The Gauley River is very dynamic. The two popular sections of the river can change drastically depending on when you paddle. In the summer, the river is lower than in the fall. That is because fall is Gauley Season, a time when the Summersville Dam is open on weekends and the river is at its peak water flow.
During the summer, the Gauley river is open all week for rafting. The water will be low so it may be necessary to use duckies instead of large rafts for certain sections of the river. Duckies are small, one or two person rafts that can travel through shallow water than full size rafts. Paddling on the Gauley in the summer is fun because the water is warm and it will feel great to get wet.
You can also ride the Gauley in the fall. This is a part of the year known to rafters as Gauley Season. Check out my post about Gauley Season for more info. The Gauley River is famous for the extreme rafting conditions of Gauley Season. The large amounts of water released from the Summersville Lake create high water flow and fast, difficult features on the river.
No matter what season you choose to paddle on the Gauley River, you will surely find some fun rafting. This dynamic river will be exciting and beautiful in both summer and fall.