There isn’t anything like camping in the fall. The crisp air, the smell of a campfire, and clear, starry skies are the hallmark of this most perfect camping season. The fall is also Gauley Season. For those in the know, it’s the one time of the year that the gates are opened on Summersville Dam for guaranteed whitewater flow through the Gauley River Canyon. To use a word that is thrown around perhaps too often, it’s epic. To use a word that we had to look up in our thesaurus, it’s prodigious. Years ago, we decided to combine everything that we love about the Gauley with fall camping, and we created what we consider to be the crème de la crème of rafting trips in the universe (the world just isn’t enough to show how awesome this trip is).
Here’s the scoop: on our Deluxe Gauley River Overnight, you’ll spend two days rafting. On day one, you’ll tackle the notorious Upper Gauley River. Here, five class V rapids await your descent. There aren’t enough epic and prodigious adjectives to describe this section of the river, but we’ll give it a shot. This is the whitewater of your dreams. Don’t dream of whitewater? That’s ok too. But imagine the most technically demanding boulder strewn river that you can, then turn it up to eleven. That’s the Upper Gauley. It is demanding, hard-hitting, and pulse-pounding (how about those adjectives?!), and it is recommended only for people who have whitewater experience.
Here’s the thing that really sets this trip apart. After your first day of rafting, you’ll make camp at our exclusive Canyon Doors overnight area. It’s not just any campsite, however. You’ll be treated to meals that you won’t believe are prepared in the Gauley River Wilderness. Seriously, check out the menu below, and we’ll continue writing when you’re done drooling.
Incredible, right? Once you’ve picked your jaw up, we’re here to tell you that this is seriously as delicious as it sounds. Our expedition chef will prepare these decadent dishes for you while you enjoy the sights and sounds of the Gauley River at Canyon Doors, arguably one of the most beautiful places on the entire river. But it gets even better than that. You’ll be treated to wood-fired hot tubs, so you can relax and unwind from your day tackling the Upper Gauley rapids. After an evening by the fire or in a hot tub (or both!), you’ll snuggle into your sleeping bag for a night of camping, complete with your very own sound machine. Ok not really, no sound machine needed when the river sounds come at no additional charge.
After enjoying coffee and breakfast in the morning, you’ll head out on the Lower Gauley River. This section of the river demands different adjectives to describe it than the Upper Gauley. While it is still technical and demanding, it is a trip that is known for its gorgeous landscapes, punctuated by memorable rapids and roller coaster waves. Although it is a section of the river that is suitable for people who have never been rafting, it still has no shortage of excitement, huge drops, waves, and moments where you won’t believe that rafting like this can exist.
At the end of the day, you can celebrate your successful rafting adventure, one where you rafted all 24 miles of the Fall Gauley, a feather in the cap of whitewater enthusiasts worldwide. And, because you may not ever want to go rafting again without an expedition chef preparing your meals, you can rest assured knowing that you can make this trip a yearly tradition with Adventures on the Gorge.