Upper Gauley gets the fame— but try the Lower. Trust us:

Did you know the world-famous “Beast of the East” whitewater river run has a lesser-known, but just as thrilling 2nd half?
When it comes to rafting the Gauley River, most folks focus on the fiery Upper. But that’s all the more reason why you should paddle the Lower. Take advantage of still-wild drops, rapids and hydraulics— with a little less crowd!

Raft the Gauley River

Rafting the Gauley River

Here’s why you should take to the Lower:
1. Gutsy beginners are welcome. The Lower definitely has teeth, but you can tackle its Class III-V rapids with a guide. In contrast, only experienced rafters should ride the Upper.
2. Seasoned rafters may prefer the Upper by comparison, but by normal rafting standards, the Lower an absolute powerhouse. In fact, the Gauley ranks as one of the best advanced whitewater destinations in America.
3. Rides galore! Look forward to long rapids with enormous action. In fact, you’ll pound through 2 of the Gauley’s biggest waves in the Lower section.
4. Gorgeous, untamed scenery. The canyon is at its wildest and most striking along the Lower. An atmospheric foot bridge and aging railroad trestle add interest, too.
5. THE Best part— you don’t have to pick. Just do both! Local outfitters will let you camp out then take the 2nd half. If you’re really adventurous, you can power through both in a single day!
How do you think the Lower compares to the Upper Gauley?