The Upper Yough River

Class: 3-5
Gradient: 50 (3.5@115) per mile
Volume: 620 -1500 cfs
Season: April through October
Scenery: Wild and Scenic
Time: 3-5 hrs
Length: 9.8 Miles

The Upper Yough (pronounced YOCK, like rock with a Y) flows through one of the last remaining wilderness canyons in the eastern US. World renowned for continuous whitewater and an impressive average vertical drop of over 115 ft per mile for 5 miles. This creates a river adventure with non stop intensity, exhilarating thrills, and adrenaline pumping action. Famous for its tight and technical passages, continuous rapids, this is an impressive section of river. "The miracle mile" is a mile long section with a vertical drop of over 120 feet per mile. This section of river was considered unraftable in the early stages of exploration.
 
In the mid 1960's some brave open canoeist started boating the river with mixed results which helped name the rapids.  It was not until the early 1970's  the river was kayaked with better success, still no one wanted to raft this section. In the early 1980's  Phil Coleman and Roger Zbel begin to seriously look at commercially  rafting the Upper, with the thought of starting a whitewater outfitting business. In  August 1981 Precision Rafting Expeditions was formed. These early commercial trips were not without adventure and mishap as these pioneers started to get the pattern down, also the rafts in use were not the state of the art self bailing boats of today. Bucket  boats added to the excitement by forcing you to stop before all of  the big drops to bail your raft. The local residents weren't to thrilled to see commercial activity take place and it was not uncommon to have shuttle vehicles vandalized. Gun shots were another means of discouragement. This is Maryland's only wild and scenic river corridor and is still a very wild and pristine river canyon.
 
Over the years though commercial rafting began to catch on and before long mid 1985 the State of Maryland started to regulate outfitters and guides. A lot has changed over the years but rafting the Upper Yough is still a very exciting trip.  The river starts as a flat water river for about 1.5 miles and then the warm up mile starts with little  rapids that get a little closer together and a little harder as you move through the warm up mile.  Then .....the awesome central canyon begins. For nearly 5 miles you take on 20 major rapids, back to back !! Control and technical maneuvers are made easier with the small state of the art self bailing rafts, the crew is one guide for three rafters for maximum action. For ten breathtaking miles your adventure takes you through 20 consecutive major rapids-each one guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. The whitewater  dam releases happen every Monday and Friday and the first Saturday of May. The summer Saturday releases start on the next to last Saturday in June and go to the second Saturday in September, with one bonus Saturday the first Saturday in October. Check out the dam release calendar for exact dates and times.

Available Upper Yough Trips

Monday Rafting 4-6 hours $115.00 per person Reservations
Friday Rafting 4-6 hours $120.00 per person Reservations
Saturday Rafting 4-6 hours $135.00 per person Reservations

Upper Yough Photos (click on photo to enlarge)

Upper Yough River Map


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Extreme River Trips

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