Wild River Trips: Gauley River

West Virginia whitewater is wild in the spring

Famous for its whitewater rafting during the “fall release” season, West Virginia’s Gauley River doesn’t need the help of a timed release to have killer class IV and V rapids. During the spring runoff season, water levels can actually be higher than in the fall and some say the usually-less intense Lower Gauley section can match the Upper boil for boil.

Rivermen offers two spring options: a full-day trip from $119 per person will take you on either the Upper or Lower Gauley, depending on water levels, and a two-day overnight for $289 that combines different sections and boats—multi-person rafts or 1-to-2-person inflatable kayaks called “duckies.” Both trips are for advanced paddlers.