rafters enjoy Gauley Whitewater

Gary Hartley


Check out the Water Safety page for information on how to be safe on the river.

Check the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website for current river levels.

Read the Letter to Gauley River Boaters, which contains information on the Masons Branch and Woods Ferry river access locations.

Whitewater Release Schedule

Gauley River Flow Reduction Alert - Press Release

American Whitewater's Gauley River Page

Thousands of whitewater enthusiasts come to the Gauley every fall season, to paddle what is considered by many to be the one of the best whitewater rivers in the country. Gauley Season begins the first weekend after Labor Day, and continues for six weekends (five 4-day weekends, and one 2-day weekend). Dropping more than 668 feet through 25 miles of rugged terrain, the Gauley River's complex stretch of whitewater features more than 100 rapids with a steep gradient, technical runs, an incredible volume of water and huge waves. Its vigorous rapids, scenic quality and inaccessibility combine to make Gauley River one of the premier whitewater runs in the world.

Whitewater rafting attracts over 60,000 adventurers to the Gauley River each year. The upper Gauley offers tremendous class III to V+ drops in steep, turbulent chutes such as Pillow Rock, Iron Ring and Sweet's Falls, and rocky routes that demand constant maneuvering such as Lost Paddle and Shipwreck. This section of the river requires experience and minimum age of 16. The lower Gauley is a 12-mile stretch, rated class III to V that feels like a watery roller coaster (minimum age 12 - 14).


Smartphone App Got an Android or an iPhone? Click on Map of Gauley River to access an interactive map that includes videos of rapids on the upper Gauley River.


Gauley River National Recreation Area

A map of the Gauley River with videos of rapids

Also, for a close look at the individual rapids on the Gauley River and how to navigate them, check out the extensive videos by John Petretich on YouTube at:


Kayaker on Gauley River

© John L. Dengler/Dengler Images

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