ATTENTION: The Upper Yough Dam is still under construction for the 2022 season. This is resulting in a heavy reliance on natural water flow during the release dates. If the water is not high enough to allow rafting on the Upper Yough, we will switch to the Cheat Canyon.This information and decision will not be known until we are very close to the trip itself. If this change would affect your decision on participating, you must call our office a couple days before your trip to check-in on the status. Regardless of what the trip ends up being, you will still meet in Friendsville, MD at 11:30am the day of your trip. We anticipate this project to last through mid-July. Trips after that should not be affected, but please keep an eye on our page to check for updates.
Get your adrenaline fix on the Upper Yough this season! River guides and local kayakers refer to the Upper Yough as the “Dream Stream.” This section of the renowned Youghiogheny River is Maryland’s only Class IV-V whitewater rafting. It’s a very popular fantastic rafting trip, with limited trip sizes and only 3 guests in a raft. Upper Yough rafting only three times a week from April through October. Releases are generally on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, but please check our trip schedule when you’re making rafting plans. Let’s go adventure!
The river trip covers 11 miles, and 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. Your expert Upper Yough river guides are at the top of their game, with a minimum of five years of rafting experience before they can ever get to the Upper Yough. Tumbling down through the mountains of Western Maryland, this Class IV-V river rafting trip is more like running a steep creek than 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!
The fun begins with the first two miles of the Upper Youghiogheny being 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. Back to back, you’ll hit four Class V rapids, falling a ridiculous 120 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.
This is just the beginning to your Class V 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 Upper Yough is more strenuous and demanding then many other rafting trips. The small boat size and and a crew of only 3 guests plus a guide translates into the following:
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.
The Upper Youghiogheny has a dam release schedule that begins the third Saturday of April. Please see the specific release dates below. Weekly Saturday dam releases begin June 18th and run until September 10th. 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! For a calendar view check the Upper Yough release schedule.
APRIL: The last three Saturdays: (4/16, 4/23, 4/30)
MAY: The first two Mondays: (5/2, 5/9) All Fridays: (5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 5/27), the first Saturday and last Saturday (5/7, 5/28)
JUNE: All Mondays, all Fridays, and the last two Saturdays (6/18, 6/25)
JULY: All Mondays, all Fridays, and Saturdays
AUGUST: All Mondays, all Fridays, and Saturdays
SEPTEMBER: All Mondays, all Fridays, and the first two Saturdays (9/3, 9/10)
OCTOBER: The first two Mondays (10/3, 10/10), the first two Fridays (10/7, 10/14), and first Saturday (10/1).
Trip Time - Hours
Varies per water levels & trip size.
April - October dam release days only.
Quick Dry Clothing
Shoes (not flip flops)
Wetsuits are available to rent
(not including 6.5% Garrett County Amusement Tax)
Remember this river is dam release and only available Mon & Fri & Sat