Hudson River Gorge

Beginning on the Indian River and continuing through the Hudson River Gorge, this run provides a 15-mile wilderness rafting experience with tremendous whitewater and stunning Adirondack landscape. It’s the state’s longest length of whitewater and is regarded as the best commercial Class IV in New York.

hudson river summertime

hudson river end of day

hudson river surfing

hudson river scenic

Hudson River Gorge Information

About this guide

This guide outlines the Hudson River Gorge, starting on the Indian River and ending at North River Take Out.

River info

The Hudson has three distinct seasons offering a variety of rafting experiences. In the spring, the whitewater is the largest with challenging Class IV. During the summer, as flows mellow out and temperatures warm up, the rapids become tamer but still offer Class IV excitement. Finally in the fall, the river corridor sees far fewer people and you can see the landscape change with the season.

Interestingly, this trip starts on the Indian River which has scheduled releases of Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The releases make it possible to raft the 2.5 miles on the Indian River to the Hudson confluence. The Hudson itself is runnable without the releases, but access is the limiting factor. Hence, the start on the Indian River.

Safety

The Gorge is a challenging whitewater run. The water can be cold, fast and high. Even when it’s not, there are numerous Class III and IV rapids. Your safety is up to you.

Permits

There are no permits required to raft the Hudson River Gorge.

Hudson River Gorge Flows

The Hudson River Gorge is runnable from flows between 2.5 feet – 8.5 feet at the Hudson River Gauge at North Creek. (Link.)

The dam on the lake is released every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday (water dependent) from late April to early October. Water is typically released between 9:30 and 11:30 AM EST.

Sometimes the USGS flow image breaks. If this happens, here is a direct link.

Gauge data provided by the USGS

Hudson River Gorge Map & Guide

WARNING: Conditions change frequently and may make this guide useless. This guide is NOT a replacement for sound judgment or experience.

Class II Rapid

Class II rapid or river feature.

Class III Rapid

Class III rapid or river feature.

Class IV Rapid

Class IV rapid or river feature.

Put-In / Take-Out

The most commonly used access points.

Point of Interest

These include creeks, swim areas and bridges

Fun Zone

Well known surf waves

Hudson River Gorge – Class II, III & IV+

The Hudson River is an iconic stretch of whitewater in Upstate New York. This ~15 mile run offers a variety of rapids, beautiful Adirondack scenery, and consistent flows for multiple months.

Length

From Indian Head Put-In to North River Take Out is 14.9 miles.

Difficulty

Moderate to Advanced.

Feet per Mile

The Hudson River Gorge drops 33 feet per mile.

Shuttle Time

30 minutes round trip.

Mile -0.16 – Otter Slide: Class IV. This drop is just above the traditional put-in.

Mile 0 – Indian Head Put-In: River Left. Unpaved walkway from the road to the river. Although this is considered the Hudson River run, you start on the Indian River, approximately 2.5 miles upstream from its confluence with the Hudson.

Mile 0.6 – Indian Head: Class III. Continuous class III read-and-run.

Mile 1.66 – Gooley Steps: Class III. This is a continuous Class III read-and-run rapid. Beware of a center pour over near the top of this rapid called “Kenny’s Hole”. It can be easily passed on the right.

Mile 2.46 – Indian & Hudson River Confluence: River Left. The Hudson meets the Indian River here. At the confluence there’s Class II boogie water for a ways.

Mile 4 – Elephant Rock: River Right. Pull your boat up to this jump rock, climb up, and send it!

Mile 4.88 – Virgin Falls Camp: River Left. A small, shady camp with a waterfall.

Mile 4.91 – Virgin Falls: River Left. Park at the small beach river right just upstream from this creek. Virgin Falls is a short walk up and well worth the stop. This small waterfall can be seen from the river.

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Mile 5.53 – Blue Ledges: Class III. This is Class III at most flows and is read and run. Enjoy the splashes as you enter the Hudson River Gorge. This rapid takes on a more aggressive character at high water. At high flows, start center and work your way to the right to avoid large holes and hydraulics.

Mile 6.1 – Blue Ledges Camp: River Left. Sandy beach and easy parking river left. The camp area and fire ring are located just downstream in the trees.

Mile 6.32 – The Narrows: Class IV. Enter the rapid river right, and stay right of center until you pass the “Widow Maker” hole. After that, head to the center and enjoy the big, splashy waves!

