Pennington Creek, Oklahoma, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III(V) (for normal flows)|
|Max Gradient||50 fpm|
|Pennington Creek near Reagan, OK|
|usgs-07331300||200 - 1000 cfs||II-III(V)||00h22m||16 cfs (too low)|
This creek drops off a granite plateau. Pennington Falls drops 30 ft in 250 ft.
Click here for pictures of Pennington Creek.
CREEK INFO: We ran the creek on 7-15-07 @ 250cfs.
Below is the order in which you will encounter rapids or other major points on the creek.
1. Low water bridge below Reagan. There is parking for the put-in. Once you put in, the creek splits; the left and right are both kinda brushy with class I-II rapids. Once the creek forks back together, the brush clears. I-II rapids remain consistent downstream with occasional slow spots but with good current.
2. At 0.8 miles the creek splits again into 3 forks. We took the middle fork but all 3 forks seem runnable @ 250cfs.
3. At 1.25 miles from the put-in the rapids seem to get bigger and more consistent.
4. At 1.65 miles you will come to Slippery Falls. This drop is fairly easy; it's just like a big water slide, stay to the right to catch some good waves at the bottom.
5. At mile 1.75 just below Slippery Falls you'll come to another drop, we stayed to the right on that too. (ATTENTION: Look out for log jams and debris build-up below drop).
6. After the drop the creek bends and you will start seeing massive boulders on the right, one of them can even be paddled under.
7. At mile 2.15 you'll start hitting the rapids again as you close in on Devils Den, you'll see a large rock on the left with a nice set of rapids next to it. You'll also start seeing cabins and houses along the creek so be careful not to pull out on someone's yard.
8. At mile 2.5 the creek widens and drops for about 300 yards with class II-III rapids occupying the entire section. The section can be scratchy in places because it is so wide.
9. At mile 3.0 you enter Devils Den, you will know this because of the giant boulders straight ahead. As the creek turns it splits again. Both runs are pretty fun with class III-IV rapids and a drop at the end....The rapids continue on and off as usual.
10. At 3.5 miles you'll see a horizon line caused from the low water bridge, from here down is the most difficult run of Devils Den. Straight ahead you'll notice a cliff towering 50-60+ feet above the creek. the biggest drop in right next to the cliff. You can scout from a rock on the right.
11. After the drop the creek continues back to class I-II rapids, you'll see a giant tree house looking thing on the right as the creek bends left with a giant vertical rock sticking out of the water.
12. The creek mellows after this with occasional class I rapids. At mile 4.2, the rapids are just enough to keep you from getting bored.
13. At mile 5.0 you'll come to a low water bridge; you can paddle around this on the right.
14. After you pass the bridge you'll see the horizon line to Pennington Falls. Don't freak out when you see houses down below that help scale the size of the falls. The falls drop 30 feet in less distance than the width of the creek...approx. 90-100 feet wide. The first drop is a 6-foot vertical waterfall that's really wide. You can portage this on the right to scout the entire set. DO NOT RUN THIS WITHOUT SCOUTING FIRST! After the 6-foot drop there are some wild class IV+ rapids that shoot you through pretty fast. The creek shrinks from 90 feet wide, to about 15 feet wide. The rapids come to an abrupt end as the creek descends off a 15+ foot waterfall. I failed on the rapids before this drop, bailed from my kayak and somehow managed to catch a rock 1 foot from the 15-foot drop. I still got gnarred up really bad. If you decide to portage this set, do it on the right and bring a 20-foot rope to lower your kayak down. It's easy to get down once you get your boat down.
15. At 5.25 miles just below the Falls, the creek drops again through a class-IV chute with big waves on it. The rapids continue for 500 feet.
16. At 5.5 miles you'll be back to the class I-II rapids as the creek bends left and right.
17. At 5.8 miles you'll come to Cedar Creek and the golf course. After this the creek slows down A LOT. But if you like golf, there are tons of golf balls all along the creek bank on the left.
18. At 6.75 you'll come to a 7-foot man-made waterfall that can be portaged on the right, everything down from this was flooded when we ran it because Lake Texhoma was up 20+ feet and had backed into Pennington Creek.
19. At 7.25 miles you'll come to the waterworks area, there's a popular swim spot and usually a man-made waterfall which was about 8 feet under water when we pulled up, but you can pull out at the stairs on the left, after the waterfall. (ATTENTION: WATCH OUT FOR STRONG EDDY CURRENTS ON THE CREEK BELOW RAPIDS; THE CURRENTS ON PENNINGTON CREEK ARE THE WEIRDEST IVE EVER BEEN IN)
Aside from gettin my ass kicked by Pennington Falls, this creek is really fun. We began at 1:45 PM and Finished up just shy of 6:00 PM. But we did take about 30 min. after my accident at the falls to recover my bent paddle and talk to the nice people who live below who were a big help. Helmet and life jacket are a must on this creek. I did get a leech on me in a pool after the falls that i sat in for a while--so keep that in mind. It would be nice to cut this run shorter by pulling out at around the golf course area....everything else downstream kinda sucks. I'll check it out. Click here for pictures of Pennington Creek.