Upper Yough Class V Whitewater

Friendsville Maryland Class IV-V Whitewater

(Only 30 minutes from Ohiopyle, PA and 15 minutes from Deep Creek Lake, Maryland) 

Are you ready for one of the crown jewels of East Coast whitewater rafting?  The only class 5 Maryland white water rafting.  Summer time class V whitewater is a real treat, especially when it is available three times a week from April until October.  Water is released from Deep Creek Lake into the Youghiogheny River Gorge to make this rafting trip possible.  Releases are generally on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays but the exact days do fluctuate.  Refer to our trip schedule to make sure thaa trip is operating on the day you want to go rafting. River guides and local kayakers refer to the Upper Yough as the "Dream Stream", come on out and see why folks arrange their work schedule around these water releases.


Upper Yough Rafting

Is a truly classic Class 5 river. Tumbling down through the mountains of Western Maryland, this rafting trip is more like running a steep creek than running a river. Fast paced and action packed you have to be on your toes, ready to paddle hard and precisely following the commands of your expert guide! Your day will start at our outfitter store in Friendsville, Maryland.  Located along the banks of the Youghiogheny and just off Interstate 68, we are easy to find.


There you will receive your rafting equipment and and your initial safety briefing. Once in your gear and properly warned about your future endeavor, you head for the put-in.  

There you will meet your raft guide, climb into a raft and put on the water! YAHHOO!! The fun begins....The first two miles of the Upper Yough is deceivingly calm and tranquil. Enjoy it! Soon you'll be dropping into Gap Falls & your adrenal glands will start working overtime. You will pick your way down through Class IV rock ledges and tight slots making your way to the pool above Bastard Falls. This is where it gets interesting.


Four Class 5 rapids back to back falling a ridiculous hundred and twenty feet per mile. Steep drops, big munchy holes, tight chutes, and powerful wave trains characterize this section of the river. When you pause in the pool below National Falls and gaze back upstream, it will dawn on you that this is what real whitewater  is all about.

‚ÄčUpper Yough Class 5 rafting

This is just the beginning to your Class 5 rafting day. You still have the likes of Heintzerling Falls and Meat Cleaver to deal with, not to mention Powerful Popper, Lost and Found, and the Rockies 1 through 4.  The river trip covers 11 miles and you will be on 

Due to the incredibly tight and technical nature of this section of the Youghiogheny, an immense amount of precision rafting is needed to get down the river. River guides that are on the Upper Youghiogheny have been rafting on average 5 years. By the last rapid you will have had your fill, and you can feel free to relax through the remaining calm water.

Wilderness Voyageurs' Friendsville Outpost is riverside, you will float into the takeout where there are adult beverages and and a great meal fresh from the Falls City Restaurant and Pub.

Now all you have to do is enjoy a beautiful Appalachian evening and swap river stories till it’s time to hit the road.

Upper Yough Whitewater Release Schedule

The Upper Yough has a dam release on every Monday and Friday starting April 18th (April is a little different). Regular Saturday dam releases begin June 21nd - September 13th, with one addtional Saturday release on October 4th. Saturday trips are especially sought after, so book in advance. But the Monday and Friday trips are less crowded, so instead of seeing a boat in every pool, you see the nature that you came to enjoy! Check the Upper Yough release schedule. Call us at 800-272-4141 to book your trip! 


Upper Yough Whitewater Rafting pictures on Pinterest

Upper Yough Whitewater Rafting pictures on Google +




Upper  Yough FAQ

Do I need prior experience?

It is highly recommended for the Upper Yough. Class V means a lot of action and there is always the risk of swimming. We suggest trying your skills on the Lower Yough first, then venturing to the Upper Yough.

What should I wear?

Shoes that will stay on your feet and from there it is weather dependent. During the hot summer days, you will be ok in shorts and a t-shirt (quick dry, non-cotton). On the chillier days, dress like you would to go skiing. Put on the wool, fleece or synthetic layers and keep the cotton home in the drawers. We do rent wet suits for $10 on the colder days. BRING A DRY CHANGE OF CLOTHES!

Is there a place to change at check in?

Yes, there is a changing room and restrooms as well.

Are photos taken?

You bet!

How many people in a raft?

There are 3 guests and a guide and absolutely no more. It is the law! We are sorry if you are a group of 4, you will be divided. If you are a group of 2, there is the chance you might be split up, although we do our best to prevent that. These trips are very small, a maximum of 15 people, so you will be near your friends at all times. No matter what though - you'll have a blast!

Why Raft with WV:

  • It's really fun!
  • Our Guides keep safety and fun together as priorities
  • Excellent equipment
  • Our Outfitter Store in Friendsville, MD is your check in and the take out. Making it easy!
  • Great food & cold beer (and other beverages) waiting for you post trip.
  • We're the first company on the east coast starting in 1964. The equals a lot of experience!
  • It's been on your list for years!!

More Questions?Click here!

Book Your Trip Now!
Gear Directions
Guides Photos
Check In Time Check In Location


Friendsville, Maryland
Min Age River Classification
16 years old Class IV-V

Friday: $125

Saturday: $145

Monday: $120 

Taxes and Fees not included.


Yes - after the trip

Length 2014 Season

11 Miles  4-5 hours

April 18th -  October 10th. Dam realease days only

Trip Format

Fully Guided - 3 Rafting Enthusiasts and 1 expert guide per boat

Suggested Items to Bring:

Quick Dry Clothing
Shoes (not flip flops)
Wetsuits are available to rent

Book Your Trip Now!
Want to Contact Us?

Click here to ask for more Information or send us feedback on your trip...

or Call 800-272-4141


"As always, your staff has provided my group with an amazing experience"
Rod Johnson