We ran this on 5/4/2002 at 8.4 and falling slowly on the Buckhannon gauge. Cannot believe this stretch does not get more traffic. It's delightful and interesting and scenic and remote.
SHUTTLE. easier than the book says. It is easy to find Sago. We parked upstream of the bridge in Sago about a mile where the road widened and there was a clear place to park. From there we continued upstream and the paved road turned away from the river and went through a coal mine and breaking operation. Continue on this paved road up and up until you come to Big Bend Church on your left. At this point you can turn to the right down a very good looking gravel road (WRONG!!) or you can go straight ahead down what looks like a little traveled dirt road (CORRECTO MUNDO!!). This road starts downhill almost immediately and after about 2-3 miles...you're in Tenmile. The road is fine to travel and unless there is a washout or something, any vehicle can travel it. (We had a Ford Van and later a Plymouth Reliant.) Total time about 15 minutes or less. As of 5/4/2002 we were told by a local to park and put in on river right upstream of the bridge. According to a resident, this property has been purchased by the state of WV. On 5/4/2002 the property still had a sign on it proclaiming it to be "Kamp Rippling Waters".
THE RIVER: guidebook has it about right. At the level we ran it at (using Nantahala Falls as reference rapid at class III-), we four thought that about 4-5 rapids deserved a rating (depending on the rapid) from about a class III- to a III+ or maybe IV- ratings. All scoutable and walkable, although none of us walked any. None of them surprised us. The river is approximately pool and drop in character. Don't let the gradient in the guide book of 53 fpm fool you. If one takes out the flat last mile then the gradient goes to about 70-75 fpm and that is about what it felt like. If you like the Upper Meadow at about 6 feet or the Middle Fork at 3.5-4.5, try this one at 7.0-9.0 some day. I predict a pleasant surprise.
The first drop below Ten Mile has bad sieves to the center and right (i.e. no passable channel, river goes under rocks). Stay left!!! Scout to be sure. This is a very pleasant run, but keep an eye out for logs. The shuttle is easy.
2 years ago
by John O. Mitchell
NWS sets flood stage at 23 feet.
The gauge is located 10 miles downstream of the takeout.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
S-turn Rapid, entering Middle route
The Wall Rapid, center rock broach
The Wall Rapid, middle view
The Wall Rapid, entering the top right
S-turn Rapid, Stern Riding the bottom
S-turn Rapid, Bottom Third
Entrance Rapid, Left Side
Old Railroad Bridge
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Get your groove on baby! This year Gauley Fest is a 60’s themed event to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. To memorialize that historic event we are flashing back to another era for a 60’s throwdown. Started in 1983 to celebrate the derailment of a hydro-electric project that would have disrupted the flows on the Gauley River, Gauley Fest has grown to become the largest paddling festival in the world.
American Whitewater received the following open letter to boaters from the rangers and staff of the Gauley River National Recreation Area. This letter will keep you up to date on important management actions of the National Park Service on the Gauley River. Enjoy your paddling season on this classic whitewater river. As in past years, American Whitewater has leased the field above Masons Branch, also known as the Legg field, for overflow parking.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!