Upper Gauley River Rafting Trip

TRIP OVERVIEW

Fall Upper Gauley River Rafting


Like the badges of boy scouts or the medals of four-star generals, experience on the Gauley River is worn as a badge of honor by experienced white water rafting veterans. Once you get some Gauley River rafting under your belt, it sticks with your forever. Each twist and turn goes running through your head at work, as you drift off to sleep, watering the garden, when you least expect it. From beautiful mountains to some of the most challenging West Virginia rafting slopes, Gauley rapids are a force to be reckoned with and a badge of honor you will never forget. Check it out:

  • Over 40 rapids made of pure "steep-churning-top-10-in-the-world-white-water" packed into 11 miles of river
  • 6 class V rapids only Mother Nature could invent (with help from dynamite)
  • A 14-foot waterfall. Seriously.
  • Gauley guides who specialize in teambuilding to keep your team on point in the most challenging white water
  • Lunch at ACE's own private grill spot and deck overlooking the coliseum. Boats and lodging fill up fast, 'cause it's some pretty fun stuff
Gauley-Party-In-The-Holler-2014
Check out our new Gauley River Rafting Website!

Gauley Rafting Dates 

September and October are scheduled releasesFall Gauley Rafting Dates — and people come from all over the world for the Gauley white water action. Boats and lodging fill up fast, 'cause it's some pretty fun stuff. 

If the Upper Gauley white water rafting sounds like a bit more than you'd like, check out Lower Gauley River rafting, the most advanced trip we offer for first timers. 

Step up to the next level of white water adventure with these Gauley river rafting experiences:


Rafting Guide

Upper Gauley River rafting - All Day

  • Straight up world-class section of Class III-V+ Gauley white water rafting
  • Trip Length: 12 miles (All day)
  • Meals: Hot-grilled lunch at Sweet's Falls – ACE's private lunch site
  • Season: September-October
  • Minimum Age: 15
  • Minimum Height: 60 inches
 16' Raft (8+ Person Raft) - Min Age: 15
  FRI SAT SUN MON
 
 Rate $159 $179 $159 $109
Book Now
 

 14' Raft (6+ Person Raft) - Min Age: 15

Free Raft Upgrade

  FRI SAT SUN MON
 
 RATE $184 $159 $204$179 $184$159 $134 $109
Book Now
 
 12' Raft (4+ Person Raft) - Min Age: 18 
  FRI SAT SUN MON
 
 RATE $209 $229  $209 $159 Call for Reservations

*Check out the Fall Gauley Rafting Dates for available dates


Rafting Group Trip

Gauley Marathon - All Day

  • Gauley white water rafting smorgasbord - Upper and Lower Gauley in one day (70+ rapids)
  • Trip Length: 23 miles (All day)
  • Meals:Hot-grilled lunch at Sweet's Falls – ACE's private lunch site
  • Season: September-October*
  • Minimum Age: 15
  • Minimum Height: 60 inches
 16' Raft (8+ Person Raft) - Min Age: 15
  FRI SAT SUN MON
 
 Rate $209 $229 $209 $129
Book Now
 

 14' Raft (6+ Person Raft) - Min Age: 15

Free Raft Upgrade

  FRI SAT SUN MON
 
 RATE $234 $209 $254$229 $234$209 $154 $129
Book Now
 
 12' Raft (4+ Person Raft) - Min Age: 18 
  FRI SAT SUN MON
 
 RATE $259 $279  $259 $174 Call for Reservations

*Check out the Fall Gauley Rafting Dates for available dates


 

Rafting

Double Upper Gauley River rafting - All Day

  • Upper Gauley white water rafting pig out! Six big class V+ rapids twice in one day
  • Trip Length: 24 miles (All day)
  • Meals: Hot-grilled lunch at Sweet's Falls – ACE's private lunch site
  • Season: September-October*
  • Minimum Age: 15
  • Minimum Height: 60 inches
 16' Raft (8+ Person Raft) - Min Age: 15
  FRI SAT SUN MON
 
 Rate $219 $239 $219 $139
Book Now
 

 14' Raft (6+ Person Raft) - Min Age: 15

Free Raft Upgrade

  FRI SAT SUN MON
 
 RATE $244 $219 $264 $239 $244$219 $164 $139
Book Now
 
 12' Raft (4+ Person Raft) - Min Age: 18 
  FRI SAT SUN MON
 
 RATE $269 $289  $269 $189 Call for Reservations

*Check out the Fall Gauley Rafting Dates for available dates

 

SLIDESHOW

 

 

 

MORE INFO

Upper Gauley River white water rafting is more than something to do — it's an event.

