RIVER CLASSIFICATIONS

RIVER CLASSIFICATIONS

CLASS RATING SYSTEM


The classes below are the American version of the rating system used throughout the world.  This system is not exact. Rivers do not always fit easily into one category and there may be regional interpretations. This information is from DCNR and American Whitewater.

  • Chevron down Class I
  • Easy – Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Self-rescue is easy. The Middle Yough is the family experience in Ohiopyle.  The Middle Yough is 11 miles of Class I and Class II rapids.
  • Chevron down Class II
  • Novice – Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting.  Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. The Middle Yough is the family experience in Ohiopyle.  The middle Yough is 11 miles of Class I and Class II rapids.
  • Chevron down Class III
  • Intermediate – Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges is often required. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can occur. The Lower Yough is the most popular river in Ohiopyle for whitewater rafting, and for good reason. The Class III and IV rapids of the Lower Yough invite everyone from the novice rafter to the veteran river-runner to see what lays beyond the next bend.
  • Chevron down Class IV
  • Long, difficult rapids with constricted passages that often require complex maneuvering in turbulent water. The course may be hard to determine and scouting is often necessary. The Lower Yough is the most popular river in Ohiopyle for whitewater rafting, and for good reason. The Class III and IV rapids of the Lower Yough invite everyone from the novice rafter to the veteran river-runner to see what lays beyond the next bend.

  • Chevron down Class V
  • Extremely difficult, long, and very violent rapids with highly congested routes, which should be scouted from shore. Rescue conditions are difficult, and there is a significant hazard to life in the event of a mishap. The upper limit of what is possible in a commercial raft. The Upper Yough offers class V rapids for the extreme adventurers.  One of our experienced whitewater guides will captain your raft for the entire journey. Their professional rafting skills and knowledge allow you to experience the best the river has to offer.