Youghiogheny, Pennsylvania, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV (for normal flows)|
|Youghiogheny River at Ohiopyle, PA|
|usgs-03081500||1.30 - 1.80 ft||IV||01h06m||4.38 ft (too high)|
On March 24,
2011, The Bureau of State Parks announced a pilot extension of the successful three-week program run in
2010, so that boaters will be allowed to run the Falls without being part of a scheduled
A quick overview of the rules:
1) From May 21 through Sept. 11, 2011, paddlers will be allowed to run the Falls between 8:30 AM and 2:30 PM.
2) The water level must be 1.8' or lower.
3) A minimum of three boaters per party is required. (The second and third boaters need not run the Falls.)
4) When a permit is required, paddlers must have a permit. All paddlers must register.
5) Putin on river right (Ferncliff).
6) Takeout at the Loop takeout or Bruner Run. (i.e., no taking out at the Lower Yough putin and hiking back up multiple times for a huckfest.)
Please read the full set of guidelines by clicking here.
Remember: this is a pilot program. PLEASE abide by the guidelines and DON'T mess this up for everyone.
Note: It is important that everyone realize that running this waterfall should be for experienced boaters only. Running this class IV waterfall has all the hazards involved with any other class IV rapid. Our safety at the base of the Falls only involves helping swimmers if and when they wash out from under the Falls. As with any whitewater activity, you are responsible for judging your own capabilities and for your own safety. If you do not have the experience to run the Falls please do not attempt to do so.
July 25, 2015 - the Upper Yough
Race, sponsored by Wilderness Voyageurs
August 15-16, 2015 - Riversport Slalom, main race on Sunday August 16th
August 29, 2015 - the World Championships of Upstreaming, unsponsored by Wilderness Voyageurs
Please see the Paddlers'
Press Release, published July 19, 2015, for full details.
AW Ohiopyle Access Committee
Barry Adams 412-242-4562
Race Results by year: 2014 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 2000 1999
(There was no race in 2003, due to high water on the official race weekend and on the backup weekend; there was also no race in 2013, because of construction of the visitors' center.)
This fun falls opens up one weekend every year, for the AW Ohiopyle Over-The-Falls Festival (Race and Freestyle), at fallsrace.com. Other than that, it's been illegal to run...until now. Thanks to the AW Ohiopyle Falls Committee, and especially its tireless and relentless chair, Barry Adams, AW is has achieved expanded legal access to Ohiopyle Falls, beginning August 22 (the day after the Festival).
The Falls itself is a 15-20-footer, not too tough if you stay in the center and don't get sideways. At "normal" levels, the penalty for screwing up is a serious working in the hydraulic at the base; but it does seem to let people out eventually. The river-right eddy is known as the "Kosterizer," in honor of someone who got worked there in '99. It's probably the worst place to be.
The approach rapids aren't to be overlooked. They got ledges and stuff. The first ledge has a hydraulic which can make top-level boaters swim if they get caught; the second ledge has a piton rock, which has a very nasty tendency to break glass boats.
Excellent coverage of the early Ohiopyle Falls Festivals is available at IplayOutside.com:
First Annual (November 13, 1999)
Second Annual (September 30-October 1, 2000)
Third Annual (September 29-30, 2001)
And now for something completely different: Click here for Karl Gesslein's view of Ohiopyle Falls, drawn up after the groundbreaking 1999 race. (Clicking will open up a new browser window.) If you like that, check out some more drawings here.
Other related or nearby streams:
Middle Yough (Class II)
Casselman (Class I-III)
Lower Yough (Class III)
Meadow Run (Class V)
Upper Yough (Class IV-V)
Top Yough (Class IV-V)
Lat/Longitude coords verified by GPS.