Which has better whitewater rafting, the New River or the Lower Gauley? You Decide.
Get a taste of both the New River and the Gauley River on this 2-day trip. You'll start on the classic Lower New River the first day, and take on the more intense Gauley the next. The river section of the Gauley and the boat type in which we run depends on flows that day. You might be in a raft. You might be in a duckie!
We run this trip from early May to Labor Day.
Note: This trip does not include lodging and meals (except for lunches on the river).
About the New River
The New River is the classic upon which the West Virginia whitewater rafting industry was built. It's a drop-pool river, which means placid pool punctuated by moments of excitement. The New has several "sections" that we run. Some are excellent beginner and family-friendly trips, while others better for those who want more excitement and a bigger challenge.
About the Lower New River
The Lower New River is West Virginia whitewater rafting at its best. A large volume river, the Lower New's rapids are formed by large shelf drops and boulders. These structures create monster waves, hydraulics and world class whitewater.
About the Gauley River
The Gauley is characterized by multiple heavy rapids, requiring tight, technical maneuvering. In total, it is 24-26 miles long, but is often split into two main sections—the Upper and Lower Gauley.
About the Lower Gauley River
The Lower Gauley is a long run—17 miles—and though there are a few pools for relaxing and swimming, most of that length is spent in whitewater, with much of it class III-V. Though it doesn't pack quite the punch as the Upper Gauley in terms of technique and steely nerves needed, this river section should not be underestimated. It is the most advanced river section that we feel is appropriate for first-time rafters.
New River Rapids Classification
Class I through IV
Lower New River Rapids Classification
Class I through IV
Gauley River Rapids Classification
Class III-V whitewater (on a scale of I to VI), with a few pools for relaxing and swimming.
Lower Gauley River Rapids Classification
Class III through V
On class III-IV and harder trips, a guide sits in every raft and provides instruction at each major rapid and throughout the trip. On some trips like the Upper New and Summer Gauley, guests may be in their own inflatable kayaks (duckies). If that is the case, guides will be present to instruct, advise and assist.
On day one, you'll be in standard rafts that are 15 feet long and can comfortably seat 8-9 guests and a professional guide.
On day two, your boat type may vary. Because the water releases are not guaranteed at pre-determined levels, we will decide which section of river and which type of boat will make for the most fun on that day. There are typical trends from season to season. Chances are good that in the spring, you'll be in a standard 15-foot boat and a smaller raft or duckie in the summer.
Time on Water
This is a combination of 2 full day trips. Depending on the water level, you'll spend between 4-6 hours on the water on day one and 3-6 huors on day two- plus shuttle time to and from the river.
We provide transportation from our resort to the river and back again, all rafting equipment (helmet, life jacket, paddle and boat) and the best riverside lunch in the world of rafting. Be assured you will not go hungry!
What to Bring
Bring any medication you need throughout the day, plus sunscreen, sunglasses and a change of clothes to keep at the resort upon your return. Guides carry small waterproof bags to stow necessary medications. Depending on the time of year and the weather, you may also want a synthetic layer. If necessary, wetsuits and splash jackets are available for rent. Call us to book those, too.
Where to Meet
Requirements & Restrictions
The minimum age for this trip is 15 years old. Our PFDs (personal floatation devices) have a maximum chest capacity of 58 inches. We highly recommend the ability to swim and previous paddling experience because of the second day of this trip.
Your guides and leaders will discuss specific safety requirements on site.