Within the 50-mile stretch of the New River Gorge National River, there are two distinct sections: the Upper and Lower New River. The Upper New is more tame and kid-friendly for beginners with a few challenging intermediate Class III rapids. Beginning boaters can enjoy Class I to III rapids for a leisurely float or excellent fishing opportunities. The Lower New starts just North of Thurmond and boasts our most popular whitewater with more than 25 Class II to Class IV rapids. Each section offers several trip options including multi-day overnight trips.
Lower New River Gorge
Big, fast, playful and fun - the Lower New River is a whitewater roller coaster ride of towering, crashing waves. With rapids, including thumpers like The Keeney Brothers, Upper and Lower Railroad, Greyhound Bus-Stopper, and Double-Z, the Lower New offers enough thrills and adventure for any enthusiast. Known as “The Grand Canyon of the East”, the New River is of the oldest rivers in the world and winds through the 1,000-foot deep gorge at over a mile. Calm pools between rapids give you a chance to catch your breath, take a swim, and enjoy the awesome scenery and abundant of wildlife.
Upper New River
Whitewater Rafting the mild Upper New River rapids is the perfect, kid-friendly family vacation. Your guide navigates easy Class I to III rapids, separated by flat pools of warm summertime water that are perfect for splashing, swimming, playing games or just sitting back and enjoying the scenery. Many of our guests choose to paddle a Duckie, our most popular watercraft on the Upper New. A cross between a canoe and kayak, these inflatable play boats are stable, lightweight, highly maneuverable and easy to paddle. It makes even the smallest rapids a thrilling experience.
Considered one of the Top 10 Whitewater Rivers in the World, the Gauley River is West Virginia's legendary run. Nicknamed the "Beast of the East", the Gauley River runs more than 80% of the year offering clean, clear mountain water and raging whitewater. Within a 25-mile stretch, the river is divided into two major sections: the Upper Gauley River and Lower Gauley River.
In the spring and summer, the Gauley River opens up a new level of adventure opportunities in addition to the Upper, Middle and Lower sections. The Upper Gauley has legendary runs, steep drops, massive holes and colossal waves. Roller coaster waves and challenging drops also characterize the Lower Gauley, though it’s not as steep as the Upper. Overall, the Gauley is technically demanding with more than 100 major rapids with over half of them rated Class III and above.
Spring and Summer Gauley Rafting Trips
The Gauley River, most famous for its world-class whitewater in the fall, is a hidden gem in the spring and summer. Prized for its beauty and value, Gauley rafting in the spring and summer is great for those that crave adventure of the unknown. Even though the river flows are unpredictable, we are keep tabs on the weather and river levels, so adjustments are constantly made to catch the best ride out there whether you’re in a raft or a duckie.
Fall Gauley River Rafting Trips
Once a year, whitewater rafters from around the world come to West Virginia for the chance to experience the "Beast of the East"! Considered to be one of the single biggest boating events in the country, more than 60,000 rafters go whitewater crazy for 22 Days each Fall.
Fall Upper Gauley Rafting Trips
Simply put, the Upper Gauley is for the serious thrill seeker. This heart-pounding river is physically demanding, mentally stimulating, and the ultimate in adrenaline-packed, world-class whitewater! There are several different trip options to choose from depending on how much whitewater you can handle.
Fall Lower Gauley Rafting Trips
The Lower Gauley is a whitewater rarity. This jam-packed, fast, fabulous and fun trip is our most challenging trip recommended for first-time rafters. It is a remote canyon with breathtaking scenery and world-class rapids; some of the biggest holes and wave trains on the river are on this section. The Lower Gauley is often considered a stepping stone between the New River and the Upper Gauley.