, and fishing have long been popular ways to explore these natural resources, river snorkeling offers adventurers a chance to truly get to the bottom of what makes this place so special.

The guides at Oxbow River Snorkeling combine swimming in the French Broad River with a riverside hike, a relaxing float, and a lively discussion of local ecosystems with a freshwater biologist. The French Broad is one of the oldest rivers in the world.  As they explore this treasure, river snorkelers will find plenty of amazing things along the way, maybe even the fabled hellbender, a beloved and unique species of giant salamander.

Oxbow River Snorkeling welcomes water fans ages ten and up. Wetsuits are provided and required, and guides suggest making reservations well in advance so you can dive on into a truly unforgettable experience.
For more information and to learn about all the exciting adventures Transylvania County has to offer, visit!

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Read the previous Field Notes here

Brought to you by Transylvania County Tourism

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