International Air Travel
The Nantahala Gorge is located within 180 miles of six airports, including two international airports. Check with each airline regarding the ability to fly with oversized baggage.
• Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) 160 miles
• Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT) 180 miles
• Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) 130 miles
• Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA) 120 miles
• Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) 80 miles
• Knoxville Regional Airport (TYS) 80 miles
Renting a car is the recommended method of travel in Western North Carolina. Because this is a rural area with little public transportation, athletes will need their own transportation to have the best possible experience during their stay in the United States. Car rental is available at all major airports. Please contact your arrival airport for more car rental information. When contacting your arrival airport, specify your need for a car with a roof/ski rack or pickup truck to carry your boats.
Nantahala Outdoor Center – Physical Address
The Nantahala Gorge is serviced by major highways from all directions including I-81 from the North, I-40 from the East and West, and I-26 and I-85 from the South. Despite the Nantahala’s rural location, finding it is easy because the Gorge contains US Highway 19/74 – the primary connection between Asheville and Chattanooga.
From Charlotte, NC – 3 hours
Drivers take I-85 South to US 74, and remain on US 74 the rest of the way.
From Knoxville, TN – 2 hours
Almost the entire drive is on US 129, a two-lane highway skirting the western boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
From Asheville, NC – 1.5 hours –Take I-40 West towards Knoxville, TN. Take exit 27 onto US 74 West towards Waynesville. Stay on 74 West, the outpost is 50 miles down this road. 8 miles past Bryson City, the 4-lane will split into two, 2-lane roads. Stay on 74, the left lane. You will enter the Nantahala Gorge and after 4.3 miles you see the Nantahala River and NOC’s Nantahala Outpost.
From East Atlanta – 3 hours – Take I-85 North to I-985 North. At Gainesville, take 365 North to 441 North. Just past Dillsboro, NC, 441 merges with US 74. 8 miles past Bryson City, the 4-lane splits into two, 2-lane roads. Stay on 74, the left lane. Continue 4.3 miles and arrive at the NOC Nantahala Outpost.
From West Atlanta – 2.5 hours –Take I-75 North to I-575 North. I-575 becomes State Hwy 5, and then Hwy 76. Stay on this road until Blue Ridge, GA where you turn left onto Hwy 60 towards Mineral Bluff, GA. In Mineral Bluff, turn right onto Hwy 60 Spur. Follow it into North Carolina to US 74 East, turning right towards Murphy and Andrews when the road ends. Stay on 74 East, NOC’s Nantahala Outpost is 20 miles past Andrews. You will follow the Nantahala River for the last 8 miles.
From Chattanooga, TN – 2.5 hours –Take I-75 North towards Cleveland, TN. Take the 1st Cleveland exit, the US 64 Bypass Exit. Go 6 miles and take the Ocoee Exit onto US 64 East towards Murphy, NC. In Murphy, the road number changes to US 74. Stay on 74 East, NOC’s Nantahala Outpost is 20 miles past Andrews. You will follow the Nantahala River for the last 8 miles.
The Nantahala Outdoor Center will host an Athlete Village on-site to best accommodate athletes, coaches, and teams. The Athlete Village is the closest lodging to the Race Course, athlete meal plan, on-site restaurants, and entertainment, with no driving needed to get around. With a variety of accommodations available, our Athlete Village is the perfect place for competitors and their teams. To reserve athlete, coach, or team lodging on the Nantahala Outdoor Center’s campus, please contact us. Please note, teams must bring their own bedding, pillow, and towel when staying at the Athlete Village.
If you are a VIP, dignitary, or official: to reserve lodging, please contact us here.
The Nantahala Gorge and larger Bryson City area offer plentiful lodging – luxurious mountain cabins, inns, simple hostels, and campgrounds.
Nantahala Gorge (up to 5 miles away)
For more options on where to stay while at the Wildwater World Championships, please visit https://www.greatsmokies.com/lodging/
Meals & Dining
NOC has four establishments on-site that will serve food/meals every day of the event. This includes:
- River’s End Restaurant – a sit-down, family-style venue
- Big Wesser Riverside Bar – tacos and other Tex-Mex foods with a full-service bar
- Relia’s – athlete meal plan
- The General Store – snacks and grab-n-go sandwiches.
Athlete Meal Plan
This plan will consist of buffet-style meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These meals will consider the diets of competitive athletes and will provide at least one vegetarian option.
Cost: $21/day, plus taxes. This includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Offered April 22nd-30th, 2020. Buy your athlete meal plan here.
A La Carte Plan
Athletes and coaches may purchase items from any of our establishments with a 10% discount during their stay.
Accommodation and Meal Plan Payment
To pay for Accommodation in the Athlete Village or in one of the Nantahala Outdoor Center’s onsite cabins, or to pay for Athlete Meal Plan, please complete a wire transfer following these instructions (different for domestic and international senders). Please do not send ICF Registration payments to this account.