West Virginia Whitewater Rafting

Written by Serena Berger
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West Virginia whitewater rafting will most likely bring you to the New River or the Gauley River. These two rivers join just above Charleston, the state capital, and form the Manawha. Before they join, however, they snake through the canyons of West Virginia with very different character and different classes of whitewater at different times of the year.

For gentle, easy West Virginia whitewater rafting, the Upper New River is ideal in the summer. The waters are warm, the rapids are anywhere from Class I to Class III, and there are reputable businesses from which to rent rafts and duckies. For a family going on summer vacation with multiple generations, this is the perfect place to experience manageable whitewater in a beautiful environment.

For slightly more challenging West Virginia whitewater rafting, the Lower New River in the spring provides Class V rapids. Not for the inexperienced, fearful, or seasick, these rapids give you a chance to practice teamwork with a group from your office on a day off, or bring your significant other and pair up with another couple or two and make friends who share your passion for outdoor sports. But the most challenging whitewater of all can be found on the Gauley River.

Extreme West Virginia Whitewater Rafting

The Upper Gauley River is one of the most extreme areas of whitewater in the country and rated by many as one of the top ten rivers in the world for challenging rafting. Huge drops are common, and rock formations intensify pockets of rapids that can spin you around and flip you over. If you want the challenge of a lifetime, plan your trip to the Upper Gauley to coincide with a dam release, and you will experience Class V+ rapids that will blow you away.


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