Gauley Season is only 6 weekends in September and October, when the Summersville Lake is drained to its winter water level. We start Upper Gauley rafting trips at the base of the Summersville Dam.

Come for the buzz of opening weekend — always right after Labor Day. The third Gauley Season weekend is always Gauley Fest, including fundraisers for American Whitewater, raft and kayak races, and a post-river celebration. The final Gauley weekends feature the explosive color of West Virginia's fall foliage. We wrap up our Gauley adventures for the year on Bridge Day weekend — why not combine rafting with a BASE jumping extravaganza?


Gauley Release Dates

Gauley Water Levels:

All days are scheduled for normal minimal release levels of between 2,800 to 3,200 cfs. These are ideal levels for world-class rafting on all sections of the Gauley. Water levels may vary due to weather conditions.

Don't miss your chance to go rafting on the Gauley this year!


Go Gung Ho For Gauley

GungHo 14’ Trip Options

You’ve probably heard your guide say that driving a raft is a lot like driving a car. Some makes and models are better for certain rivers. The 14-foot raft is the boat of choice for the Gauley. And this year, ACE is ready to customize the ride your crew wants. Check out our two 14-foot trip options:

Trip Option #1 – 14’ High Adventure
•    Hit all 42 rapids from Class III-V+
•    Run the classic lines and the proven sweet spots
•    This is big whitewater and keeping you in the raft is our #1 priority

Trip Option #2 – 14’ GungHo
•    Surf the classic holes on the Upper Gauley
•    Maximize each rapid and wave for action and amplitude
•    Explore more advanced lines through rapids

The GungHo distinction with the 14’ raft is FREE. However, you must:
•    Be at least 18 years old
•    Have prior rafting experience
•    Ready and able to swim aggressively
•    Be able to pull yourself into the raft
•    Watch “the video” and sign an additional waiver detailing the risks


If the GungHo trip is for you, you need to add this feature to your reservation. Just give us a call at 800-787-3982 to upgrade.


What To Wear

The Upper Gauley runs in the spring and in the fall. In both seasons, weather can vary quite a bit. Be prepared to rent a wetsuit or bring your own on most days. Cotton is a poor insulating layer to wear; when cotton gets wet (like it does when you are rafting the Gauley) it actually draws heat from your body, making you colder. There is a saying in the white water world that you should dress for the swim.

Although no one plans to fall in the water while rafting the Gauley River, it does happen. On chilly days, wearing synthetic pile or fleece over your core along with a windbreaker works with your wetsuit (don't forget, Gauley River water is around 55 degrees) to keep you warm — and comfortable — all day. On particularly cold days, wool socks, gloves and skull caps are a good idea for conserving your body heat.

  • Shorts and/or bathing suit
  • Wetsuit recommended
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses with strap
  • River sandals, water shoes, or tennis shoes
  • Your steely-eyed face of determination
  • Video - What To Wear

What To Bring

  • Sunscreen
  • Personal prescription medication
  • Extra layer
  • Waterproof camera
  • Can-do attitude

Don't Bring

  • Towels
  • Wallets, keys, rings or jewelry
  • Non-waterproof camera
  • Backpacks or excessive cargo
  • Friends who don't like to have fun

Whitewater Safety Orientation Video

GAULEY RAPIDS

 

Gauley River Rafting: Everything You Need to Know.

Rafting the Gauley = Heavy Duty Fun.

It doesn't get any simpler. From peak releases during Gauley Season to challenging summer flows, the Gauley always delivers.

Gauley River Rafting

Upper Gauley

Big. Steep. Technical. Intense. Big. Why did we list big twice? The Upper Gauley is home to six rapids known as, well, the Big 6. Each one will quicken your pulse and make you whoop and holler. In between, don't sleep; there's plenty of whitewater to keep you on your toes.

