Whitewater Boating at Ohiopyle
The Youghiogheny River has exciting whitewater boating for all experience levels. Only sturdily constructed rafts, kayaks and closed-deck canoes intended for whitewater use may be used in the river. River levels can change the difficulty of rapids. Check at the launch area or contact the park office for current water levels.
The famous Lower Yough begins after the Ohiopyle Falls and flows seven miles downstream to the Bruner Run Take-out. This is the busiest section of whitewater east of the Mississippi River.
The numerous class III and IV rapids make for exciting rafting that should only be attempted by experienced whitewater boaters. Inexperienced whitewater boaters should run this section of the river on a guided raft trip with an authorized concessionaire. The natural river environment contains undercut rocks, ledges and swift currents.
All whitewater boaters on the Youghiogheny must learn to recognize natural dangers and understand that injury and death are a possibility when boating the Lower Youghiogheny.
The Middle Yough begins at the Ramcat Put-in near Confluence and ends near the town of Ohiopyle. This section contains class I and II rapids and is ideal for beginning whitewater kayakers or experienced canoeists. Families often raft this section because it provides thrilling rapids at normal river levels.
An electronic river gauge has replaced the existing staff gauge at the launch area. Please be aware the new gauge reads in tenths and hundredths, instead of feet and inches. You can also access the river stage via the internet at the following address: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/pa/nwis/uv?03081500
Go online to www.visitPAparks.com or call 888-PA-PARKS to schedule a launch time. Equipment rentals are available in the town of Ohiopyle. There is a fee to launch boats on weekends and holidays on the Lower Yough. During the week, boaters must sign-in at the launch area. Shuttle tokens, available at the launch area, must be purchased 7 days a week during the summer season.
Inexperienced boaters should not attempt the Youghiogheny River without qualified guides.
Transfers and changes to a reservation
Changes to a reservation must be made by calling the Pennsylvania State Parks Reservation Call Center at 888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757), Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. There is a $10 fee assessed for all changes made to a reservation.
Cancellations can be handled online under “My Account” or by calling the call center.
Cancellations made up to the close of business seven days prior to the scheduled arrival date will incur a $10 cancellation fee.
Photographs of private boaters are taken on both the Lower and Middle Youghiogheny. Pictures can be viewed and purchased online at http://adventurephoto.exposuremanager.com or in person at the Ohiopyle Adventure Photography store located next to the Lower Youghiogheny Launch.