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Difficulty II-III
Length 17.3 Miles
Gauge ELK RIVER BELOW WEBSTER SPRINGS, WV
Flow Range 4.50 - 8.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 5.18 [FT]
Reach Info Last Updated 05/26/2009 12:17 am

River Description


CFS at recommended paddling levels: 4.5' = 400cfs, 8.0 = 5,000 cfs from USGS rating table #26.
4.5 - 5.0' low water, plenty of rock dodging and occasional scraping
5.1 - 6.5' moderate water, nice intermediate run.
6.6 - 8.0' high water, big fluffy waves/hydralics, big river class 3- to 3+
10.0+ Flood stage
At low water conditions most boaters will want to do a shorter trip by using as a take-out/ put-in the Sandy Beach about 9 road miles down Elk on CR 7. At levels below 4.8 and approaching the minimum of 4.5' boaters commonly only do the second part of the run called "Way Down Elk".
The take-out is also know by the locals by various names such as: Clifton Ford bridge, Hans McCourt bridge, Bridge to Nowhere, Million Dollar Bridge. At levels below 4.8 most boaters take out at the "Pines" (definitely Hemlocks) about 1 1/2 mile short of the bridge.

Rapid Descriptions

Comments

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Nancy Kemp
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16 years ago

We love paddling this one when the flow is around five or six thousand CFS. There are just 16 miles of terrific big 6 foot and relatively consequence free surfing waves. Beautiful valley. Surf, Surf, Surf!

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Nancy Kemp
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16 years ago

We love paddling this one when the flow is around five or six thousand CFS. There are just 16 miles of terrific big 6 foot and relatively consequence free surfing waves. Beautiful valley. Surf, Surf, Surf!

Gauge Description


The Webster Springs gauge is located 17 river miles downstream of the put-in.It is on river right immediately before the bridge crossing the river. It has an outside staff gauge that can be read directly. No major tributaries and just a few small tributaries flow into the Elk between this gauge and the put-in. Thus this gauge gives a very good indication of the stage and flow paddlers will experience of this section.
The NWS sets 10' as flood stage.
There is a visual gauge on the CR 15/4 bridge pier at Cherry Falls.This is several miles above the put-in at the city park on Bakers Island. This gauge reads 4.0' lower then the Webster Springs gauge at recommended paddling levels. Be aware that the Back Fork joins the Elk River below this visual gauge.

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Directions Description


We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

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No Accident Reports

Alerts

   

News

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Gauley Fest - September 13-16, 2018 - Summersville, WV

2018-09-04 07:58:00-04
Mark Singleton

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.

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2018 Letter To Gauley Boaters From The NPS (WV)

2018-08-21 10:07:00-04
Mark Singleton

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.

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Cheat Canyon Settlement Reached; Land Set Aside for Endangered Species

2007-02-13 00:00:00-05
Charles Walbridge

After two years of intense negotiations an agreement reached to protect endangered species in the Cheat River Canyon. Allegheny Wood Products acquired roughly 5,000 acres in the Cheat Canyon below Albright, WV in 2003 for $9.75 million. When they began building roads and cutting trees the following year the government took no steps to enforce the Endangered Species Act. A lawsuit was filed in 2005 by Friends of Blackwater Canyon, the WV Chapter of the Sierra Club, and the Cheat Lake Environmental and Recreational Association. Although American Whitewater was not a party to the litigation we are gratified that an agreement was reached and commend both parties for their efforts.
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Turner Sharp

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Ryan Groth