Mile 6.67 – Osprey Nest: Class III. Run center down the fun, splashy waves.

Mile 6.86 – Carter’s Landing: Class III. This long class III read-and-run rapid is aptly nicknamed “Mile Long”. Enter left of center to avoid the pour-over and then work toward the center. At higher flows, avoid “Nuts and Bolts”, the two ledge holes at the bottom of this rapid. They can be easily passed on the left.

Mile 7.97 – OK Slip Falls Camp: River Right.

Mile 7.97 – OK Slip Falls: River Right. If time allows, there is a strenuous 0.75 mile hike to a spectacular Adirondack waterfall. The trail is located upstream of OK Slip Brook and takes you up and over a steep hill to a lookout point to view the falls. “OK slip!” was the term that loggers used when releasing timber down stream (it was much easier for the river to move logs than for horses or men at the time).

Mile 8.42 – Givney’s Rift: Class IV. Enter the rapid in the center and then move left to avoid the large center pour over/hole called “Soup Strainer”. After passing this feature, work back to the center. Some folks call this fun class IV Kettle Mountain Rapid after the peak just upstream on river left.

Mile 8.56 – Swimming Hole: Enjoy a dip to celebrate getting through the class IV section of whitewater in this long, deep pool.

Mile 8.78 – Gunsight In: Class II. Read and run, class II. You may notice the mountain saddles behind you and in front of you after paddling through this rapid. The saddles, and whitewater below them, are called “Gunsight In” and “Gunsight Out”.

Mile 9 – Gunsight Out: Class II. Read and run.

Mile 9.36 – Harris Rift: Class III. Splashy class III read-and-run rapid. There is a fun surf hole at most flows at the bottom of this rapid on the river right side called “Third Hole”.

Mile 9.85 – Third Hole: This surf hole provides a fun ride at most flows. The feature can be accessed on either the right or left side. It is possible to paddle or row back upstream in the eddy line if you miss the surf on your first go. This is a popular spot for commercial boats. If it’s busy, you can eddy out above the feature on river right.

Mile 10.4 – Fluffy Box of Kittens: This is a fun surf hole in the center of the river. You can pull into the eddy below the rocks on river left to get a good look at this feature before floating into it.

Mile 10.8 – Train Track Pool: A nice, long pool of calm water to swim and float through.

Mile 11.2 – Railroad Bridge Trestle: Train tracks cross the river here.

Mile 11.4 – Boreas River Camp: River Left. If you are hauling gear, pull in river left before to confluence with the Boreas. If you are just making a pit-stop, the eddy at the confluence is easy to catch.

Mile 11.44 – Boreas River Confluence: River Left. The Boreas river offers challenging Class III, IV and V whitewater for kayakers. It meets the Hudson river here.

Mile 12.1 – Bus Stop Wave: This wave is called the “Bus Stop” because at high flows everyone is getting off here! this wave/hole can be avoided by staying tight and left at high flows. At most flows you can choose to avoid the feature or paddle through it. For a last hurrah adventure, you can paddle back upstream and surf this hole.

Mile 14.3 – Barton Mines Hudson River Plant: River Right. Barton Mines extracts abrasive material that is used in commercial water jets.

Mile 14.9 – North River Take Out: River Right. This is the easiest and most popular take out point for the Gorge trip. You may also choose to continue your float and take out at any of the pull-out access areas along Highway 28.

Ready To Go Whitewater Rafting? Here’s What Every First-Timer Should Know

The rushing rivers of the Adirondack Park are some of the most impressive sights in the Northeast, and the best way to experience them firsthand is on a whitewater rafting trip. To ride the rapids of the mighty Hudson, the Sacandaga, or even the Moose River is an adventure you won’t soon forget.

But is whitewater rafting for you? While all those photos of crashing waves and bouncing rafts may seem a little intimidating at first, this is one activity both families and adrenaline junkies can enjoy. To help you understand what it’s all about, we’ve broken down what every first-timer should know about whitewater rafting.

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splashing in a whitewater rafting trip

When To Go Whitewater Rafting

You may think whitewater rafting is just a summer activity, but it’s actually offered from mid-spring through mid-fall in the Adirondacks.

For thrill seekers, spring leading into summer is the ideal time to go because the runoff from recent snowmelt swells up rivers and creates wild rapids. Then, from summer through fall, you can look forward to gentler rapids, particularly in September and October.

