The run starts on the campus of Clear Creek Baptist Bible College. The put-in is right below a small bridge on Holly Hill Road. The first stretch runs behind a large dorm building, until the Clear Creek confluences with the Little Clear Creek. This is the first rapid on the stretch, Genesis (II). This one is a 100 yard section of small drops and ledges, nothing over 2 or 3 ft. After Genesis the Creek enters the gorge section, and is surrounded by rhododendron and Hemlock trees. The class II boogie continues until about 100 yards after the first rustic bridge. A horizon line will appear, this is where you would want to get out and scout the rapid and the bridge after the rapid for wood and a good line. Chutes and Ledges (IV), is made up of three rapids very closely spaced. The first is a 3-4ft river-wide ledge, this one can be run in most places, but river-left would be best for lining up the next drop. The second drop is a channeled chute between the mountain and some boulders. It can be run straight down the middle. The last drop is similar to the second but wider and less uniform. The chute is best run slightly right of center to avoid the meat of the hole that is formed. After this rapid is a short, swift moving flat section leading to the pool above Gilligan's Island.Gilligan's Island (III+) is formed by a rubble dam that is blocking 90% of the creek, except for a 10ft passage on river right. This slide-drop flows directly into a jagged rock perched mid drop. The left of the rock goes to an eddy, but is narrower. The right side goes with the main flow, but has some metal in it. Shortly after Gilligan's is Right Hook (IV). This rapid is a long rocky slide that leads into a diagonal hole that flushes into an undercut boulder. Try to hit the hole as far river-right as possible to avoid getting punched into the boulder. After Right Hook there is class II boogie until the takeout.
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Three foot diagonal ledge leading into a river right chute, then a river left chute. You should scout this one.
After the big pool, a river right break in an old dam with a medium sized rock right in the middle of the chute. There is a possibility for some metal in this one.
Long slide type rapid with a diagonal hole at the bottom. The hole will punch you toward a large boulder on river left, that has potential for a pin and is undercut.
Class II boogie water leading to the take out.
Just by way of historical trivia, several of us--Andy Messer, Billy Parrott, Thor Bahrman, Derek Carlton, Tom Burroughs, couple of others whose names I don't remember--ran this on a couple of occasions back around 2001 or so. At that time, the rock dam at Gilligan's Island was intact--It's since been breached, whether by flood or human action I don't know--and was a simple, river-wide sloping drop that could be run most anywhere. Besides placing the "Island" rock in the middle of the stream, the breach also narrowed the channel a great deal. There are now trees growing along river left on ground that was under water back then. We always considered everything from the dam down to the bottom of Right Hook to be a single long rapid, which we called Tunnel, due to its proximity to the old railroad tunnel on river left. We were later told that the person who did the probable first descent back in the sixties or seventies had named the rapid Wedding Ring, because the big undercut rock at the bottom had supposedly torn the wedding ring off his finger. Incidentally, the whole run is scoutable--with just a bit of bushwhacking here and there--from the rail trail officially known as the Clear Creek Hollow Trail and locally known as the Fat Track.
The gauge listed is for the Cumberland River, and is located downstream from where Clear Creek feeds into the river. There isn't a gauge on Clear Creek.
Had a good run on Clear Creek 12/17/2010. After about 1.3 inches of rainfall the day before. All the rapids were full of water and ready to go. The entrance to Gilligans Island has a torso sized log in it, stay right on the way down. Here are a couple links to some footage from the day.
6 years ago
by Cody Seal
There isn't a specific gauge for this creek, but the gauge for the Cumberland at Pineville can be used to get a idea of the rainfall in the area. It only holds a good regular flow for three to four days after a rain, even if the gauge says otherwise. This usually flows with 1 inch of rainfall. It's good to run for about 3-5 days after a BIG rain, but to be on the safe side I would try and catch it the day after. It all depends on the amount of rain.
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Right Hook-Low FLow
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