Rafting on the Gauley River

The Gauley River in West Virginia is recognized by paddlers as one of the top-ranked rivers in the world. Its technical rapids, inaccessibility and scenic beauty contribute to its world class designation.

Dropping more than 650 feet in 24 miles, the Gauley River features over 100 rapids. Two distinct 12-mile sections (Upper Gauley and Lower Gauley) offer their own personality and flair.

Summer water flows on the Gauley River allow another dimension in rafting and a very different perspective of this wild river. River Expeditions runs trips on the Gauley River in the summer from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend, based on water flows.

Then beginning the Friday after Labor Day the fall draw down of Summersville Lake begins and brings Gauley River to its peak rafting flows.  Raft upgrades are available. Smaller rafts provide higher performance and increased maneuverability. This aggressive approach is for experienced, enthusiastic paddlers who want to see the river from a completely different perspective. Wildside and Extreme Wildside are the two options for those over the age of 18, with prior class V+ rafting experience, excellent health, and the ability to calmly respond to adverse and difficult whitewater situations.

Raft Upgrades

River Expeditions offers raft upgrades for those that want a more riveting ride. Smaller rafts provide higher performance and increased maneuverability. Experienced paddlers (that are also over the age of 18, in excellent health and calmly respond to adverse conditions) can choose smaller raft options — Wildside or Extreme Wildside— for a new perspective and extra adrenaline rush.

Sometimes, families or smaller groups like to choose a smaller raft in order to have a closer, more personal experience without the added thrill. When upgrading to a small raft, simply share your preference with us, and we’ll be happy to accommodate.

Rafting Package Rates & Options

SMALL RAFT UPGRADE GUESTS PER BOAT NEW RIVER GAULEY RIVER
Wildside 5-7$20*$30*
Extreme Wildside 2-4$35*$45*

*Small raft prices are per person per day; An additional $20 applies to these upgrade rates on Saturdays and Holiday Sundays.

2019 Fall Gauley River Release Dates (tentative):

September 6, 7, 8, 9; 13, 14, 15, 16; 20, 21, 22, 23;  27, 28, 29, 30

October  4, 5, 6, 7; 12, 13; 19 (Bridge Day) & 20 (Last Day)

Whitewater Rafting Packages, Rates and Upgrades

  • Upper Gauley River

    Set against a backdrop of towering cliffs and steep slopes of brilliant fall foliage, the Upper Gauley River is a high impact adventure recommended for only serious whitewater enthusiasts. It is ranked as one of the most uniquely challenging single day whitewater runs in the world and certainly in the United States. It is also the most extreme trip we offer.

    On this trip you’ll encounter tight,technical rapids that demand precise maneuvering, skill and attention. and navigate through steep drops, narrow chutes, rocky ledges and crashing whitewater. Major rapids like Pillow Rock, Insignificant, Iron Ring, and Sweet’s Falls test your teamwork and keep the adrenaline pumping. The experience is intense with nonstop action from start to finish.

    Enjoy exclusive access to the sunny side of Sweet’s Falls where hot, grilled lunch is prepared while you take a well earned break from paddling. This is the best vantage point to watch other rafters negotiate the rapids. Spectacular scenery and dramatic views highlight this high impact adventure.

    We offer packages to suit all tastes and budgets:
    Single Day Rafting: Includes continental breakfast, lunch and beverages afterwards.
    Value Package: Single day rafting, with 2 nights camping, deluxe dinner & continental breakfast daily.
    Double Upper Gauley: Continental breakfast, lunch and beverages afterwards. 6 rafters required.
    Full Gauley Marathon: Continental breakfast, lunch and beverages afterwards. 6 rafters required.

    Package Rates & Options

    UPPER GAULEY RIVER Weekday Sunday Saturday
    Single Day Rafting
    $130 $150 $180
    Value Package
    $165 $185 $215
    Double Upper Gauley
    $195 $215 $290
    Value Package
    $190 $210 $245

    2019 Fall Gauley River Release Dates (tentative):

    September 6, 7, 8, 9; 13, 14, 15, 16; 20, 21, 22, 23;  27, 28, 29, 30

    October  4, 5, 6, 7; 12, 13; 19 (Bridge Day) & 20 (Last Day)

    Book Now

  • Lower Gauley River

    This renowned river is consistently ranked among the top rivers in the world by expert paddlers, based on its technical rapids, scenic quality and inaccessibility. The fall Lower Gauley is considered a moderate adventure and combines exhilarating rapids with magnificent scenery from start to finish.

