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White Water Rafting West Virginia - Options for White Water Rafting in West Virginia

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In the decades since the first white water rafting outfitters appeared in West Virginia in the 1960s, the industry has grown from a niche market for outdoorsmen to one of the most popular activities in the area. As a result, adventure seekers of all experience levels now make their way to the region for white water rafting in West Virginia, especially along the New River and Gauley River. Today, there are nearly 50 different outfitters that offer travelers options for white water rafting in West Virginia with packages ranging from challenging courses for experienced enthusiasts to trips that are perfect for youth groups and corporate retreats. The difficulty of the rapids on a given stretch of river are rated on a system that progresses from Class I rapids that are safe enough for all ages and experience levels to Class VI rapids that are considered unrunnable for nearly all paddlers. White water rafting trips in West Virginia include programs that are as short as a couple of hours to overnight adventures that can take two days or more to complete.

Some of the most popular packages for white water rafting in West Virginia are all inclusive packages that provide adventurers with everything that they need for their trip, including meals and lodging. These packages take much of the guess work out of planning a white water rafting trip in West Virginia and let adventurers focus on just having a good time on their trip. Many of the outfitters in the state are very flexible when it comes to all-inclusive white water packages and will work with customers to create custom made travel arrangements based on the unique needs and interests of their party. Parties with small children or elderly rafters can find some excellent packages for rafting on the Upper New River that are safe enough for just about everyone.

Intermediate rafters should consider arranging for a trip along the Lower New River. There is some gorgeous scenery along this portion of the river, as well as white water rafting opportunities that are similar to the most popular rivers in the West. It is important to note that the Lower New River is not available to most rafters during some periods of the year. The best time of the year for a white water rafting trip in this part of West Virginia is the mid-spring when the water is the calmest and the weather is relatively warm. Many outfitters also offer rafting excursions on the best parts of the Lower New River during the fall, but the cold temperatures of the mountain water can make longer trips fairly challenging.

More experienced white water rafters are likely to find the challenges that they are looking for on stretches of water like the Class IV and V sections of the Upper Gauley River. The white water making it through this part of West Virginia is amongst the most extreme in this part of the country, so paddlers are advised to make sure that they have the skills necessary to make it down the river safely before making travel arrangements. Many outfitters offer professional guides for this area who are well trained in river safety and emergency rescue, and these guides specialize in working with more experienced adventurers.

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