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About the Gauley River

Gauge Information

Army Corps of Engineers, Summersville Dam
(304) 872-5809
Click here to see the latest river levels.

The Gauley is a wonderfully busy river with an outstanding number of high quality rapids throughout it’s 24 mile length from the Summersville Dam to Swiss. The character of the river is pool-drop and on the upper 9.8 mile section from the Summersville Dam to Mason's Branch, the most challenging rapids are at the lower limit of class V.

Several other rapids on this river come in just a hair below this and are rated class IV+. The implication is simple. A paddler will need excellent endurance and very solid skills to prevent trouble on this long, powerful river. Bomb-proof bracing and 2-sided rolls, along with big water skills and precise maneuvering, are required to have reasonable assurance of a safe and an enjoyable run.

The Gauley River is heralded as one of whitewater's premier locations. Click here to view the Course for the Animal Upper Gauley Race, which takes participants through some of whitewater's most extreme rapids.

Scheduled releases occur on weekends (Friday-Monday) beginning the Friday following Labor Day.

Other Resources

American Whitewater River Database - follow the link to a wealth of information about this section of river.

Rapids of the Gauley River Video Tour - video descriptions and entertaining footage of people running all of the major rapids on the Gauley River, also written descriptions and aerial photos