Are You Ready to Raft the Gauley River?

Are you ready for the mighty Gauley River?

Gauley River in WV

It's one of the top 10 whitewater rivers in the world. And that title isn't earned lightly. It's a challenge, but a worthwhile one if you ask us.

Are you up to the challenge of rafting this beast? Let's see:

1. Do you like adventure? 

Always! Well, that's a positive start!

Not really: This one may not be for you. But, you can still enjoy the local rivers other ways. Take a jetboat down the New River to see the scenery and the bridge. It's a majestic, world-class experience of its own.

2. Can you handle wild rides? 

Yes, yes yes!: I'D LEAP OFF BRIDGES! I can take a thrill. Awesome. Then youdefinitely need to be on the Gauley.

Nope, not for me, thanks: That's ok. Why not try the New River instead? The Upper New is calm but fun for the family. And the Lower New gets big, but is far more tame than the Gauley runs! Plenty of low-key outdoor lovers enjoy riding the New River rapids.

3. Have you rafted before? 

Of course! Awesome fun, right? And it made you even more ready: if you've rafted at least once and know what to expect, you'll be more prepared for what the Gauley can throw at you.

Oh… no. That's ok! It's usually recommended that you do try it first, but you can easily take a run on the New River before your Gauley trip. They're both right here, after all! And the Lower New is great practice for the bigger Gauley Waves.

4. Can you swim?

Quite well! Or at least reasonably so! Good; that's definitely going to come in handy if you do happen to fall in, which is always a possibility. Or if you want to dip in during a calm section of the water. Ot leap from a jump rock! You don't have to fall in to get in (but only where your guide says it's ok!)

Not even a bit. Not even floating. This is still workable. You will have a personal flotation device, and a professional guide who can help you. But you do need to be sure to tell your guide if you can't swim. That way, if you do fall in, he will know you need more assistance.

5. Think you can paddle hard even when you're a little (or a lot) scared? 

No doubt! Swell. You're going to be an asset when you hit the big water. Stay focused and remember to follow the paddler at the front of the boat, and you should be golden.

No way. It's good that you can be honest. You made it to the last question, and we aren't going to boot you now. The Gauley can be dangerous but plenty a Nervous Nellie has tackled it.

Just remember, you'll be on a team of paddlers who can help steer when things get rough. It's more important that you keep in tandem with your team than to be aggressive, so just be aware and communicate with everyone in your boat, especially your guide, if you get (or may get) overwhelmed.

What do you think? Going to take on the Gauley?