Lower Gauley

For first-time rafters, the Lower Gauley is about as challenging as it gets. Long wave trains and big hits will put a grin on your face that just may be there permanently. Be prepared to dig in, but don't forget to take in the amazing views from the river.

Summer Gauley

Like solitude with your white water? The Summer Gauley has it in spades along with narrow chutes, steep drops and huge rocks. Take comfort, though. When you raft this legendary stretch of river, you raft with an experienced staff who've made the Summer Gauley their calling.

Gauley Overnights

Hard playing and serious relaxing are what Gauley River overnights are all about. There's plenty of rapids and plenty of food to go around. Get your Gauley on in the summer or fall and camp out at the coolest private overnight spots on the Gauley. You'll kick it around the fire, talking about the day's runs and what lies ahead.

 

Gauley River Rapids: Check out this site for detailed information concerning the awesome Gauley River Rapids.

 

Gauley-Rive-Map

 

Additional Gauley Information

Rafting is only the tip of the the Gauley River's rich history. This water way has drawn men and women to its banks for more than 200 years, boasting enough diverse attractions to be designated a National Recreation Area by the United States government.

For history lovers, the Gauley story mirrors the story of the United States. The tale begins with the first West Virginia settlers in the 1770s. These pioneering European settlers braved the challenging terrain - and often-challenging relations with Native American residents who came before them.

Chapters followed on the Civil War and the timber, mine and railroad industries that continued well into the 20th century. The great civil works projects of the 1960s saw completion of the Summersville Dam near the Gauley's headwaters just before commercial rafting began on the New River. Though the Gauley River had been successfully run before the dam was built, it was the regulated flows that made commercial whitewater rafting possible.

Gauley River Today

The Gauley River's reputation these days is built on recreation. Between the Gauley River National Recreation Area, Summersville Lake and white water rafting, there is plenty to do.

The Gauley winds through three sections: the Upper, Middle and Lower, featuring different difficulty levels and amazing scenery. Many rafting outfitters offer trips from Spring to Fall, depending on local precipitation and water released by the Army Corps of Engineers from the Summersville Dam.

Gauley Season, a 22-day schedule of releases for white water enthusiasts in September and October, is the capstone to the rafting season in West Virginia. Each season, more than 60,000 paddlers take on world-famous rapids such as "Insignificant," "Pillow Rock" and "Sweet's Falls."

Beyond Rafting

Alongside the Gauley River, hikers, anglers and hunters enjoy the lush forest and abundant wildlife of the Monongahela National Forest. The area is home to many rare and threatened plants, such as Virginia spiraea. Along with rafting in the fall, you can also explore the brilliant foliage soaring along the New River Gorge through the crisp autumn air on a zip line or cruising down into the Gauley canyon on a guided mountain bike tour.

Wildlife watchers can find deer and even bear along the 26-mile corridor that stretches from the Summersville Dam to the where the Gauley and New rivers join to form the Kanawha River. Other animals that make their home in the area include 10 threatened species of mammals, birds, insects, fish and amphibians.


 

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2014 Gauley Release Dates:

Gauley Water Levels:

All days are scheduled for normal fall water levels of between 2,800 to 3,200 cfs. These are ideal levels for world-class rafting on all sections of the Gauley. Water levels may vary due to weather conditions.


 
 
2014-gauley-release-dates-image
exp-upper-g
exp-lower-g
 

2014 Gauley Release Dates:

Gauley Water Levels:

All days are scheduled for normal fall water levels of between 2,800 to 3,200 cfs. These are ideal levels for world-class rafting on all sections of the Gauley. Water levels may vary due to weather conditions.


 
 
2014-gauley-release-dates-image
exp-upper-g
exp-lower-g
 

2014 Gauley Release Dates:

Gauley Water Levels:

All days are scheduled for normal fall water levels of between 2,800 to 3,200 cfs. These are ideal levels for world-class rafting on all sections of the Gauley. Water levels may vary due to weather conditions.


 
 
2014-gauley-release-dates-image
exp-upper-g
exp-lower-g
 

2014 Gauley Release Dates:

Gauley Water Levels:

All days are scheduled for normal fall water levels of between 2,800 to 3,200 cfs. These are ideal levels for world-class rafting on all sections of the Gauley. Water levels may vary due to weather conditions.


 
 
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