    This whitewater trip feels like a watery roller coaster ride—a favorite among many paddlers. It is set in a pristine wilderness which allows you to marvel at the rugged canyon walls and grandeur between rapids, numbering over 35, with colorful names like Pure Screaming Hell, Canyon Doors, Koontz Flume, and Heaven Help Us.

    The Lower Gauley is characterized by big whitewater, invigorating rapids and breathtaking scenery. this adventure is well suited for enthusiastic first time rafters and is often the next step after rafting the Lower New River. The Lower Gauley is also the perfect prelude to the intense Upper Gauley.

    Single Day Rafting: Includes continental breakfast, lunch and beverages afterwards.
    Value Package: Single day rafting, with 2 nights camping, deluxe dinner & continental breakfast daily.

    Package Rates & Options

    LOWER GAULEY RIVER Weekday Sunday Saturday
    Single Day Rafting
    $115 $125 $160
    Value Package
    $150 $160 $195

    2019 Fall Gauley River Release Dates (tentative):

    September 6, 7, 8, 9; 13, 14, 15, 16; 20, 21, 22, 23;  27, 28, 29, 30

    October  4, 5, 6, 7; 12, 13; 19 (Bridge Day) & 20 (Last Day)

    Book Now

  • Summer Gauley River

    Experience the Gauley River from an entirely new perspective in the Summer. Crisp, sparkling water will awaken your sense of adventure and spontaneity as water levels fluctuate daily. We evaluate water flows to determine the appropriate river section to run, giving you the best possible rafting experience that is guaranteed to be unique.

    Here you’ll discover challenging whitewater runs and marvel at the splendor of nature amid the remote wilderness canyon. River Expeditions will determine the use of rafts and/or duckies on this classic adventure. This trip offers thrills for beginner to advanced paddlers; based on water flows; minimum of 6 people required; available Memorial Day – Labor Day.

    Single Day Rafting: Includes continental breakfast, lunch and beverages afterwards.
    Value Package: Single day rafting, with 2 nights camping, deluxe dinner & continental breakfast daily.

    Package Rates & Options

    SUMMER GAULEY RIVER Weekday Sunday Saturday
    Single Day Rafting
    $130 $130 $160
    Value Package
    $165 $165 $195

    Book Now

  • Dueling Rivers

    Experience the best of both worlds as you raft America’s Best Whitewater® — two different rivers in two fabulous days. Paddle the Lower New River on your first day and the Summer Gauley the second day, taking in all the exciting nuances of these distinctly different rivers.

    Make the most of your precious vacation time by making the most of your whitewater opportunities. Each river is uniquely challenging—you pick your favorite, make it a package and include lodging and meals at our basecamp. based on water
    flows; minimum of 6 people required; available Memorial Day – Labor Day.

    Single Day Rafting: Includes continental breakfast, lunch and beverages afterwards.
    Value Package: Single day rafting, with 2 nights camping, deluxe dinner & continental breakfast daily.

    Package Rates & Options

    LOWER NEW RIVER + SUMMER GAULEY RIVER Start Sun-Thu Start Fri-Sat
    2-Single Days Rafting
    $195 $210
    Value Package
    $235 $250

    Book Now

  • Lower/Upper Gauley River Reverse (Basecamp)

    This premium trip includes two full days of rafting on the Gauley River. Day one you’ll be on the adventurous Lower Gauley section and the intense Upper Gauley on day two. After the first day, you’ll return to camp at River Expeditions basecamp overnight where you can enjoy hot showers, the comfort of our resturant and the Red Dog River Saloon.  Get a good night’s sleep before heading out for day two – the Upper Gauley River.  Make the most of all the Gauley River offers on this premium two-day rafting expedition.

    Lower / Upper Gauley River Reverse Basecamp Packages Include:

    • 2 Days Rafting
    • 3 Nights Basecamp Camping
    • Lite Breakfast each Morning at Basecamp
    • Round-Trip River Shuttle Daily
    • Delicious Riverside Deli Lunch on the River Each Day
    • Complimentary Beverages after Rafting Each Day
    • Hot Showers
    • Deluxe Dinner Cookout after Rafting First Day

    2019 Fall Gauley River Release Dates (tentative):

    September 6, 7, 8, 9; 13, 14, 15, 16; 20, 21, 22, 23;  27, 28, 29, 30

    October  4, 5, 6, 7; 12, 13; 19 (Bridge Day) & 20 (Last Day)

    Package Rates & Options

    Rafting Package Fri – Sat Sat – Sun Sun – Mon
    Basecamp Camping
    $260 $275 $225
  • Double Upper Gauley Overnight (Riverside)

    This package includes rafting the top river segment in the country – the famed Upper Gauley River twice in two days! After the first day, you’ll set up camp at our exclusive riverside overnight location and enjoy a cold beverage and a cozy fire. Your guide will prepare a delicious dinner over an open flame that you’re sure to devour after working up an appetite paddling all day. After dinner you can relive the day’s adventures around the campfire before falling asleep underneath the stars. The next day you will enjoy a hearty riverside breakfast before rafting the Upper Gauley again on day two. This is a premium wilderness adventure package. This trip requires excellent physical condition, stamina and previous rafting experience is recommended.

