Gauley River Deluxe Overnight

The Gauley River Deluxe Overnight trip is an unforgettable outdoor experience that combines adrenaline pumping whitewater rafting, capped with a chef-prepared dinner, and a luxurious stay at our Canyon Doors camp.  After completing a full day of Class V whitewater, the trip takes you into the depths of the stunning Gauley River Canyon.  The evening is spent at our Canyon Doors camp relaxing in wood-fired hot tubs on the banks of the river, telling stories around the campfire, and enjoying a delicious dinner prepared for you by our riverside chef.

Hailed as one of the best whitewater runs in the world, the Gauley drops more than 668 feet through 24 miles high volume, technical whitewater from start to finish. The Gauley Overnight covers more than 100 rapids including seven Class V rapids such as “Insignificant”, “Pillow Rock”, “Lost Paddle”, “Iron Ring”, “Sweet’s Falls”, “Upper & Lower Mash”, and “Pure Screaming Hell”.

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: 16

*Wood fired hot tubs will not be included this season due to COVID 19 restrictions

"You open your eyes and smell the remnants of a smoldering campfire. The chill of the fall air puts a wrinkle in your nose, and you pull up your sleeping bag and snuggle in. In the background, you hear the rambling river making its journey through the steep canyon, and you rise to sip hot coffee that just seems to taste better down here. Finally, you stroll quietly to the water. You see the towering canyon walls, the lingering fog dancing downstream, and the mighty river flowing before you. The Gauley has awakened your senses in a rich and exciting way—and you've only just begun your day."

Expedition Chef, Emily Kambic

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.

At 17 miles long, the Lower Gauley offers ample stretches of calm, relaxing waters, and Class III – V rapids. Though it’s not as technically demanding as the Upper Gauley, this is the most advanced river section for first-time rafters.

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.

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. 

This is two full days in the river. Depending on the water level, you’ll spend between 5-7 hours on the water plus shuttle time to and from the river.

We provide transportation from our resort to the river and back again, all rafting equipment (helmet, life jacket, paddle and boat) and a hot riverside breakfast, lunch, and delicious dinner. Be assured you will not go hungry!

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 in the fall is 50 degrees. You may want to bring a synthetic layer. Wetsuits and splash jackets are available for rent.

Check out our Gauley River Overnight Checklist for our recommended packing list for this trip.

The minimum age for this trip is 16 years old. Our PFDs (personal flotation devices) have a maximum chest capacity of 58 inches. We recommend that participants have experience with rafting before trying this trip. Participants should be able to swim.

Your guides and leaders will discuss specific safety requirements on site.