By Nathan Ham
High Mountain Expeditions is all set to open its 34th season this Saturday and will be taking all the necessary safety precautions during this time of public gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the High Mountain Expeditions website, you will notice a thorough safety guide of steps and precautions and even a mission statement that says: “High Mountain Expedition is excited to begin the 2020 season! As we all navigate the new realities of the Coronavirus, our accepted practices, policies and procedures will constantly evolve. High Mountain Expeditions is taking it slow, respecting each other and our customers, and we ask you to do the same. If we all work together to reduce transmission, we will reduce the risks to ourselves and to others. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our procedures. We look forward to seeing you on the river!”
“We have gone through our whole operation from start to finish and come up with what we feel are realistic guidelines,” says owner Bill Leonard. “Staff members will be wearing facemasks and gloves, we have hand sanitizer in every bus and facemasks will be provided at no cost to all customers.”
In addition to those safety measures, Leonard said that the number of customers per boat has been reduced and family groups can have their own boats depending on how big the group is.
“We discussed this with other rafting outfitters and exchanged ideas and came up with a plan that I think will keep the fun and enjoyment in our trips as well as keep our staff and customers safe,” Leonard said.
River tubing, kayaking and canoeing will all be available on the New River. Half-day river rafting trips on the Watauga River and more intense whitewater rafting adventures on the Nolichucky River will all be taking place as anticipated this summer. High Mountain Expeditions will be open seven days a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Tubing is only $20 and makes for a perfect day trip for those interested in wanting to spend a beautiful day outdoors but may not feel comfortable staying overnight in a hotel somewhere. With all of the rain that the High Country has had over the last few days, the rivers will have plenty of water to float downstream.
For now, caving adventures will not be scheduled until further notice.
Customers are asked to wear face coverings, wash their hands regularly and may even use their own transportation to get to the water if they do not want to ride the buses. Customers can complete waiver forms and pay for their trips online.
“We are going to be taking care of all these precautions and the customers don’t have to worry about it,” Leonard said. “We feel encouraged that we are going to have a good and busy summer.”
Visit https://highmountainexpeditions.com/adventures/ to decide what perfect river adventure best suits you and your family.
Nolichucky River Rafting
Adventure seekers will paddle the Nolichucky River Gorge starting in North Carolina and finishing in Tennessee. Some of the biggest waves and best whitewater in the Southeast are found on this section of the Nolichucky River.
Watauga River Rafting
The Watauga River winds its way through a remarkable wilderness of dramatic cliffs, twisted mountains, hidden waterfalls and breathtaking pastoral scenery. This 1/2 day rafting adventure down the Watauga River provides some of the best family river rafting in America.
Wilson Creek River Rafting
Whitewater rafting on the Wilson Creek offers classic North Carolina whitewater rafting at its best. The Wilson Creek is steep in scenic wonders and history with crisp, clear, refreshing water flowing over gigantic granite boulders that creates the perfect backdrop for this action packed adventure.
New River Tubing Adventure
New River Tubing is the perfect way to relax on a hot summer afternoon. The New River is one of the oldest and most prestigious rivers in world. High Mountain Expeditions offers the unique opportunity to float this pure, clear, free flowing river. Water temperatures are inviting and offer relief form the hot summer sun. The depth of the water ranges from 2 feet to as deep as 8 feet making the New River the perfect River Tubing trip for all members of the family. High Mountain Expeditions offers custom hard bottom tubes that allow you to navigate the New River precisely and comfortably. We also offer custom cooler tubes. High Mountain Expeditions New River Tubing outpost is conveniently located only minutes from Boone, North Carolina. Before setting off on your tubing adventure a guide will orientate you on river safety and how to best maneuver your tube.
New River Canoe And Kayak Rentals
The ancient New River really seems to have it all: gorgeous Appalachian river gorge scenery, easy floating on this gentle section of the New, and warm, clear waters that practically beg you to jump in to cool off in the summer time. The New River is one of the oldest rivers in world. It flows north, from its headwaters in North Carolina downstream into West Virginia and beyond. High Mountain Expeditions offers the unique opportunity to paddle this pure, clear, free flowing river. Water temperatures are inviting and offer relief from the hot summer sun.