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Difficulty I-II(III)
Length 7.6 Miles
Flow Range 800 - 4070 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 49 minutes ago 90.7 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 02/06/2020 7:30 pm

River Description

I am going to describe this section putting in 3+ miles upstream of riverton at Judy Gap. This will give you an 11 mile run. the 7.6 mile run is too short for a day run on this swift stream.
The first 7 miles of this run are characterized by cobble bar rapids, some fairly steep and technical but never exceeding class 2. Around mile 6 you will see a horizon line with a giant eddy on the right and a nice lunch spot.This 2-3 foot ledge (lunchstop ledge)is best run near the right bank.It is a straight run through the chute, but partially submerged rocks must be avoided both upstream and bordering the chute.
After the lunch spot you have a relaxing mile and a half or so until the next road bridge is encountered.Directly under this bridge is where things start to change with a faster current,higher waves, and more confused currents.In the next 3 miles you will run lots of small ledges, some in quick succession,at all angles to the river.This is a very interesting stretch of class 3 minus, with ledges running parallel,perpendicular,and catawompus.after the last of these ,it's a mile to the take-out.
The scenery on this river is nasty near the banks with old cars and chicken farms, but fantastic views of North Fork Mountain and Spruce Mountain may be viewed in the distance.
A cabins gauge reading of 5.7 should be the minimum fun level. there are many rock gardens that would require much more maneuvering and many gravel bars that would require dragging at lower levels.
At the time of this writing there is no problem with wood but the river is small enough that trees are bound to be found sometimes.At high levels the low-water bridge at the take-out could pose a problem due to strong currents.The river rocks and Shale are particularly sharp, grainy, and hard on boats and your body if you swim !!
There are two parking lots at Judy Gap, use the downstream left one, it is much easier. Take-out at the low-water bridge in the Seneca Rocks visitor center with ample parking.
Seneca Shadows campground has sites for quiet groups.
Yokums has camping,motel,cabins, and restaurant.Staying at their Princess Snowbird campground is very popular with boaters and may become a bit rowdy.

Email me if you have any comments or questions on this river.

Rapid Descriptions


Gage Descriptions

Rough correlations between Cabins gauge in feet vs cfs:

5.0' = ~370 cfs, 5.1' = ~425 cfs, 5.2' =480 cfs, 5.3' =~550 cfs, 5.5' =~654 cfs, 6.0' = ~1130

cfs, 6.5' = ~1,620 cfs, 7.0' = ~2,370 cfs, 7.5' = ~3,110 cfs, 8.0' = ~4,070 cfs

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.

No Accident Reports



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Cheat Canyon Settlement Reached; Land Set Aside for Endangered Species

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.

Tony Allred Jr


John Duke


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1214284 02/06/20 Tony Allred Jr updated description
1210420 10/11/18 Tony Allred Jr 10-11-2018 - added correlations feet vs cfs
1193113 04/26/04 John Duke n/a