Fall Upper Gauley Express

World-famous Upper Gauley River white water rafting, but we'll cut the day a hair shorter, so you can get back to the resort sooner.

This is still the Upper Gauley. This is still the big stage. And these are the 2018 Gauley Season release dates.


Okay, it's a couple miles shorter than the full Upper Gauley, but that doesn't mean you'll miss much. This express is still an express to all five of the Big 5, including Pillow Rock and Sweet's Falls. But instead of continuing on through the class-IV+ rapid, Wood's Ferry, we'll hop on the bus after lunch and come back home.

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 Upper Gauley River

The Upper Gauley is the cream of the whitewater crop. It is intimidating, and for good reason. This section of the river packs quite a punch, and may be the most high-adventure trip that most rafters will ever attempt. You can expect a world-class guide and an adventure you will never forget.

Gauley River Rapids Classification

Class III-V whitewater (on a scale of I to VI), with a few pools for relaxing and swimming.

Upper Gauley River Rapids Classification

Class IV through V

Guide Information

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.

Boat Size

Our standard rafts are 16 feet long, comfortably seating 8-9 guests and a guide.

Time on Water

Even though it's an express, it's still a mostly full day. Depending on the water level, you'll spend between 2-3 hours on the water plus shuttle time to and from the river. If you want to pair it up with another activity, make sure you schedule the second activity after 2 pm.

What’s Provided

We provide transportation from our resort to the river and back again, all rafting equipment (helmet, life jacket, paddle and boat) and the best hot grilled 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. The average water temperature on the Gauley River in the fall is 50 degrees. You may want to bring a synthetic layer. Wetsuits and splash jackets are available for rent.

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 strongly recommend that all participants have had prior rafting experience. Participants should also be able to swim.

Trip Safety

Your guides and leaders will discuss specific safety requirements on site.

5 Stars

“I finally got to do this!”

Stacey (Facebook)
5 Stars

“So challenging and FUN.”

User (Facebook)


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