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.
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.
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.
Trip Time - Hours
Varies per water levels & trip size.
Daily Trips March - Mid-June
Deli Style and Riverside (weather permitting).