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Difficulty II-III
Length 4.3 Miles
Flow Range 400 - 3110 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 48 minutes ago 233 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 10/15/2018 6:44 pm

River Description

Tony Allred Jr.:  October 15, 2018.  The approach to the right side ledge described below has silted in, diverting more water to the channel to the left of the ledge.  As a result there is much less water in the ledge at moderate levels and at low levels the ledge may be dry.  

Robert Farmer beta'ed:
March 19, 2007. At the 2nd island, the left looked rocky, so I went right, over a 3-4-ft ledge. This was no problem, but I recommend staying centered, as the sides looked a bit junky. Also, after you pass an impressive, overhanging pinnacle-kind of formation on river left, just downstream there is a tree leaning down into the water at a 45-degree angle; this would be alarming enough, but in avoiding this obstacle, one tends to get pushed toward a partially-submerged, roostertail-kind of rock that could really be quite painful etc. The level was 5.7/1100 cfs--a nice level, by the way. And the scenery is first-rate, as well. Cliffs virtually all of the way. The snow was fresh on river right, and gone on river left--quite scenic!! Only one or two places felt low; the rest of the river felt well-above minimum.
There are no tedious, flat spots on this section, just pleasantly moving slower spots between enjoyable rapids. Also, "the former Dolly Campground" is a grassy area between the road and the river just downstream of Dolly Town Rd. (28/1). Alternatively, there is a large pull-off just upstream, near a long rock ridge on river right. The popular takeout is where the road and the river come together again, 1/4 mile upstream of Jordan Run Rd. (28/7). An excellent run!

John Hefti testified:
I ran it for the first time after the flood of '85, and was very surprised to see that landslide rapid was entirely gone! I had not run the canyon in over 25 years, so I though I had not yet gotten to landslide until I was exiting the canyon. It seems that the spot where it used to be is now a flat pool, backed up behind a new garvel bar. I thought my memory was just being flaky.

john duke shared:
When you get to the second or third island, stay to the right for a nice ledge drop.. There is a small eddy on river right just above the drop (worth scouting on your first run). The center is a stern-bustin- 4-foot pourover; the left is a twisting ominous drop. This could get pretty hairy at over 1000 cfs Cabins gauge for the unexpecting. There is a sneak route to the left.

Rapid Descriptions


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7 years ago

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Joseph Greiner
17 years ago


Gage Descriptions

Rough correlations between Cabins gauge in feet vs cfs:

5.0' = ~400 cfs, 5.1' = ~450 cfs, 5.3' =~527 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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Gauley Fest - September 13-16, 2018 - Summersville, WV

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)

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

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


Turner Sharp


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1210428 10/15/18 Tony Allred Jr 10-15-2018 - cleanup
1210431 10/15/18 Tony Allred Jr 10-15-2018 - cleanup
1193486 11/24/03 Turner Sharp n/a
1210417 10/11/18 Tony Allred Jr 10-11-2018 - added correlations feet vs cfs
1198696 11/17/10 Matt Muir 3-30-2018 - cleanup