    Riverside Overnight Packages Include:

    • 2 Days Rafting
    • 1 Night Riverside Camping, 2 Nights Basecamp Campingl
    • Lite Breakfast each Morning at Basecamp, 1 Hot Breakfast Riverside
    • Round-Trip River Shuttle
    • Delicious Riverside Deli Lunch on the River Each Day
    • Complimentary Beverages after Rafting Each Day
    • Hot Showers
    • Deluxe Dinner Cookout after Rafting First Day

    2019 Fall Gauley River Release Dates (tentative):

    September 6, 7, 8, 9; 13, 14, 15, 16; 20, 21, 22, 23;  27, 28, 29, 30

    October  4, 5, 6, 7; 12, 13; 19 (Bridge Day) & 20 (Last Day)

    Package Rates & Options

    Rafting Package Fri – Sat Sat – Sun Sun – Mon
    2-Day Upper Gauley Rafting + Riverside Camping
    Minimum 8 people required
    $375 $375 $310
  • Lower/Upper Gauley River Reverse Riverside Overnight

    This premium trip includes two full days of rafting – warm up the first day on the Lower Gauley and then challenge the Upper Gauley on day two. After the first day, you’ll set up camp riverside and relax with a beverage before dinner is served. Make memories with friends around the campfire after sharing a delicious meal, prepared by your guide-turned-gourmet-chef. Fall asleep under the stars to the river’s gentle rhythms and wake refreshed before having a hearty riverside breakfast and setting out for day two and the Upper Gauley River. After rafting on day two, you can camp overnight at River Expeditions basecamp and enjoy another lite breakfast before heading home. This is a great way to enjoy all the Gauley River offers.
    Raft the Lower Gauley on day one, then take on the world-famous Upper Gauley River!

    Riverside Overnight Packages Include:

    • 2 Days Rafting
    • 1 Night Riverside Camping, 2 Nights Basecamp Camping
    • Lite Breakfast each Morning at Basecamp, 1 Hot Breakfast Riverside
    • Round-Trip River Shuttle
    • Delicious Riverside Deli Lunch on the River Each Day
    • Complimentary Beverages after Rafting Each Day
    • Hot Showers
    • Deluxe Dinner Cookout after Rafting First Day

    2019 Fall Gauley River Release Dates (tentative):

    September 6, 7, 8, 9; 13, 14, 15, 16; 20, 21, 22, 23;  27, 28, 29, 30

    October  4, 5, 6, 7; 12, 13; 19 (Bridge Day) & 20 (Last Day)

    Package Rates & Options

    Rafting Package Fri – Sat Sat – Sun Sun – Mon
    2-Days Rafting + Riverside Camping
    Minimum of 8 Rafters Required
    $370 $370 $320
  • Full Gauley Marathon

    This trip is for those who want to experience the Upper and Lower Section of the Gauley River in the same day. You’ll be paddling 24-miles of whitewater; taking a break in between for lunch at our exclusive Sweet’s Falls Overlook. This trip requires excellent physical condition, stamina and previous rafting experience is recommended. Trip includes lite breakfast, riverside lunch and beverages after rafting. You can add camping and dinner to make a complete adventure package.  Minium age 16.  Minimum of 6 people required to book this trip.

    Rafting and Basecamp Camping Packages Include:

    • 1 Day Rafting
    • 2 Nights camping
    • Lite Breakfast each Morning
    • Round-Trip River Shuttle
    • Delicious Riverside Deli Lunch
    • Complimentary Beverages after Rafting
    • Hot Showers
    • Deluxe Dinner Cookout after Rafting
    • Minimum Age 16
    • Minimum of 6 Rafters Required

    2019 Fall Gauley River Release Dates (tentative):

    September 6, 7, 8, 9; 13, 14, 15, 16; 20, 21, 22, 23;  27, 28, 29, 30

    October  4, 5, 6, 7; 12, 13; 19 (Bridge Day) & 20 (Last Day)

    Package Rates & Options

    Rafting Package Weekday Sunday Saturday
    Basecamp Camping
    $225 $245 $280
    Rafting Only
    $190 $210 $245

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