WV Tourism Office announces countdown to Gauley Season

WV Tourism Office announces countdown to Gauley Season
Rafters with West Virginia Adventures challenge the Gauley River. Photo courtesy River Adventures.

The West Virginia Tourism Office has launched its official countdown to Gauley Season. Only 10 days remain until whitewater-rafting enthusiasts from around the world travel to West Virginia to experience some of the best Class V+ rapids along the East Coast.


“West Virginia’s whitewater is truly 'almost heaven,' and this Gauley Season, I invite everyone to come see and experience it for yourself," Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby said of the event.

Raftload on Gauley River, River Expeditions
Rafters with River Expeditions

"Whether you’re looking to take your family on a fall float trip down the New River or are looking for that thrilling adventure offered only by the Gauley, there’s a whitewater experience for everyone in West Virginia.”

Scheduled releases of water from the Summersville Dam into the lower Gauley River will start on Sept. 7, which marks the first official day of Gauley Season 2018. Twenty-three releases are scheduled, with an extra hour of release scheduled Sept. 15-17.

Ruby said any area rafting companies will offer specials and exclusive deals in honor of Gauley Season.

Click here to request whitewater information from all West Virginia outfitters at once.


“Our rafting outfitters are ready to welcome visitors from near and far this Gauley Season. Many of them are offering incredible deals, discounts and packages, and I encourage everyone to take advantage and book while you still can,” she said.

This marks the 50th anniversary of West Virginia’s whitewater rafting industry, Ruby said.

Mid-rapid run on Gauley River, Gauley River National Recreation Area.
Rafters with Adventures on the Gorge

The first commercial rafting business was founded in 1968. Five decades later, rafting in West Virginia has grown into a multi-million-dollar tourism industry providing hundreds of good-paying jobs to hardworking West Virginians, she said.

“I can’t wait to see where rafting will take us in another 50 years, and I’m excited to kick-start another successful Gauley Season in just 10 short days.”

To discover 50 facts about whitewater rafting in West Virginia, click here.

2018 Gauley River Release Dates

September 7,8,9,10—14,15,16,17—21,22,23,24—28,29,30

October 1—5,6,7—13,14—20,21

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