Between 5 and 6 feet is a really nice level for the Bluestone- the rapids in the first couple of miles have good surfing/eddy hopping, and there's plenty of flow for the flatter miles to the takeout. Nothing very difficult as no rapid really merits naming, but it's pretty and remote, with a cool takeout at the tram.
Ran this 3/17/11 at a level of 4.6. There is a boat eating strainer river left, maybe 100yds after Brush fork comes in. It's a forked tree and the fork is only about 1 foot out of the water at this level, one fork submerges (to pin) and the other is exposed and broken (to push you under). A small boulder that forms the rapid above this hazard hides it pretty well for the unsuspecting......
Also, don't get distracted by the beautiful cliffs that are the backdrop for these rapids.
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Looking upstream from the tram
Fritz on the Bluestone
Waterfall along Bluestone
take out from the tram
12 year old on typical lower bluestone rapid
Bluestone 7 feet
Takeout at Pipestem Tram
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.
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