Depending on who is in your group, you may want to start off with one of the more family-friendly trips. Rather than tackle the raging Moose River in spring, you can join a rafting trip on the Sacandaga River in summer. Trips range from an hour long to 4+ hours, so make sure you know what you’re signing up for.

There are a variety of options to choose from, and it’s recommended to contact the rafting company you’re interested in and check the current status of the rapids.

Learn About The Rapids Rating Scale

While researching the guided whitewater rafting trips in the region, you’ll likely see phrases like Class I Rapids or Class IV Rapids. These ratings describe the rapids’ difficulty level on a section of river. Here are the six classes:

  1. Class I Rapids – Class I Rapids are the easiest and present few challenges for beginners.
  2. Class II Rapids – You’ll find slightly stronger rapids than Class I, and some maneuvering around small objects may be required.
  3. Class III Rapids – These rapids are best described as medium, so they’re not too strong or weak. If you’re a beginner, these rapids may be the strongest you’d want to start with.
  4. Class IV Rapids – The current is fast on Class IV Rapids, and you’ll likely encounter objects and challenges on the way. Listen to your guide, and prepare for strong rapids.
  5. Class V Rapids – Before you attempt Class V Rapids, make sure you’re experienced, prepared, and know the river. These rapids are long, hard to navigate, and feature big waves.
  6. Class VI Rapids – Unless you are experienced and understand the risks, you shouldn’t go rafting on Class VI Rapids. These are the most extreme.

The Rivers Of The Adirondacks

action on the river

The three main rivers for whitewater rafting in the Adirondacks are the Hudson, Sacandaga, and Moose Rivers. Each whitewater rafting company in the region offers trips on certain sections of these rivers based on where their rafting base is located.

If you’re rafting for the first time, the Sacandaga River may be the one for you. This river mostly sees Class II & III Rapids, which are perfect for families looking for a fun adventure.

The Hudson River/Hudson River Gorge tends to be stronger with Class III & IV Rapids, so you’ll likely encounter more waves and obstacles along the way than on the Sacandaga.

Trips on the Moose River are offered by ARO Adventures only in spring. Expect raging rapids that will challenge even the most experienced whitewater rafters.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

How old do you have to be to go whitewater rafting?

Each whitewater rafting company has minimum age requirements based on the location and time of year. Some places allow kids as young as 7 on trips from Memorial Day through fall.

Do you need any experience on the water?

No, for most easy and medium-level rapids, experience (paddling, rafting, or swimming) is not required. Your NYS-certified guide will describe the river, provide safety tips beforehand, and direct you during the trip. However, since rafting is a team effort, you will be asked to help paddle and navigate the raft down the river.

What do I need to bring or wear?

Each rafter will be given a personal flotation device, a helmet, a paddle, and safety advice.

Since the water and temperature are colder in spring and fall, you’ll want to wear a wetsuit and wool, fleece, and polypropylene clothing. Cotton clothing is not recommended. During the warmer months, a lightweight shirt and shorts with a bathing suit underneath is suggested. Shoes (old sneakers/water shoes/sandals) are required, and loose fitting sandals or flip-flops won’t be allowed. Wear sunscreen, and don’t take valuables with you.

How many people can fit in the raft?

An average raft may fit 6-10 people plus a licensed guide. There are larger rafts with a greater capacity though.

How do we get back to the rafting center?

Your rafting trip will either end at the rafting center, or a shuttle will transport you back.

Do I need to make a reservation?

While walk-ins are usually accepted, it’s best to make a reservation so you have time to prepare.

Eager to get on the water for your first whitewater rafting trip? Check out these local whitewater rafting companies and see what types of trips they offer »

Ready To Go Whitewater Rafting? Here’s What Every First-Timer Should Know

The rushing rivers of the Adirondack Park are some of the most impressive sights in the Northeast, and the best way to experience them firsthand is on a whitewater rafting trip. To ride the rapids of the mighty Hudson, the Sacandaga, or even the Moose River is an adventure you won’t soon forget.

Read Post  Smoky Mountain River Rat

But is whitewater rafting for you? While all those photos of crashing waves and bouncing rafts may seem a little intimidating at first, this is one activity both families and adrenaline junkies can enjoy. To help you understand what it’s all about, we’ve broken down what every first-timer should know about whitewater rafting.

splashing in a whitewater rafting trip

When To Go Whitewater Rafting

You may think whitewater rafting is just a summer activity, but it’s actually offered from mid-spring through mid-fall in the Adirondacks.

