Little Clear Creek - Hwy 62 to Lily


Little Clear Creek, Tennessee, US

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Hwy 62 to Lily

Usual Difficulty III-IV+ (for normal flows)
Length 2.6 Miles
Avg. Gradient 85 fpm
Max Gradient 190 fpm

Triple Drop


Triple Drop
Photo of Kirk Eddlemon

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
CLEAR CREEK AT LILLY BRIDGE NEAR LANCING, TN
usgs-03539778 1200 - 4000 cfs III-IV+ 01h02m 174 cfs (too low)


River Description

Shuttle Directions:
Shuttle is pretty simple. The takeout is at Lilly Bridge on Clear Creek. From Wartburg, drive on Hwy 62 for several miles, taking a left at the sign for Lilly Bridge. Go 3-4 miles to the bridge. Takeout here. For the putin, go back to Hwy 62 and make a left. Go 2-3 miles and you will cross Little Clear Creek. It is a signed crossing. There is a pullout on the downstream river right side after you cross the bridge. From here it is just a short bushwack to the creek. Routes vary with the season and it's underbrush content.

From Karl Whipp:
We ran Little Clear Creek this past weekend (12/16/02). What a great trip! The Emory @ Oakdale gauge was 10,000 and the Clear Creek @ Lilly Bridge gauge was 2,200. This was a great level. I took GPS readings at the put in and at the take out. The enitre run contained 164' of gradient. With this being a run of about 3 miles total and the first two miles being completely flat, it means that all of the 164' is in the 1/2 mile steep stretch (the last 1/4 mile has substantially less gradient ending on Clear Creek). The majority of this gradient lies in 4 main drops. From the top of the first big one to the bottom of the last big one is, in my opinion, about1/2 mile. This puts the steep section of the run in the 190-200fpm range over that 1/2 mile.

With a good guide, the entire run takes about 45 minutes. You can get a couple runs in in a days time.

The first two miles contains a few downed trees, all of which we limboed.

The first major drop is a triple drop of 30' or so that one guy in our group named "Leap of Faith". We're not sure that this triple drop really has a name, so we're calling it "Leap of Faith". It is signified by being the first real horizon line on the run, which is in a left hand bend in the creek. You cannot see the bottom from the top, nor can you see the top from the bottom. Enter the first ledge 3/4 left and drop over a 5 foot drop onto a slide. Dont pencil and dont land flat...about 70* is perfect. Stay 3/4 left with your bow pointing toward about 11:00 as the slide wants to push right. You should hit the bottom of the slide close to center where you will drop off a 4-6 foot ledge with water pouring in hard from the right through a sluiceway, which will kick you away from the undercut wall on the right. Brace into the water pouring in from the right if nessecary. Now your on another slide above the third drop, which is an easy ledge of about 4 feet into a pool. It is best to boof this one as it may turn into a bad hole with a little more water. Better safe than sorry. Once you're at the bottom, be sure to look back upstream....its quite impressive!

Insert from Kirk Eddlemon: At the end of the pool is the next stretch, currently with a log in the entrance. It is a class 3 jumble to a pool drained by a 4 foot ledge best run on the left boofing right.

The next drop (Novacaine), follows quickly and should definately be scouted and likely portaged. This one too is signified by a horizon line and has a huge rock on river right, forcing all the water into a left slot. Scout this one by eddying on the left immediately above the drop and getting out. There is a bad pinning rock right in the center of the first, main drop of an S-turn. If the pinning rock isnt enough, it is backed immediately by big undercut with all the water pushing directly into it, then exiting river right. We portaged left. At higher levels, this one may be runnable, but be aware of the hazards no matter.

Immediately below this portage is a small pool, drained by a 3' ledge into a pool, drained by a 8-10' ledge. Run the 8-10 footer (boofalicious), dead center for the super phat auto-boof into soft suds. Look for a very small curler at the lip in the center....that's your launch spot.

Up next is the last of the big ones, Oh Yeah! Again signified by a horizon line, this one reminded us a lot of the boof at National Falls on the Upper Yough, minus the really trashy pourover hole. You can scout from the center island if needed. There will be a small slot on river right, bordered on the right by a 45* sloping rock. Enter this one gingerly drifting right toward the slot and staying as high in the channel as possible while you line up. The key in this one is patience, not speed or power. As you approach the bend to the left through the slot, use a hard left stroke to drive up on the right side rock with 2:00 angle and start to slide your bow down the rock. As you come around the slot, you'll be thinking something like "uuhhh, I wasnt expecting to be staring right at a boulder", but never fear, you wont make it far enough to piton it. At the lip, drop another hard left stroke for the big boof. If you hit it right, you'll boof like a champ. If you dont hit it right, you'll pencil in and go deeeep! Duck under the undercut right wall in the run out if needed and float out the back. It is an easy hike back to the top over the island in the center. We ran it several times. Fun, fun, fun stuff!

From here to Clear Creek is tight, technical boulder field stuff, but everything is in view. Read and run your way to the confluence and on down to the take out at Lilly Bridge, or, head on down for a high water run on Clear Creek and the Obed to Nemo on the Emory. If you opt for the long run, beware cuz Clear Creek and the Obed will be CRANKIN!

Camping
For camping right at Lilly Bridge there is a really cool campground operated by a local boater/outdoorsman. His property also has an alternate putin that completely cuts the flat water out and puts you in right below the first madatory portage and right above the first rapid, Triple Drop. For more info, here is the link: Lilly Pad Campground

The owner of the campground is very friendly to boaters. Introduce yourself to him upon arrival, and ask if you can use the putin. A small donation towards the maintanance and operation of the campground would be appreciated.

