Upper Youghiogheny River

Upper Youghiogheny River at a Glance
Price: $$
River Rapid Class: IV-V
Trip in Miles: 10 miles
Trip Duration: 1 day
Season: April-October (weekdays and the first Saturday of each month)
Raft Types: Paddle Raft
River Sections: Sang Run to Friendsville
Nearby Towns: Friendsville (MD)
Gateway City: Friendsville (MD)
Driving Times: Baltimore (MD): 3.5 hours; Pittsburgh (PA): 2 hours

"The Yough is the mother of commercial rafting--not only because it's perhaps the first river to host commercial rafting, but also because it's the first whitewater experience for thousands. The river is easily reachable from Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, and Baltimore, and a reasonable trip from the greater New York metro area.

The Upper Yough is a whitewater bonanza, an exciting river nestled in the hills of extreme western Maryland and offering breathtaking drops through boulder-strewn rapids. Just to give you an idea of the violent nature of the Yough's big water, the river drops an average of 116 feet per mile, and these feet show up as precipitous drops in more than 20 Class IV and V rapids like Meat Cleaver, National Falls, Charlie's Choice, and Tommy's Hole. The Yough offers 11 miles of powerful and careening rapids, approaching the excitement of other big regional rivers like the Gauley. Naturally, the weak of heart, stomach, or stamina need not apply; in fact, the Upper Yough should only be attempted by physically fit paddlers who've some prior Class IV experience.

Controlled by regular releases for electric power from the Deep Creek Dam, the river's predictable flows are sometimes boosted by heavy spring rainfall, offering the occasional ""bonus” whitewater weekend outside the regular season. This also gives keen river rats the chance to beat the usual spring and summer crowds."

Published: 31 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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