Current Conditions

Current Conditions for South Fork Shenandoah River

Updated For:
River Level:
The River Level Is:
River Temperature:

Open every day, seven days a week from April 1st thru October 31st.

DOWNRIVER CANOE COMPANY IS CLOSED FOR THE SEASON. We will be reopening for season fifty on April 1, 2023.

To reach us during the off season please email us at Please note: we do not answer our phone during the off season.


During the off season BE ALERT: cold water temperatures this time of year raises the risk of HYPOTHERMIA if you take an unexpected swim. Avoid cotton clothing that holds water (sweats, jeans). Wear fabrics that wick moisture (nylon, wool, polyester, polypropylene). Be sure to WEAR YOUR LIFEJACKET, and get out of cold water as quickly as possible.

As a safety measure try not to paddle alone. A three boat minimum is a good rule of thumb. Have a plan if someone gets into trouble, and carry a cell phone in a water proof case (please note Verizon does not work between Luray and Front Royal). Stay off the river if it is high or flooded.

Have a great winter. Get outside and enjoy the season. We’ll be back waiting for you in the spring.

Be advised river conditions can change rapidly with sudden storms or heavy rain in the upper watershed. Also, water temperature can vary up to 8 degrees or more in a single day.

To find out more detail about current conditions
click here to visit the Luray River Gauge

Over 5.5 feet – Too Damn High (risky)

4.0 to 5.5 feet – High (pushy)

2.4 to 4.0 feet – Normal (ideal)

2.00 to 2.4 feet – Low (slower)

Below 2.00 feet – Very Low (bumpy)


No equipment will be rented when the river is too damn high, no exceptions.

River is swift and powerful, use extra caution at Compton Rapid, and stay in the main channel. Small rapids smoothed over. Keep those lifevests zipped up.

The ideal canoeing level. Lots of small rapids to play in.

Canoes will bump and scrape occasionally, and trips take a little longer. But the water is always beautifully clear.

Shorten up your trip. Canoeist will have to step out of their canoes from time to time, but even at this level the river can still be quite enjoyable if you take your time.