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, and this sweet run is available 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.
Get your adrenaline fix on the Upper Yough this season!
Tumbling down through the mountains of Western Maryland, this 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! Your day will start at our outfitter store in Friendsville, Maryland. Located along the banks of the Youghiogheny River and just off Interstate 68, we are easy to find.
(Only 30 minutes from Ohiopyle, PA and 15 minutes from Deep Creek Lake, Maryland)
There you will receive your rafting equipment and and your initial safety briefing. Once in your gear and properly advised on all safety precautions, you head for the put-in.
There you will meet your raft guide, climb into a raft and put on the water! 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 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. These are the best guides on the water, and you’ll definitely need their precision lines and powerful strokes. By the last rapid you will have had your fill, and you can feel free to relax through the last stretch of calm water back to the Upper Yough takeout.
Wilderness Voyageurs’ Upper Youghiogheny Outpost in Friendsville, MD is riverside, so you will paddle into the takeout where adult beverages and a great meal will be waiting for you!
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 on every Monday and Friday starting April 20th (April is a little different). Weekly Saturday dam releases begin June 22nd and run until September 9th, with one additional Saturday release on October 6th. 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!
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