For thrill seekers, spring leading into summer is the ideal time to go because the runoff from recent snowmelt swells up rivers and creates wild rapids. Then, from summer through fall, you can look forward to gentler rapids, particularly in September and October.

Depending on who is in your group, you may want to start off with one of the more family-friendly trips. Rather than tackle the raging Moose River in spring, you can join a rafting trip on the Sacandaga River in summer. Trips range from an hour long to 4+ hours, so make sure you know what you’re signing up for.

There are a variety of options to choose from, and it’s recommended to contact the rafting company you’re interested in and check the current status of the rapids.

Learn About The Rapids Rating Scale

While researching the guided whitewater rafting trips in the region, you’ll likely see phrases like Class I Rapids or Class IV Rapids. These ratings describe the rapids’ difficulty level on a section of river. Here are the six classes:

  1. Class I Rapids – Class I Rapids are the easiest and present few challenges for beginners.
  2. Class II Rapids – You’ll find slightly stronger rapids than Class I, and some maneuvering around small objects may be required.
  3. Class III Rapids – These rapids are best described as medium, so they’re not too strong or weak. If you’re a beginner, these rapids may be the strongest you’d want to start with.
  4. Class IV Rapids – The current is fast on Class IV Rapids, and you’ll likely encounter objects and challenges on the way. Listen to your guide, and prepare for strong rapids.
  5. Class V Rapids – Before you attempt Class V Rapids, make sure you’re experienced, prepared, and know the river. These rapids are long, hard to navigate, and feature big waves.
  6. Class VI Rapids – Unless you are experienced and understand the risks, you shouldn’t go rafting on Class VI Rapids. These are the most extreme.

The Rivers Of The Adirondacks

action on the river

The three main rivers for whitewater rafting in the Adirondacks are the Hudson, Sacandaga, and Moose Rivers. Each whitewater rafting company in the region offers trips on certain sections of these rivers based on where their rafting base is located.

If you’re rafting for the first time, the Sacandaga River may be the one for you. This river mostly sees Class II & III Rapids, which are perfect for families looking for a fun adventure.

The Hudson River/Hudson River Gorge tends to be stronger with Class III & IV Rapids, so you’ll likely encounter more waves and obstacles along the way than on the Sacandaga.

Trips on the Moose River are offered by ARO Adventures only in spring. Expect raging rapids that will challenge even the most experienced whitewater rafters.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

How old do you have to be to go whitewater rafting?

Each whitewater rafting company has minimum age requirements based on the location and time of year. Some places allow kids as young as 7 on trips from Memorial Day through fall.

Do you need any experience on the water?

No, for most easy and medium-level rapids, experience (paddling, rafting, or swimming) is not required. Your NYS-certified guide will describe the river, provide safety tips beforehand, and direct you during the trip. However, since rafting is a team effort, you will be asked to help paddle and navigate the raft down the river.

What do I need to bring or wear?

Each rafter will be given a personal flotation device, a helmet, a paddle, and safety advice.

Since the water and temperature are colder in spring and fall, you’ll want to wear a wetsuit and wool, fleece, and polypropylene clothing. Cotton clothing is not recommended. During the warmer months, a lightweight shirt and shorts with a bathing suit underneath is suggested. Shoes (old sneakers/water shoes/sandals) are required, and loose fitting sandals or flip-flops won’t be allowed. Wear sunscreen, and don’t take valuables with you.

How many people can fit in the raft?

An average raft may fit 6-10 people plus a licensed guide. There are larger rafts with a greater capacity though.

How do we get back to the rafting center?

Your rafting trip will either end at the rafting center, or a shuttle will transport you back.

Do I need to make a reservation?

While walk-ins are usually accepted, it’s best to make a reservation so you have time to prepare.

Eager to get on the water for your first whitewater rafting trip? Check out these local whitewater rafting companies and see what types of trips they offer »

Source https://gorafting.com/united-states/new-york/hudson-river-gorge/

Source https://www.adirondack.net/rafting/first-time-whitewater-rafting-tips/

Source https://www.adirondack.net/rafting/first-time-whitewater-rafting-tips/

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