Beaverdam Creek - Backbone Rock Park to Laurel Creek (Damascus)


Beaverdam Creek, Virginia, US

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Backbone Rock Park to Laurel Creek (Damascus)

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 4 Miles
Avg. Gradient 25 fpm
Max Gradient 50 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
S F HOLSTON RIVER NEAR DAMASCUS, VA
usgs-03473000 1500 - 5000 cfs II-III 00h46m 407 cfs (too low)


River Description


Driving directions to the put in: From Damascus VA, take Rt. 58 to the intersection with TN 91. Turn right and continue on this road until you reach Backbone Rock. This road is well marked in town with a sign pointing you in the right direction. (To Backbone Rock/Shady Valley)From Backbone Rock you have two options for paddling this creek, 1.) is to drive past Backbone Rock access and decide where you want to put in along the creek. Or 2.) just put in upstream of the parking area and paddle down into the campground and run "laps" on this short section. This creek is a good run for those just getting into creek boating with the difficulty level being predominantly cl. II-III.

The take out is located in the town of Damascus VA jsut before you reach the turn for TN 91. Park near the red caboose "info" center and set shuttle here. Another option for running this creek is to take out at Backbone Rock. This gives the paddler the upper section of the "steepest" gradient and allows for some laps on the last couple of good drops.

When taking out at Backbone Rock, look for the last ledge drop just as you enter the campground and takeout just downstream of this. There is a trail that runs along the creek back to the vehicles at the Backbone Rock parking area.
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2003-05-22 18:12:11

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
August 13 2013 (1320 days ago)
lescott (151302)
Because of its smaller watershed, the Beaverdam levels fall fast and don't correlate exactly with
the levels at Whitetop. Ran it the other day at 2000cfs Whitetop, but that correlated more like
1300cfs for Beaverdam, a bony run. The Tennessee Laurel correlates much better with Whitetop, but
still runs off quicker than Whitetop.
January 24 2013 (1520 days ago)
richiewrt (154616)
We paddled this section on 1/19/12 and there were numerous trees with mandatory portages,
especially in the second half of the run. None of the strainers were unavoidable, but be on the
lookout. If you wish to see a video of some of the rapids check out
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4fcj2fFftA
October 7 2005 (4187 days ago)
Bing OliverDetails
If you follow the run all the way into town, there is a surprise class III near the end of the run.
You'll see a horizon line and the right bank is a concrete wall. Scout left.


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