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Living The Extreme Bucket List

Lauren Surbrugg | March 03, 2016
The world is your playground. An epic wilderness adventure begins with someone who isn’t afraid. Is that you? Yes? Great! You’re in for a splashing splendor when you head to West Virginia to explore the Gauley River.

Thousands of wild adventurers make their way to the east coast during the fall to experience “Gauley Season.” The Gauley River has the best flow following Labor Day and runs for the next six weekends. Rafters and kayakers will take to the river to conquer several V+ whitewater rapids through one of the most beautiful river chutes in the United States. Take the plunge in a guided tour to traverse more than 25 miles of river terrain that drops at least 660 vertical feet.

As riders conquer rapids ranging from class III to V+, it may be difficult to take in the absolute beauty this river shares. Master the turns through Pillow Rock, Sweet’s Falls, and Iron Ring, and stay on track through Shipwreck and Lost Paddle - be sure you don’t give the river another excuse to name a turn after something bad that happens to you and follow the safety guidelines.

Epic wilderness adventures don’t come easily. You must work hard and practice rafting and kayaking in order to master this bucket list adventure. It’s not for the faint of heart - which we know you don’t have. Many parts of the river can only be accessed if riders are older than 16-years; however, there is a thrilling section of the lower Gauley that flows like a fluid roller coaster and is ready for riders as young as 12-years-old.

BONUS: Traveling to the Gauley River for Bridge Day means you get to see the world’s greatest adventure-seekers dive off the New River Gorge Bridge as they bunjee jump 876-feet toward the Gauley.