Hailed as one of the best whitewater runs in the world and a milestone for many, the Gauley River drops more than 668 feet through 24 miles of high-volume, Class III-V rapids requiring tight, technical maneuvering from start to finish. The Gauley is split into two main sections: the Upper Gauley and the Lower Gauley.
The Upper Gauley is the pinnacle of whitewater experiences. We recommend it for experienced rafters only, and for good reason. This 11-mile section of the river requires all the paddling power you can muster and may be the most extreme trip most rafters will ever attempt. This is serious whitewater, and it’s an adventure you won’t forget!
At 13 miles long, the Lower Gauley offers ample stretches of calm, relaxing waters, breathtaking scenery, and thrilling rapids. This section is a good fit for experienced rafters or adventurous first-timers who dare to go one step further. You’ll get a taste of Class V rapids, but it’s not quite as demanding as the Upper Gauley.
Gauley Season brings the year’s biggest whitewater and draws enthusiasts from across the globe each September and October. Over the course of six weeks, water is released from Summersville Lake on a set schedule, making for wild, powerful, BIG rapids that bring thrills you just can’t get anywhere else.
What should I wear? How durable are the rafts? And what does Class IV mean, anyway? We’ve got answers to your questions so you can feel confident and ready to start paddling.
Our team is made up of river guides with a passion for rafting, respect for the rapids, and extensive experience guiding adventurers of all levels. Knowledgeable, professional, and fun loving, they’re dedicated to minimizing risk and taking you on the run of a lifetime.