Ohiopyle Whitewater Rafting


Are you thinking of taking a rafting trip near Ohiopyle?

Is this the first time you are planning to go rafting, or in that particular area?

Would you like to find out more details before you book yourself on a rafting trip?

Whether this is your first time doing white water rafting, or whether you have already done it but will be trying it out in Ohioplye for the first time, this article has all the details that you need, in one place. Today, we are sharing with you the reasons that make this such a popular place for white water rafting.

We also share about the area, the facilities you can get, the level of ease or difficulty you can expect, as well as other details that will help you plan your trip better. We also share a few other interesting things you can do, when you are in the area. So without wasting any more time browsing around, just read till the end and book yourself a trip.

What is Ohiopyle and where is it located?

Ohiopyle is a borough that is located in Fayette County in Pennsylvania.

Is it a popular destination for white water rafting?

The name Ohiopyle means ‘white frothy water’ in reference to the large falls that are present there. This offer is a very popular destination of white water rafting, and each season, many enthusiasts return to experience the thrill that the water here has in store.   

Do many rafting enthusiasts come here for an awesome adventure?

It is estimated that each year, about 2 million visitors visit the place to enjoy the many water adventure activities the place has to offer.

3 reasons why people keep coming back to Ohiopyle for this activity

Here are the top 3 reasons that make this such a popular destination for those who want to take part in white water rafting:

Option #1

A very popular river:

  • Ohiopyle has the Youghiogheny River.
  • It is one of the most popular white water destinations in all of Eastern U.S.

Option #2

Different levels of rapids to choose from:

  • The place has a range of rapids that you can go for, starting from the easier and milder class I rapids, all the way to the more adventurous and thrilling class V rapids.
  • This makes it perfect for families and beginners, as well as those who are seeking more thrill and adventure.

Option #3

Very well connected: 

  • The place is very well connected with some major parts of the city.
  • This makes it easier for you to reach your rafting destination, even if you are short on time.

All you need to know about Ohiopyle white water rafting:

Difficulty/skill level required

Easy/Beginner to Moderate and Difficult

Trip duration: A few hours, depending on weather and water levels

Exact location and how to get there

  • It rises in northern West Virginia in Preston County, which is southeast of the town of Aurora.
  • This is near Backbone Mountain.
  • The river is in Pennsylvania, Maryland in West Virginia.
  • Coordinates are 39°14′43″N 79°29′19″W.
  • 27 miles of the river runs through the Ohiopyle State Park.
  • It also connects to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as Cumberland in Maryland. 

Notable spots for rafting along the river

  • The Upper Yough gradient is at a speed of 118’ per mile, and is also known as the “Bastard Rapid.”
  • Gap Falls
  • Charlie’s Choice, which has long, continuous and very challenging rapids
  • Triple Drop, which is known to be the steepest section on the entire river
  • This drops into the National Falls, which is known to be the narrowest section on the entire river.
  • The river then moves to Tommy’s Hole, which is a tight rapid where you will have to balance the weight for better movement.
  • Heinzerling Pillow
  • Powerful Pop Up
  • The Cleavers enters into a waterfall which then moves through two boulders
  • Cheeseburger Falls ahead will need you to lean backwards.
  • Wright’s Hole with amazing scenic views
  • Double Pencil Sharpener is the last of the major rapids on this river trail.

Description of the area

  • As there are a vast range of rapids to choose from, it is extremely family-friendly
  • Depending on your provider, you may get onsite gear rental options
  • There are a lot of notable things to see and do there, other than simply doing white water rafting. From taking in scenic views at lookout points to going zip-lining, visiting waterfalls, state parks and more, you can plan it all as per what everyone desires.


  • Perfect for entire family
  • Choice of rapids to choose from
  • Lots of attractions nearby
  • Easily accessible
  • Many trip providers
  • Long rafting season


  • None as yet

When is the best time to come to Ohiopyle for white water rafting?

  • Ohiopyle has one of the longest white water rafting seasons in the country.
  • The rafting trips here are usually conducted between 1st April and 31st October.
  • However, it is best to speak to your trip provider and ask about the specific season dates in advance.

Advantages of coming here during peak season vs off season

  • You can get access to tours easily, as more tours will be conducted for peak season
  • There will be more trained and experienced staff on hand
  • The peak season will see you move through the best of rapids
  • Weather conditions are most likely to be suitable during the peak season

Disadvantages of coming here during peak season vs off season

  • It will be more crowded as compared to off season
  • You may not always get the choice of raft you want due to larger crowds
  • There may be a long wait time for your turn, which can be a problem if you have young kids
  • Off-season may not always be the best time for whitewater rafting, especially as weather conditions and water level may not be conducive 

Some other fun activities you may enjoy when you are in the area

If you thought that white water rafting was all that you could do in Ohiopyle, take a look at this list below. There is a lot that you can do once you are in Ohiopyle, depending on how much time you have in hand. There is something to do for the entire family at Ohiopyle, so take a look at what all you would like to do!

  • Visit the 20 foot Youghiogheny Falls and Falls Area Visitor Center at Ohiopyle
  • Visit the 30 foot Cucumber Falls that you can easily access from the Ohiopyle State Park
  • Check out the Ferncliff Peninsula, which is a 100 acre peninsula that is created by the Youghiogheny River.
  • Bike through the Great Allegheny Passage
  • Visit Meadow Run, a creek which flows into the Youghiogheny River.
  • Go for some zip-lining at Ohiopyle Zip-Lining Adventure Park.
  • Enjoy rock climbing at Ohiopyle State Park
  • Spend some time at Jonathan Run and Sugar Run, some beautiful creeks

Go for some gorgeous scenic views at the Baughman Rock Overlook, which is located just outside Ohiopyle on Sugarloaf Road.

Before you get on your white water rafting adventure, make sure to understand about the safety procedures from your guide. To be safe, wear your life jacket at all times. Take care of yourself and your loved ones and have a great time! Have fun!

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