Fall is the high season for whitewater rafting on the Lower Gauley. Summer is unpredictable because of changing lake levels, but is still a fun time for a trip.
The Lower Gauley is for beginners with Class 3 rapids and the Upper Gauley is for experienced kayakers only, with five Class 5 rapids.
Local outfitters have schedules of when water will be released from the dam, so you may plan a trip when the water will be at its highest.
Several outfitters who guide whitewater trips also provide camping as part of their packages. Private campgrounds are located along the river.
You may get single day or multi-day packages. The multi-day packages include camping and meals. Packages may include any combination of the Upper, Lower and Middle Gauley.
Other activities may also be included in your vacation, such as rock climbing, hiking and a canopy tour, which is a zip line route that passes through the tops of the trees. The nearby New River also has whitewater, and you can ride both rivers in a package.
Article Written By James Jordan
James Jordan has been a writer and photographer since 1980. He has worked for newspapers in Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kansas, winning state press association awards for writing, photography and page design. In 1995 he received his master's in Christian education and completed two years of Ancient Greek at the graduate level. Jordan holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.