Current Conditions

Current Conditions for Shenandoah Valley

River Level:
The River Level Is:
River Temperature:

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

We were closed for the entire 2020 season due to the pandemic. Thank you one and all for understanding. We were able to operate safely with reasonable, scientifically based protocols for the 2021 season. Expect updated protocols when we re-open April 1, 2022, depending on the state of the pandemic.

And we do ask everyone to continue practicing reasonable social distancing by respecting each individual’s personal space, and continue to be kind to one another.

Please note: All Downriver employees have been fully vaccinated.

WE ARE NOW CLOSED FOR THE WINTER. We will be offering no services whatsoever from November 1st through March 31.

We do not answer our phone during the off season. The best way to reach us is by email:

If you are paddling during the off season, think about protecting yourself against hypothermia. The weather may be nice, but the water may be dangerously cold. ALWAYS WEAR YOUR PFD. A dry suit is a good idea (but expensive). And wet suits work well, but are not nearly as comfortable when you’re not in the water.

Avoid cotton clothing (jeans, sweats, hoodies) which absorb and hold moisture. Wear polyester, nylon, polypropylene, wool, or silk; fabrics that wick moisture. And wear that PFD (lifejacket) which helps hold in body heat.

There won’t be many people on the river, so a three boat minimum is a good safety practice. And stay off the river on windy days.

Please remember, river rocks can be sharp and slippery. Make sure you have adequate foot protection (old sneakers or proper river sandals) for all river activities. Flip flops are totally inadequate.

A final reminder: it is important that you WEAR YOUR PFD when out on the river, especially if you can’t swim, the water is high or cold, and especially at Compton Rapid, you never know……

Relax and enjoy what the river has to offer. It remains a stunningly beautiful environment.

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)

2.6 to 4.0 feet – Normal (ideal)

2.15 to 2.6 feet – Low (slower)

Below 2.15 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.