In Southern West Virginia there are two things the locals can always count on: The Gauley River will flow at 2,800 cubic feet per second on weekends in September and October, and the excitement level of rafters will be off the charts.
Blessed with two of the world’s best rivers for whitewater rafting, the region attracts adrenaline junkies seeking — and usually finding — the perfect rapid. Every fall, Gauley Season occurs when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers draws water down from Summersville Lake and releases the torrents into the Gauley River. On these days, the river features some of the best whitewater in the world.
“Right now, predictability is a precious commodity,” said Roger Wilson, chief executive officer of Adventures on the Gorge, the state’s largest outfitter and adventure resort. “Our guides and customers alike are finding comfort as they escape to the river.”
Gauley rafting is broken down into two sections — the Upper and Lower. The Upper Gauley starts just below Summersville Dam and drops more than 335 feet in fewer than 13 miles, creating the most intense whitewater on the river and one of the most challenging whitewater experiences in the world. The 12-mile Lower Gauley is slightly less intense, but still extremely challenging, with 70 rapids including Class Vs with ominous names like “Heaven’s Gate” and “Pure Screaming Hell.”
In addition to a straightforward trip on either the Upper or Lower Gauley, Adventures on the Gorge offers several other options for rafting during Gauley Season, including the Gauley River Marathon, the Reverse 2-day, the Deluxe Overnight and the Double Upper Gauley.
For more information on the activities, visit https://adventuresonthegorge.com/ or connect with the resort on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TripAdvisor, YouTube and Vimeo and by signing up for AOTG e-newsletter.
Reservations can be made online or by calling 1-855-379-8738.