Gauley River Throwback

Get the full outdoor adventure experience with our Gauley River Overnight trip. Beginning with the Upper Gauley trip on day 1, you will spend an evening at our Mason’s Branch camp and continue down the Gauley on the second day.  

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

Minimum Age: 16

This trip includes:

  • The Upper Gauley with riverside lunch
  • Riverside camping at Mason’s Branch
  • Hike up to Sweet’s Falls
  • BBQ dinner including pulled pork, chicken, pot roast, picnic sides, and dessert
  • Day two breakfast with eggs, bacon, home fries, and more
  • The Lower Gauley with riverside lunch

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

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.