Rafting Adventurers Club

When the river conditions are optimal for wild rafting… grab your gear because it’s go-time!

rafting the dam on savage river

The Adventurers Club is for experienced rafters who prefer the river less taken and who are waiting for that coveted high water. When rain storms provide us with high water or the ability to raft a river in a different season, or unscheduled dam releases occur at the last moment there is now an opportunity for you to take advantage of Mother Nature’s gift.


Wilderness Voyageurs will be putting together impromptu rafting trips exactly for those moments., and joining this free list will give you an alert the moment we know it’s go-time!


  • It’s FREE to sign up for alerts (trips do cost)
  • Sign up and get alerts when the water is prime (typically 1 – 2 day notice)
  • Choose email, text message, or Facebook message alerts
  • Meet other experienced rafters like you
  • Never miss a stellar day on the river!


WARNING: This isn’t for everyone. We will push the envelope on these trips.  Read these Adventurers Club Participant Guidelines & FAQ to see whether this club is right for you.

Sign up to get free alerts when the water is prime!

Get Email Alerts

We’ll send out periodic emails with possible run dates, along with an immediate alert when we’re loading the rafts! Don’t miss out.

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Check the rivers we raft…


Big Sandy River

This is our standard high water alternative to the Upper Yough. A tributary to the Cheat, this “creek” can only be run within a few days of a heavy rain. The Big Sandy is very similar in nature to the Upper Yough, with long, technical rapids that pack quite a punch for a “small” volume river. Rafts are the standard craft.


Summer Cheat Canyon

Although traditional Cheat season ends Memorial Day, there can be a number of opportunities to experience the Cheat Canyon throughout the summer.  With sufficient rain, we can raft the Cheat,  and then as the water levels drop, it presents an opportunity for high adventure ducky action.


Tygart Valley Falls

This gem is likely to be run in the late summer, when everything else is dry, due to water being released from Tygart Lake to assist the natural flows of the Monongahela River. This is a 2.5 mile paddle, but the more important number is the vertical feet you’ll be dropping on those waterfalls. Ducks are the only option for this ride.


Top Yough

Above the Upper Yough lies the Top Yough. This butt-kicking section of whitewater starts with a 30-foot cascade waterfall. Though we usually experience the Top Yough in Ducks, we’ll raft it during really high flows. Previous duckie experience is highly recommended; the put-in is only 100 yards above the waterfall, so there’s no time to acclimate to the craft.


Indian Creek

The gradient on this Lower Yough tributary is similar to the Big Sandy and the Upper Yough, but the river bed resembles the large sandstone shelves that make up the Lower Yough, providing large surf waves and big eddies so you can stop and do it again. Ducks or rafts will be used based on water levels.


Savage River

Western Maryland’s Savage River is a little-known gem that hosted the 1989 Whitewater Kayaking World Championships. Covering five miles of continuous Class III-IV whitewater, this is a small-volume, fast-paced whitewater roller coaster. The Savage is not as technical as the Upper Yough, but the constant nature of the rapids requires previous rafting experience. Robust paddling and a quick response to the guide’s directions are a must. Dam releases from the Savage Reservoir only occur three (3) times a year, it can run naturally with an abundance of rain.

Adventurers Club Guidelines

  • You should be an active and adventurous individual.
  • You must be able to pull your own weight.
  • 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.
  • You should be able to follow commands and act quickly.
  • Previous Class III-IV rafting experience is required.

You should be able to answer yes to the following questions to determine whether or not you have met the general physical and mental fitness guidelines required for participation in the Class IV+ to V- (Advanced/Expert) whitewater trips that will be conducted as part of the club.

  • Do you lead an active lifestyle?   
  • Do you have an appropriate height-weight ratio?
  • Can you help to pull yourself or other persons into a raft?
  • Are you comfortable swimming under the raft from one side to the other?
  • Are you comfortable swimming in moving water?
  • Can you follow instructions quickly and be an active member of the team?
  • Are you comfortable walking/scrambling on rocky terrain?

Wilderness Voyageurs reserves the right to turn anyone away that we feel is going to unduly endanger themselves, other guests, or the guide staff.  If we choose to not take you, we will facilitate a more appropriate adventure, if we are unable to accommodate you on another adventure a full refund will be given.

Adventurers Club Participant FAQ

How physically fit do I need to be to participate?

You don’t need to be a tri-athlete, but you need to be living an active lifestyle.  Rafters should typically jog, play tennis, ski, swim, do yoga, bicycle, backpack, or engage in other high-intensity physical activity on a regular basis in order to maintain their good physical condition. In other words, exercise must be a regular part of your overall lifestyle if you plan to tackle these adventures.

What do you mean by “appropriate height-weight ratio”?

Very large people, whether by height, weight or both, have a challenging time balancing and staying in the boats we use on the Adventurers Club… a place where staying in the boat is of greater importance.  We have also found that people who are very large have a more difficult time getting themselves in the boat and are a challenge for the rest of the team to rescue, putting an added stress on the fellow paddlers and river guides.

Do you have a recommended top weight for participants?

You need to be ready to paddle hard, respond to commands quickly, move around the boat quickly, and ready to pull a fellow paddler or yourself back into the boat. For this reason, 250 lbs is the recommended top weight we’ are comfortable taking on the Adventurers Club. Please call us with any specific questions/situations, but if you are anywhere approaching 250 lbs, we need to talk. Please call us!

Do I need to know how to swim?

Emphatically, yes.  At a minimum you need to be able to swim the length of a public swimming pool.  

I used to work out, but haven’t managed to do much lately and I’m carrying extra pounds. I’m not sure of my physical conditioning… Should I join the Adventurers Club?


Do I need previous whitewater experience?

Yes! You must have rafted or paddled an inflatable kayak (ducky) before on at least class III whitewater.

Do I want to go or is someone in my group pushing me to be a part of this trip?

If you feel as though another member of your group is pushing you, it is time to sit this one out.

What if I reserve the trip but then change my mind at the river?

When you reserve this trip, we assume that your skills and abilities are in line with our guidelines. We will have allocated space and resources on your behalf. As such, we will not provide a refund. We will however try and provide you with an experience on a more accessible section of whitewater.