Because of the challenging nature of the Upper Gauley, we do not recommend this for folks who are intimidated by prior rafting trips, unadventurous or cannot swim. This daylong Gauley River raft trip is an extreme adventure in the best-made rafts available - Avon by Zodiak of North Americ a. The 14' Avon Adventurer self-bailing raft holds 7 paddlers for each guide and features spirit, agility and stability.
Designated as the Gauley River National Recreation Area in 1988, this entire 28-mile stretch of the Gauley River has well over 100 challenging rapids. Slightly smaller in size than the New River Gorge, the Gauley River canyon is steep, remote, vernal, rugged, and stunning. Mile for mile, the Gauley River offers more tantalizing white water than any other commercially paddled river. Beginning the first weekend after Labor Day weekend (September 9) and ending six weeks later, the US Army Corps of Engineers releases water from Summersville Lake into the Gauley's riverbed for the Fall Gauley Draw Down.
What to Expect:
In general, the Double Upper Gauley trip takes about six to eight hours from the time of arrival and return to Class VI's canyon rim facility. The bus ride to and from put-in and take-out access points involves a 45-minute to one-hour ride.
Upon arrival at Class VI, a staff member greets you at our check-in location. During the check-in process, each participant is required to sign our release form prior to the trip on the Upper Gauley. Minors unattended by legal guardians must bring a signed Class VI release form.
After signing the release form, changing into river wear, and enjoying a complimentary reception of Starbuck's coffee and juice in Chetty's Pub, we get a life jacket and helmet, then load up and head for the river. (Chetty's also offers an assortment of a' la carte breakfast items.)
At the put-in on the river, your trip leader and guide deliver a safety talk covering the fundamentals of rafting and proper use of river equipment. Part way down the river or in between runs, we pull off for a wholesome, riverside deli-style lunch.
At the take-out point, the gear is loaded onto our vehicles and we head back to Class VI while enjoying a complimentary beverage. You can take a hot shower, change into dry clothes, shop at our Canyon Rim Store, take a stroll to our scenic overlook and dine at Smokey's On The Gorge - all located at Class VI's canyon rim facility.
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