Our 2 1/2 -3 hour shared tours are $85 per-person. Special Guided Hikes are $200/person. Private tour pricing is described on each private tour. A 3% service fee and 3% USDA forest-use fee are added to the tour purchase total during final checkout.
What is your cancellation policy?
We are located in a temperate rainforest with over 200 rain days and over 100 inches of rain per year, so tours do go out rain or shine. In the event you have to cancel your tour you will be given a full refund, as long as you call 864 373 4022 at least 5 days in advance from the time of your tour. No refunds are given within 5 days or less of the tour date and time. If you are unable to make it to your tour on the day selected due to an unforeseeable event please contact us so that we may reschedule your tour. Any tours canceled by Highland Excursion, for any reason will receive a 100% refund.
What is a Pinzgauer?
Also known as a Mountain Horse, the Pinzgauer is a rugged, open-air vehicle used for backcountry transportation. We offer tours on the Pinzgauer or in a Mercedes G-Wagon depending on the number of guests or other factors like vehicle availability. While these vehicles are unique and add to the enjoyable experience for many people, they are not especially suited for some disabled people or those who have an issue with their physical mobility. Our goal is to keep our customers as comfortable as possible while providing them with enjoyable tour experiences. Please contact us with any questions.
What locations does the tour visit?
We are an authorized and insured Federal permitted Outfitter/Guide service. Our tours vary depending on local road conditions, weather, tour length and guests physical ability, but we frequent the following locations: Highlands Town, Sunset Rock, Sunrise Rock, The Giant Poplar tree, Secret Falls, Blue Valley, Brooks Falls, Picklesimer Rock House, White Water Falls, Granite City, Slick Rock, Silver Run, Horse Pasture River, Chattooga River, Cullasaja Gorge, Sliding Rock, Horse Cove, Whiteside Cove, Whiteside Mountain, Gorges State Park, Nantahala National Forest and Panthertown National Forest.
Can we bring an infant or toddler car seat?
The Pinzgauer and Mercedes G-Wagon tour vehicles are not suited for an infant/toddler car seat.
Do you allow dogs on tours?
We welcome dogs to come along on our private tours. Dogs should be kept on a leash for activities outside of the tour vehicle. Guest can invite “Aussie”, our Mountain Guide dog on their tours as well–just type “Bring Aussie” in the note section. Aussie is great with people and kids and helps keep children entertained on the tour. You can meet Aussie on our Tour Information page.
Do you offer special pricing for groups?
We do offer special pricing for large groups during certain times of the year and depending on how busy our schedule is. You may contact us with any inquiries.
Do you provide food or special catering?
Private tour groups may bring your own picnic or request a catered picnic lunch on our private deck. We will be happy to discuss the options with you. Please contact us with any inquiries.
Should I tip the guide, if so how much?
It is customary to tip the guide. Gratuity is based on individual preference but we suggest 15 to 25%, which is the industry standard. You may tip the guide in cash or have it added to your credit card.
Are there any prohibited items that I should not bring on the tour?
For the comfort of all guests, items prohibited include, but are not limited to, *firearms, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, drones, glass containers, alcohol, coolers, professional video equipment, illegal substances, guns, weapons of any kind, or cremated remains.
*If you have a concealed weapons permit you may carry your handgun concealed. Make sure it is unloaded and safe. Federal US Forest Service firearms restrictions apply.
Will there be other people on the tour?
Although our tours are intimate due to vehicle size (max of 6-8 people), there will likely be other guests on the tour shared tours.
What should I expect from my guide?
A fun, safe and educational experience! Our guides are extensively trained in the flora, fauna, geology and history of the area. They are CPR certified, Off Road Driver Safety trained, and Wilderness First Responders. They will conduct their tour professionally while educating you on the area all while having a fun and entertaining time.
What is the minimum age for children?
4 years old
Can people with physical disabilities take the tour?
For the safety of our passengers, all guests must have upper body strength with the ability to hold themselves up during the tour. Guests are responsible for getting themselves in and out of our vehicles for their tour. There are 2 full steps to climb in and out of the vehicles. Vehicles are not wheel chair accessible.
Do tours require walking or hiking?
Most of our Shared tours do not require hiking, although they do have picture stops where you will be getting out of the vehicle and doing short walks on uneven terrain.
If you are interested in hiking specifically, consider a half or full day private tour tand let us know which tour you are interested in:
Secret Falls Tour… is 2 mile walk through the Rain Forest to a beautiful 40 foot waterfall.
Whiteside Mountain Tour… is 2 mile hike over a narrow steep mountain trail with amazing views.
Chattooga River Hiking is a 7 mile half day hike following the river downstream from Whiteside Cove too the Iron Bridge on Bull Pen Rd.
Panthertown Big Green Mountain Hike.
Can I reserve a private tour?
Yes, as long as you purchase all available seats (book a private tour and save 10%) on your tour vehicle, which is 8 seats. Also remember to bring a 20% gratuity on all seats for the guide. See book a Private Tour.
How can inclement weather effect my tour?
Our tours operate rain or shine. Rainfall is generally very short lived, and may offer the chance for you to see rainbows or waterfalls over our famous mountains. We do carry rain ponchos and umbrellas on the vehicles in case of inclement weather. In the case of extreme weather, Highland Excursion and/or the US National Forest Service reserves the right to modify, shorten or cancel any tour to prevent damage to trails or avoid unsafe conditions.
How much sun exposure will I get on my tour?
Our trucks have canopies that offer some relief from sun exposure. We recommend wearing a hat and sunscreen a bottle of water will be provided.
Do you have A/C or heat in your vehicles?
For tours conducted in our open air vehicles, there is no air conditioning in these vehicles. On cold days we do have a basic heater. Vehicles are equipped with canopies to shield you from the sun and we provide blankets during colder weather.
Do you sell gift cards?
Yes, gift cards can be purchased on our website or you contact our friendly customer service team for a purchase over the phone.