 

For more information please click on the link below:

 

http://www.waldensridgewhitewater.com/obed_emory/LittleClearCreek.htm

 


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2011-12-28 04:13:40

Editors


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
2.4Mandatory PortageN/AAccess Hazard
2.5Triple DropIVWaterfall Photo
2.64 ft LedgeIII+Waterfall Photo
2.6NovacaineIVPortage Hazard
2.6BoofaliciousIVWaterfall Photo
2.7Oh Yeah!IVPhoto
3.0Lilly Bridge/RapidIIITakeout

Rapid Descriptions

Mandatory Portage (Class N/A, Mile 2.4)

This is no longer a mandatory portage. This is on a blind bend in the river, and you don't want to blunder into it. It is where an avalanche occurred many years ago. After many floods, it's cleaned itself up. You start with a small ledge at the bend in the river then stay center. You'll find another ledge with a tounge right down the middle. Keep an eye out for wood.  



Triple Drop (Class IV, Mile 2.5)

Top of Second Drop

Top of Second Drop
Photo of Nick Barron by Kirk Eddlemon

Triple drop consisting of a 4 foot drop onto a low angle slide into a six foot drop into another low angle slide into a 5 foot drop in the washout. This whole rapid bends left severely and the bottom cannot be seen from the top



4 ft Ledge (Class III+, Mile 2.6)

4ft Ledge on LCC

4ft Ledge on LCC
Photo of Brandon Hughett by Adam Goshorn taken 04/15/06

The entrance starts on the right then s-turns to the left then back right for the boof. The boulder on river right has a deep cave under it. Not sure what would happen with a hole surf at high water.

Novacaine (Class IV, Mile 2.6)

This rapid has a riverwide boulder pile at the top that can be snaked through on the left, but don't commit untill taking a look. Eddy out on the left after going left of the boulder pile. The line is real fine, though at higher water the hazards may no longer be life-threatening. There is no good line at lower water.



Boofalicious (Class IV, Mile 2.6)

Boofalicious

Boofalicious
Photo of Kirk Eddlemon by Nick Barron

This is an eight foot diagonal ledge, with an undercut on the right, an overhang on the left, and a sweet autoboof down the middle.

Oh Yeah! (Class IV, Mile 2.7)

Oh Yeah!

Oh Yeah!
Photo of Brandon Hughett by Mary Ann and Doug taken 03/16/09 @ 1.8ft

This is right after Boofalicious. Go throught the right slot, powering up onto the wall, with a nicely timed shoulder boof, to avoid a close encounter with the rock on bottom left. Duck the overhang in the washout. This is the best rapid on the run IMO.



Lilly Bridge/Rapid (Class III, Mile 3.0)
Run down through the wavetrain and takeout below the bridge, on river left.


User Comments

Users can submit comments.
April 2 2013 (1424 days ago)
petromarkoff (155256)
I was informed by my fellow climbers that they built a bridge over little clear where the climbing
trail crosses the river towards the confluence with clear creek. They did not know that people
kayak that river. The bridge is made with pretty big logs and was built when clear creek was at
around 1500cfs, so hopefully it will be washed down with higher flows and won't turn into a
strainer. So keep that in mind when running the little clear.
January 3 2011 (2244 days ago)
dirtybirdcrew (152667)
Ran this 1/2/11 with pretty good flow. Awesome creek run. We took a raft down and wondered if
anyone else has attemped it or if it was a first decent for a raft? Signing out, Dirty Bird Crew
and Hard Knox Boaters
January 17 2005 (4421 days ago)
Karl WhippDetails
Checking the Level: Walk straight down the left side of the bridge. You will see a small footpath
leading straight down to the creek. Carry a paddle down with you. From the edge of the creek where
the footpath ends, you want to have a full paddle blade in depth for a minimum level. When I say
this, I mean that it has to cover the ENTIRE blade and should be lapping up on the shaft itself.
Again, this is a good minimum level, but an inch or two can make all the difference on this run.
January 14 2005 (4424 days ago)
BradRDetails
According to a boatertalk post, the mandatory portage is no longer mandatory.
November 14 2004 (4485 days ago)
Trent PearceDetails
Did this run Sat. 11.13.04. Clear Creek @ Lily Bridge was 1,240 and dropping. The water at the
put-in just barely covered the blades of our paddles: definitely a minimum level. We ran
everything. The 'mandatory portage' above Triple Drop had a small pine that we drug around, then a
3-foot ledge onto a riverwide strainer with just enough water going over it to slip by - very
sketchy. Triple Drop was clean but bony; that first ledge stings. Novacaine is basically a sieve,
but we ran it anyway. Set safety on the big boulder to the right and you can practically touch
boats as they go through. We moved the wood from the top of Oh Yeah! just enough to run it, but it
will be back with the next rain. Below Oh Yeah! is a strainer mess can be run/drug around on far
river left. The rest of the run was bony but clean. Worth checking out if you like plateau-creekin'
tree-dodging rhotodendron-hell, but bring a saw with you.
September 11 2004 (4549 days ago)
Mark D'AgostinoDetails
Ran Little Clear 9/8/2004 as Clear was peaking at 1600 cfs. Little Clear was medium+. The mandatory
portage above triple drop is now clear. There is a fair bit of wood in the good section
unfortunately. All of it was visible from upstream. There is a pine tree across the top of Oh
Yeah!. We made it worse by trying to move it. Someone could cut it out with a Sven saw on a future
run, or just chop out the whole run.
May 31 2004 (4652 days ago)
Matt HortonDetails
As of may 30, 2004, there was a big log in the middle of the last class IV


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