Big Creek - 2. NPS Campground to Confluence with Big Pigeon


Big Creek, North Carolina, US

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2. NPS Campground to Confluence with Big Pigeon (Lower Big Creek)

Usual Difficulty III-IV (for normal flows)
Length 2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 158 fpm
Max Gradient 165 fpm

(MN) Boof at Lower Big Creek


(MN) Boof at Lower Big Creek
Photo of Mike Nail by Ted Cookson taken 04/03/05 @ 2.5 ft

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
OCONALUFTEE RIVER AT BIRDTOWN, NC
usgs-03512000 1200 - 2700 cfs III-IV 01h07m 308 cfs (too low)


River Description

This was my first introduction to creek boating "Smoky Mountain" style. The runs here are similar to being out West on the steep continuous runs there. The lower section of Big Creek offers a great step up in steep creeking for the paddler looking to expand their horizons.

This trip could be combined with some of the water above the campground for the adventurous boater. Be aware, the 1.5 mile section above the campground is more demanding than the lower section of Big Creek.

Paddled Big Creek on 5/9/03 at a level of 2.6ft on the old yellow bridge gauge, while the Oconoluftee was running about 2200cfs. It was definitely different from when I paddled it at 2.8 on the other gauge at the park. Things weren't as "BIG". Good run though, I was glad to get back out on some of that Smoky Mtn whitewater!

For more info check out Chris Bell's Asheville Area Boating Beta Page. See also Upper Big Creek for serious Class-V fun.


StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2008-11-30 22:29:09

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.

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