Gauley River Marathon
A Massive Day of Whitewater Rafting on the Gauley River, 26 Miles
Intense and relentless!
The complete Gauley River is 26 miles and 100 rapids of intense whitewater rafting excitement. 53 of them are rated class III or above! If you’re up for the ultimate challenge, you can experience the thrill of the entire river, Upper and Lower Gauley, in one day. That's what the Gauley River Marathon is all about. It's a trip for people that want it all, all at once.
You’ll put in at the base of Summersville Dam and tear through the Upper Gauley’s 40 intense rapids, including the Big 5. But instead of finishing your day at the usual Upper Gauley take-out, you'll continue downriver into the huge waves and holes in the rapids of the Lower Gauley. Don’t let yourself think that the big stuff is over after the Upper G. Two of the three biggest waves on the Gauley are on the Lower section, and with class-V rapids like the Mashes and Heaven's Gates and Pure Screaming Hell, the Lower Gauley still has plenty in store.
We don't recommend the Marathon for your first rafting trip. Oh, we'll take you, if you're hale and game, but be forewarned, this river is not for the timid. Luckily, we have some the best guides on the planet to bring out your A-game and help you run this river like it was meant to be run.
Prices are per person and do not include tax and fees. Prices vary by day of the week.
As with all of our fall Gauley Trips, we have what is hands-down the best lunch on the river. Our Canyon Doors lunch base is in the single most beautiful spot on this stunning river. The food is hot and delicious with options for vegetarians and carnivores alike—and all you have to do is show up to eat it.
What type of river is the Gauley?
The Upper Gauley is the cream of the whitewater crop and rafting aficionados travel from all over this time of year to enjoy her. The Upper G packs quite a punch in terms of technique and steely nerves needed, and this river section must not be underestimated. The Fall Upper Gauley is the most high-adventure trip that most rafters will ever see. You can expect a world-class guide and and adventure you will never forget. Then the Lower Gauley is a looonnng—17 miles—and though there are a few pools for resting, most of that length is also spent in whitewater, with much of it class III-V.
What does Class VI provide?
We provide transportation to and from the river, all rafting equipment (helmet, life jacket, paddle & boat), professional guides in each raft and the best hot lunch alongside the river.
How much time do we spend on the water?
The total trip is 1 very long day from the time you leave base camp until you return. We spend most of that time on the water, but a total of 1-1.5 hours is spent commuting to and from the river.
How big are the boats?
Our standard rafts are 15 feet long and can comfortably seat 8-9 guests and a guide. Upgrades to high-adventure, team-extreme rafts are available for an additional fee.
What else might we need?
You should bring any medication you need throughout the day, plus sunscreen, sun glasses and if the weather is a little nippy, a dry layer to put on after the trip. (Your guide will be able to put it into a dry bag.) If necessary, we also rent wetsuits and paddle jackets. Via our partnership with Whitewater Photography, we also sell photos of you in the rapids. Our video boaters also accompany most trips and we offer DVDs of your experience for an extra charge. To ensure you get a video, you can pre-order one with your reservation.