Gauley - 8 (Middle). Mason Branch to Bucklick Branch


Gauley, West Virginia, US

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8 (Middle). Mason Branch to Bucklick Branch (Middle Gauley)

Usual Difficulty III+(IV) (for normal flows)
Length 5.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 26 fpm
Max Gradient 30 fpm

Surfing at Perfect Wave


Surfing at Perfect Wave
Photo of Nancy Brabec by Chuck Brabec taken 06/30/02 @ 850 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Gauley Below the Meadow
virtual-6192 500 - 5000 cfs III+(IV) 01h37m 1003.93 cfs (running)
GAULEY RIVER ABOVE BELVA, WV
usgs-03192000 500 - 5000 cfs III+(IV) 00h50m 1210 cfs (running)


River Description

This section is normally run from the takeout for the Upper Gauley down to the putin for the Lower Gauley (both on river right). You can also use the putin/takeout on river right at Woods Ferry if you want to "sample" just part of the Middle Gauley.

It is also possible to put in on river left just below Woods Ferry and take out on river left just below Junkyard. This way you still get the lower 2-3 miles of the Middle Gauley (including Ender Waves and Backender) as well as the first 3 rapids on the Lower Gauley (Koontz's Bend, Canyon Doors and Junkyard). Canyon Doors has some great surfing waves at about 1100-1300 cfs.


The Middle Gauley is a good place for aspiring Lower and Upper Gauley boaters to get their feet (and maybe their heads) wet. This section includes several class III/III+ rapids and a few that are even class IV. The more notable rapids are Wood's Ferry, Ender Waves (just below Wood's Ferry) and Backender. If you use the river left putin and takeout you will miss all of the major rapids above Ender Wave but you get to add Koontz Flume, Canyon Doors, and Junkyard. (See the photos section of the Lower Gauley for some nice photos of Koontz' Flume and Canyon Doors).


The Middle Gauley starts out with some nice  warm-up class II and some good surfing at "Perfect Wave". Right below is a ledge that is easiest to run far left with two good waves/holes just below the ledge. Further on down the river is "Fuzzy Box of Kittens", aka "Guides Revenge".  About 3 miles from the putin is Woods Ferry Rapid. It is a long boulder garden with an almost river-wide ledge about 10 yards from the end of the rapid. A long rock outcrop funnels  the water to the left into a narrow chute. The right side of the chute has an interesting feature called Julie's Juicer.

The last major rapid on the Middle Gauley is Backender. It is difficult to scout unless you like to climb over the large boulders on river right. You will know that you are approaching Backender when you see the huge rock spire on river right. The takeout is in the pool just above the rock spire.

Scheduled releases occur on weekends beginning the Friday following Labor Day and normally run for 6 consecutive weekends. See http://www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/wwsched.html for the detailed schedule. However, the Middle Gauley is runnnable almost any time of the year - and it it much easier to access the river "off-season".


Click here for information about the Lower Gauley, and for the Upper Gauley.

 


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2012-03-31 01:53:51

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

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American Whitewater Gauley Fest
09:00 am -11:00 pm est

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Events
Gauley Releases Summersville,WV runs 09/09/05 - 10/18/15
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American Whitewater Gauley Fest Summersville,WV runs 09/15/12 - 09/17/16, next 09/17/16
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Associated Projects

  • Gauley River (WV)
    For many years AW has worked on the protection of this river and advocated for public access.

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