The legendary Gauley River is consistently ranked among the top whitewater rafting rivers in the world by expert paddlers, based on its technical rapids, scenic quality and inaccessibility. Dropping more than 650 feet in 24 miles, the Gauley River features over 100 rapids. The incredible volume of water combined with the steep gradient make for a superb whitewater rafting vacation.
The Gauley River is a dam-controlled watershed; optimum flow for whitewater rafting is reliant upon scheduled fall release dates guaranteed by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Gauley River National Recreation Area is protected and preserved by the National Park Service-remaining virtually unchanged.
Gauley River rafting is big, wild, rough and even intoxicating. At the end of each rapid is a brief opportunity to marvel at the grandeur of this remote, steep-walled, wilderness canyon.
The Gauley River has two distinct 12-mile rafting sections, which provide thrills and excitement for rafters of all abilities. The Gauley River is truly world-class whitewater and high adventure.
The Lower Gauley River
This 12-mile section combines exhilarating rapids with breathtaking scenery. Big whitewater and great wave trains characterize this classic canyon run, making it a favorite among intermediate paddlers although it is also suited for adventurous first-time rafters (age 12 and up). Lower Gauley River rafting features Class III - Class V rapids and feels like watery roller coaster ride.
This high adventure rafting trip is set in the Gauley River National Recreation Area and remains secluded, providing a true wilderness rafting experience. Rugged canyon walls and spectacular foliage create some of the most beautiful vistas anywhere. The Lower Gauley offers exceptional whitewater-ideal for those who have rafted the Lower New River or as a prelude to rafting the Upper Gauley River. Extreme Expeditions recommends a two-day Gauley River rafting adventure to fully experience the most premier stretch of whitewater in the country.
The Upper Gauley River
This is the ultimate whitewater rafting experience, considered by many to be the best one-day trip in the country. This section offers monstrous Class III- Class V+ rapids set against a backdrop of towering cliffs and enthusiasts (minimum age of 16) and due to the intense nature of this trip, previous rafting experience is highly recommended.
On this trip you will encounter big, technical rapids, which demand constant maneuvering and test your teamwork. Negotiating your way through narrow chutes, rocky ledges and steep drops will heighten your senses and keep your adrenaline pumping.
Awe-inspiring views and breathtaking excitement highlight this incredible adventure. Limited space is available for the world-renowned Upper Gauley; advanced registrations suggested.
- Trip Duration: 2.00 days
- Destination: United States
- Region: West Virginia
- Price Range:
$51 - $250 per person
Families, Friends, Independent, Veterans
- Minimum Age: 12
- Activity Option:
Inflatable Kayak, Fishing, Birdwatching, Hiking
- Accommodations: Cabins
Ranked number 5 river in the world. Short season packs guests from all over the world for this incredible whitewater rafting experience.
rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, atv tours