Countdown to Gauley Season begins

Charleston, WV (WOAY) –  Governor Jim Justice announces the Gauley Season 2022 countdown officially begins today. Next weekend, Whitewater rafters from around the world will travel to West Virginia to experience some of the world’s top whitewater runs. Over 40,000 people venture to New River Gorge National Park and Preserve every fall to revel in the excitement of the six-week-long Gauley Season.

Whitewater rafting in West Virginia has become a tradition for thousands of rafters nationwide. The Gauley River makes approximately 25 miles of world-class whitewater with an Upper, Middle, and Lower Gauley River. Additionally, the Upper Gauley includes the legendary Big 5 Rapids. The Big 5 Rapids are Insignificant, Pillow Rock, Lost Paddle, Iron Ring, and Sweet Falls, which make up a steep, fast section of whitewater nicknamed The Beast of the East.

Summersville Dam schedules controlled releases each year for six weeks starting after Labor Day. The Dam releases 44 million gallons of water into the Gauley River at over 50mph, which makes for optimal whitewater rafting conditions. The release will begin the weekend of September 9 and end through the weekend of October 15.

Gauley Season 2022 includes 22 scheduled water releases and an additional hour of release from September 17- 19. Additionally, several rafting companies are offering exclusive deals for Gauley Season. Visit to plan your next rafting adventure.

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