Thursday, September 1, 2022


gauley season

The end of summer doesn't mean you have to put your adventurous spirit to rest until next year. After Labor Day it is Gauley season! The Gauley River is known as one of the best white water rafting locations in the United States and it has the most challenging and exhilarating conditions of the year during Fall weekends in September and October. Now is the time to hit these rapids in West Virginia for a weekend road trip!

Gauley River rafting is typically classified in two sections – the Upper and Lower. The Upper Gauley starts just below the dam at Lake Summersville and drops more than 335 feet in less than 13 miles, creating the most intense whitewater on the river and one of the most challenging whitewater experiences in the world. The 12-mile Lower Gauley is slightly less intense, but still extremely challenging. 

white water rafting

The Army Corps of Engineers releases water each Fall from the lake in order to control for potential flooding. Because these releases occur during the day on weekends, rafters and rafting outfitters know exact timing and water levels of their whitewater excursions. Summersville Dam is drawn down at 2,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) to create close to 100 rapids – including nine Class V – in the 26 mile stretch of the Upper and Lower sections of the Gauley River. Release dates this year are Sept. 9-12, 16-19, 23-26, Sept. 30-Oct. 3 and Oct. 7-10 and 15-16. This is Gauley season!

There is still time to make arrangements to run the rapids. Adventures on the Gorge (AOTG), West Virginia's largest adventure sports resort and rafting outfitter is ready to guide people through the Gauley gauntlet of rapids. AOTG offers several options for rafters who want to experience the “Beast of the East.” Examples include the Upper Gauley, Lower Gauley and Gauley Reverse 2-Day. Additionally, some rafters choose to run both stretches as part of the Gauley Marathon while others will take on the Upper Gauley twice in one day as part of the Double Upper Gauley 1-Day 2-Night package.

gauley season

My son and I had a boys' getaway for Fathers Day Weekend this summer white water rafting through the New River Gorge with AOTG. They are a first rate operation that not only does an exceptional job of providing rafters with thrilling experiences but also places a priority on ensuring your safety on the river. AOTG absolutely earned a Geek Daddy nod of approval for our white water rafting experience with them.

We had a guide named Ray Ray who has more than a decade of experience navigating the New River and Gauley rivers. Full of dad jokes and a grizzly West Virginia outdoorsman attitude, Ray Ray was a combination of a Walt Disney World Jungle Cruise captain and extreme sports guru. We had a great time running the rapids with him as we floated through the New River Gorge.

To make arrangements to participate in Gauley season with Ray Ray or another experienced AOTG guide, call 855-379-8738 or visit You can also find them on Twitter. If you are on Twitter make sure to give @Geekdad248 a follow too for updates and info that you are sure to be geeked to see.

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