This trip allows guests to run the world-class Upper Gauley River without spending their entire day on the water.
The Upper Gauley Express still hits the big thrills of Pillow Rock and Sweet’s Falls. This is a great half-day excursion that will give you an adrenaline rush even if you are pressed for time. Lunch is included on this trip.
Gauley Season, taking place in September and October, draws whitewater enthusiasts from across the globe. Over the course of six weeks, water levels ideal for rafting are released from Summersville Lake to provide thrilling whitewater opportunities on a set release schedule.
Minimum Age: 15
Upper Gauley River FAQs
About the Gauley River
The Gauley is characterized by multiple heavy rapids, requiring tight, technical maneuvering. It is 24 miles long, but is often split into two main sections—the Upper and Lower Gauley.
About the Upper Gauley River
The Upper Gauley is the cream of the whitewater crop. It is intimidating, and for good reason. This section of the river packs quite a punch, and may be the most high-adventure trip that most rafters will ever attempt. You can expect an adventure you will never forget with one of our experienced guides.
Gauley River Rapid Classifications
On class III-IV and harder trips, a guide sits in every raft and provides instruction at each major rapid and throughout the trip.
Our standard rafts are 16 feet long, comfortably seating 8 guests and a guide. Upgrades to high-adventure smaller rafts are available for experienced rafters for an additional fee.
Though express, it’s still mostly a full-day activity. Depending on the water level, you will be spending between 2-3 hours in the water, plus shuttle time to and from the river. If pairing with another activity, schedule the second activity after 2 pm.
We provide transportation from our resort to the river and back again, all rafting equipment (helmet, life jacket, paddle and boat) and a complimentary beverage.
What to Bring
Bring any medication you need throughout the day, plus sunscreen, sunglasses and a change of clothes to keep at the resort upon your return. Guides carry small waterproof bags to stow necessary medications. The average water temperature on the Gauley River is 50 degrees. You may want to bring a synthetic layer, depending on the time of the year and the weather. Wetsuits and splash jackets are available for rent, as long as booked in advance. What to Wear
Customized quotations are available upon request for groups with over 15 members.
Requirements & Restrictions
The minimum age for this trip is 15 years old. Our PFDs (personal floatation devices) have a maximum chest capacity of 56 inches. We strongly recommend that all participants have had prior rafting experience. Participants should also be able to swim.
Your guides and leaders will discuss specific safety requirements on site.