In light of the TMI-2 accident, in which the reactor vessel lower head survived the attack by molten core material, the in-vessel retention strategy was suggested to benefit from cooling the debris through a gap between the lower head and the core material. The GAMMA 1D (Gap Apparatus Mitigating Melt Attack One Dimensional) tests were conducted to investigate the critical heat flux (CHF) in narrow gaps with varying surface orientations. The CHF in an inclined gap, especially in case of the downward-facing narrow gap, is dictated by bubble behavior because the departing bubbles are squeezed. The orientation angle affects the bubble layer and escape of the bubbles from the narrow gap. The test parameters include gap sizes of 1, 2, 5 and 10 mm and the open periphery, and the orientation angles range from the fully downward-facing (180°) to the vertical (90°) position. The 15 × 35 mm copper test section was electrically heated by the thin film resistor on the back. The heater assembly was installed to the tip of the rotating arm in the heated water pool at the atmospheric pressure. The bubble behavior was photographed utilizing a high-speed camera through the Pyrex glass spacer. It was observed that the CHF decreased as the surface inclination angle increased and as the gap size decreased in most of the cases. However, the opposing results were obtained at certain surface orientations and gap sizes. Transition angles, at which the CHF changed in a rapid slope, were also detected, which is consistent with the existing literature. A semi-empirical CHF correlation was developed for the inclined narrow rectangular channels through dimensional analysis. The correlation provides with best-estimate CHF values for realistically assessing the thermal margin to failure of the lower head during a severe accident involving relocation of the core material.