Tygart Valley - 4. Belington to Buckhannon River

Tygart Valley, West Virginia, US


4. Belington to Buckhannon River (Gorge)

Usual Difficulty III-V (for normal flows)
Length 11.8 Miles
Avg. Gradient 37 fpm
Max Gradient 80 fpm

Keyhole, Tygart Gorge

Keyhole, Tygart Gorge
Photo of John Fralick by Matt Muir (KHCC) taken 05/13/95 @ 4.0 ft

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03051000 3.50 - 9.00 ft III-V 00h49m 3.45 ft (too low)

River Description

Photo: John Fralick squeezes between the rocks at KeyHole.


Map of Area

Put-in on river right downstream of Belington or in Belington on river left.
Alternate put-in 3.2 mi downstream at fish camp on river right.
Two take-outs available:
River right 1 mi downstream of confluence with Buckhannon River or
At the mouth of the Buchannon River, walk 3/4 mi up RR tracks to covered bridge over the Buckhannon.
Noteable rapids in first half of the run are Key Hole and Hartung Falls, about half way down you encounter the confluence with the Middle Fork River. Those that run the Middle Fork run the lower part of the Tygart Gorge which contain three major rapids. S-Turn, Shoulder Snapper and Hook(left hook).

An outfitter is now running shuttles on weekends. He will pick you up below Hook on the Tygart and bring your group back to Audra. He charges by the shuttle not by individual. Contact -   Tygart River Outfitters

Keel Hauler Rating - 28


Photo: Colins Drozdowski at Instant Ender.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-05-20 19:40:51


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
4.5Hard TongueIV
8.0Middle Fork Confluence
10.1Shoulder SnapperIVPhoto
11.8Buckhannon Confluence

Rapid Descriptions

Shoulder Snapper (Class IV, Mile 10.1)

Shoulder Snapper

Shoulder Snapper
Photo of Andy Lichtenheld by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 03/05/02 @ 1100 cfs

Hook (Class III+, Mile 11.2)


Photo of Helge Klockow by Tom O'Keefe taken 03/05/02 @ 1100 cfs

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
November 19 2011 (2617 days ago)
Steve KroserDetails
If the boulder splitting the current at Shoulder Snapper is well covered, go for the boof. It is
one of the coolest launches you will find.
June 5 2006 (4610 days ago)
Robert FarmerDetails
Hook Rapid is probably the most dangerous rapid--a 90-degree left turn. The end of the rapid has a
ledge that is backed by a rock on the right, and people have swum underneath undercuts on the left.
Stay about 1/4 over from the left side as you make the left turn. Maintain momentum.
November 5 2005 (4821 days ago)
Rhett FlowersDetails
There is a large log in the main entrance to Keyhole rapid. 11/5/05