West Virginia’s Gauley River is legendary. Featuring multiple sections of world class whitewater, the Gauley offers paddling opportunities for boaters of all ability levels. For intermediate and expert boaters, the upper, middle, and lower sections of the Gauley offer classic West Virginia style whitewater. For beginners and budding intermediates, the Gauley offers several sections of class I-III whitewater upstream of the more popular intermediate and advanced sections. Boaters looking for something a little different also have the option of several runs within an hours drive, including the New and Meadow rivers.
For a detailed description on the known hazard’s of the Gauley, check out AW Board Member Lee Belknap's article here.
For expert boaters, very few runs rival the Upper Gauley in terms of quality. A classic West Virginia run, the Upper Gauley is one of the staples of American whitewater. Every fall, thousands of boaters from around the globe flock to the Upper Gauley to get a taste of its long complex rapids and world class play spots. For more information on the Upper Gauley, including gauges, maps, shuttle, and pictures, check out the AW StreamKeeper River page.
For a detailed description of the Upper Gauley’s “Big Five” rapids, check out this write-up by Sam Lindblom.
For aspiring Upper and Lower Gauley boaters, the Middle Gauley offers challenging class III+ boating with scattered class IV rapids. With two different put-ins, and two different take-outs, the Middle Gauley offers boaters the chance to tailor their trip by picking and choosing which rapids they want to run. For more information on the Middle Gauley, including gauges, maps, shuttle, and pictures, check out the AW StreamKeeper River page.
Offering world class big water play, the Lower Gauley is a playboaters dream come true. From the smooth surfing at diagonal ledges to the wild cartwheeling at 5 boat hole, the Lower Gauley serves up serious playboating amidst some classic class IV/IV+ rapids. For more information on the Lower Gauley, including gauges, maps, shuttle, and pictures, check out the AW StreamKeeper River page.