Upper Gauley



RAPID NAME: Insignificant



Insignificant rapid starts out very shallow and technical. Kayakers will find a number of different ways through the top, but there are far fewer options for rafters. You will see most of them entering on the left through the rapid’s widest channel.

After the technical top section, the rapid quickly opens up and picks up speed. The most distinguishing feature in the upper half of the rapid is the meaty pour over in the middle of the river, which comes into play on all but the sneakiest of routes. It’s also pretty tough to see from above. The hole can be missed at fall flow on both the left and the right.

Once past the pour-over the water picks up speed and constricts between the house-sized undercut on the right and the anvil rock on the left which sticks out into the current like a jagged finger. The majority of the current washes up onto and pillows off of the side face of the slanted undercut down into a series of beautiful fluffy wave/holes. Because of a nice return eddy on river left these make a popular play area for boaters. The rapid’s exit is guarded by a large boulder on the right.

View Aerial Images of Insignificant Rapid

Insignificant Rapid at 2800 cfs (upstream)

Filmed from the bumper rock on the right in the upstream section of Insignificant Rapid, this video describes the features present including the large pour-over hole in the middle of the river.

Insignificant Rapid at 2800 cfs (downstream)

Filmed from the large slanted undercut rock on the right, this video describes the features present in the lower section of Insignificant Rapid and includes footage of whitewater rafting through the rapid.

Insignificant Rapid at 650 cfs

Filmed from the left bank, this video includes a description of the features present in Insignificant Rapid at low water. Includes footage of inflatable kayaks and whitewater rafting.