Gauley Season is Here! Plan Your Trip Now!

Often known as the Beast of the East, the Gauley River in southern West Virginia offers some of the best whitewater action in the world. The Gauley may be a challenging, technical river, but it doesn’t have to be your Mission: Impossible.

Your Mission, If You Choose to Accept It
Want to make your own memories on the Gauley River? There’s a whole crew of outdoor outfitters ready to help you book your trip. They are a few mouse clicks or simple phone call away.

The region’s outfitters can be your all-in-one stop: gear, check; experienced and knowledgeable raft guides, check; safety protocols, check. And most have places to accommodate you overnight, too!

You don’t have to be the most experienced boater to take on the Gauley. Setting yourself up with a professional outfitter will make sure you have a safe and wild trip on the river.

Which Mission Will You Choose?
Gauley Season 2018 takes place over 23 days in September and October. The season is made possible by scheduled water releases from the Summersville Dam by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The regulated water flow on the upper and lower portions of the Gauley River guarantee optimal levels, which means 100% chance of the best whitewater fun around!

The Gauley River is split into two distinct trips, the Upper and the Lower. The Upper is the most notorious stretch of river with five class V rapids and others that range from II-IV. It’s an intense day of whitewater action on “the big 5” rapids: Insignificant, Pillow Rock, Lost Paddle, Iron Ring and Sweet’s Falls. The lower section of the Gauley is mostly class IV rapids; still plenty of thrills, but a gentler counterpart to the Upper, with rapids like: Canyon Doors, Upper and Lower Mash and Heaven’s Gate.

What Else Can You Do?
Gauley Season also means Gauley Fest! The festival is American Whitewater’s biggest annual public outreach event. If you’re in the area the weekend of September 13-16, stop by Nicholas County Veterans Memorial Park to be a part of the largest paddling festival in the world.

This year’s event celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which aimed to “preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.”

Gauley season starts September 7, so plan your trip now so you don’t have to wait until next year!

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