Spring Time West Virginia White Water Rafting in Cheat Canyon
The Cheat River is pure West Virginia white water rafting—a deep, remote canyon, 40+ rapids and few other people on the water. Whether during low or high water, the Cheat Canyon is an adrenaline-filled experience. Spanning 11 miles of whitewater with tons of rapids, and winding through the spectacular Canyon, this special run is enough to impress even the most seasoned rafter. The Cheat River is remote, yet easy to access from I-68. Located just 3 hours from Washington DC and 1.5 hours from Pittsburgh.
Your Cheat River Rafting Day
We’ll start at the Wilderness Voyageurs outpost just north of Albright, West Virginia on route 26. We will group up, gear up, run through a quick safety talk (this will be followed by more in-depth instruction from your guide once in the water). Once on the water, we’ll hit the first rapid in about half a mile. Named Decision, it will be the last chance to turn back! But you won’t want to – Decision gets the excitement going and you’ll find you want more!
We’ll then enter the Cheat Canyon, which drops fifty feet per mile through the canyon. The drop is deceptive, as there are many long, calm pools to catch your breath in, as well as a plethora of Class III rapids to keep your pulse going. Then you have the many boat-eating rapids such as Big Nasty, High Falls, Coliseum, Maze, Even Nastier, Fist, Tear Drop, and the many more that litter this stretch of river. Check out a Cheat Canyon topo map of the river and the rapids. When we reach the Jenkinsburg bridge you’ll get a chance to enjoy the cold refreshments that our bus driver has delivered. Lunch is typically eaten riverside, but if the weather is too cold, the Trip Leader may opt to eat back at the base. Lunch consists of a deli picnic with fresh fruit and cookies to top it off. Vegetarian options are available, too. And if you have specific dietary restrictions or needs and we are unable to accommodate them, you’re welcome to bring your own food and we’ll keep it dry for you! Once you get back to the outpost it’s back into your dry clothes and time to relax a little before you hit the road again.
Read the Cheat River article and learn about the history and people of this amazing place.
Cheat Rafting Trip Guidelines for participants:
The Cheat River can be strenuous and demanding, especially when it is at high water levels. The challenging whitewater and remote nature of the run translates into the following:
- You must be able to pull your own weight, both while in the raft and if you need to get back into the raft, your help is required. Are you an appropriate height-weight ratio?
- You should be an active and adventurous individual.
- You should be an experienced swimmer and are comfortable in the water.
- You should be able to calm yourself in physically and mentally stressful situations.
- Previous Class III-IV rafting experience is highly recommended.
If the staff feels that you are not of appropriate physical or mental condition to participate we reserve the right to deny your participation in the trip.
When booking trips for the Cheat River, remember that the minimum age is 16. Though prior experience isn’t necessarily required, it is strongly recommended.
Adrenaline junkies tip: To get the best levels for the Cheat, book your trips for the early spring, when the levels are at their highest after rainfall.