Fall Lower Gauley
Whitewater Rafting on West Virginia's Lower Gauley River
Raucus and fast paced!
Downstream from the famed Upper Gauley, the river mellows ever so slightly so that the pace is just a bit slower. But don't let that lull you. The Lower Gauley is made up of longer rapids with waves that are just as big. Rollercoaster haystacks rise and fall in great swells of excitement—the kind you won't find in a theme park. With over 70 rapids up to class V and breathtaking scenery the entire way, the Fall Lower Gauley is the best choice for an adventurous first-timer or an experienced New River enthusiast who wants to go one step further.
Every Fall, the Army Corps of Engineers releases flood-level water into the Gauley on a pre-determinedschedule. Here in West Virginia, we call it Gauley Season, and it allows us to know exactly what days will be the best for big-water action.
Our Lower Gauley trip is 17 miles long and includes rapids like class Vs Heaven's Gate and Pure Screaming Hell. Nobody runs the Lower Gauley better than we do. Every one of our Gauley trips gets a gourmet hot grilled lunch that will bulge your belly in a place so beautiful, you'll never want to leave. To get the most bang for your buck, have a look at our Easy-Plan Lower Gauley Packages, which include lodging and award-winning meals.
Prices are per person and do not include tax and fees. Prices vary by day of the week.
As with all of our fall Gauley Trips, we have what is hands-down the best lunch on the river. Our Canyon Doors lunch base is in the single most beautiful spot on this stunning river. The food is hot and delicious with options for vegetarians and carnivores alike—and all you have to do is show up to eat it.
What type of river is the Lower Gauley?
The Lower Gauley is a long run—17 miles—and though there are a few pools for relaxing and swimming, most of that length is spent in whitewater, with much of it class III-V. Though it doesn't pack quite the punch as the Upper Gauley in terms of technique and steely nerves needed, this river section should not be underestimated. It is the most advanced river section that we routinely recommend for first-time rafters.
What does Class VI provide?
We provide a morning reception of coffee, tea, juice and hot chocolate, transportation to and from the river, all rafting equipment (helmet, life jacket, paddle & boat), professional guides in each raft and the best hot lunch alongside the river.
How much time do we spend on the water?
The total trip is 1 very full day from the time you leave base camp until you return. We spend most of that time on the water, but a total of 1-1.5 hours is spent commuting to and from the river.
How big are the boats?
Our standard rafts are 15 feet long and can comfortably seat 8-9 guests and a guide. Upgrades to high-adventure, team-extreme rafts are available for an additional fee.
What else might we need?
You should bring any medication you need throughout the day, plus sunscreen, sun glasses and if the weather is a little nippy, a dry layer to put on after the trip. (Your guide will be able to put it into a dry bag.) If necessary, we also rent wetsuits and paddle jackets. Via our partnership with Whitewater Photography, we also sell photos of you in the rapids. Our video boaters also accompany most trips and we offer DVDs of your experience for an extra charge. To ensure you get a video, you can pre-order one with your reservation.