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Difficulty V+
Length 1.6 Miles
Flow Range 4000 - 10000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 20 minutes ago ~ 107 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 09/05/2015 11:29 am

River Description

Do not put on this class 5 creek unless you are committed to running one of the biggest runnable waterfalls in West Virginia. Portaging the falls looks nearly impossible, but could be attempted high on river right. Wood on this creek is a frightening prospect because most of the creek is fast moving and boxed in Just scouting the falls is extremely dangerous since the rock is so slick, but very necessary, as it can collect wood. Once you run the drop at the confluence its very difficult to get out of the creek.

Starting at Jordan Run Road, the creek flows for 200 yards of Class 2 but beware of at least two fences. better yet, put in at the first drop, because you scouted it, right? The first drop is a walled in 8 foot sloping ledge that is easily run but gets a big hole at high water. If you scrape at all over this drop, the creek is too low to run, and the waterfall downstream will be dangerous. Directly below this drop is the confluence with Big Run. Big Run falls is a gnarly 20-30 foot reconnecter yet to be run. below here the creek leaves the depressing put in scenery and enters paradise, but don't be distracted. Some fast class 3 boogie leads without much warning into a gorged in rapid with 3 sizable ledge holes. These holes would be difficult to punch at high water and you can forget about recovering equipment if a swim occurred. Once through this section, be on the lookout for Jordan Run Falls, which comes up without much warning. There is a 2-3 boat eddy on river right 30 feet upstream of the lip, and a micro eddy right at the lip. The creek again walls up and pinches through a narrow slot and over a 25-30 foot falls. The water hitting the right bank at the lip folds over the main flow, reconnecting near the bottom. At higher levels you can ride this curler and launch a sweet boof. At lower medium flows the line is less obvious. There is a sizable pocket on the left, and a shelf/pock on the bottom right. under or behind the curtain the waterfall hits on a boulder on the left. The pool past the boulder is very deep. Get some speed and try to launch out into the center of the pool as best you can.

The remainder of the run is fun Class 3 with some gorgeous rock formations. Right above the takeout at Smoke Hole Caverns is a 5 foot ledge.

Check out this video of the run and the falls:

Rapid Descriptions


Gage Descriptions

The Cabins gauge on the North Fork of the South Branch should be 5000 cfs or more to run this creek.

Directions Description

The takeout is at Smokehole Caverns along Rt. 28/55. From the takeout, head toward Seneca Rocks. After a few miles, turn right on Jordan Run Road. Follow that up the mountain and to the right until you reach the creek. There is not much parking if any at the putin bridge. Some paddlers have been parking near Big run and putting in at the 1st drop on Jordan. 

No Accident Reports



article main photo

Cheat Canyon Settlement Reached; Land Set Aside for Endangered Species

Charles Walbridge

After two years of intense negotiations an agreement reached to protect endangered species in the Cheat River Canyon. Allegheny Wood Products acquired roughly 5,000 acres in the Cheat Canyon below Albright, WV in 2003 for $9.75 million. When they began building roads and cutting trees the following year the government took no steps to enforce the Endangered Species Act. A lawsuit was filed in 2005 by Friends of Blackwater Canyon, the WV Chapter of the Sierra Club, and the Cheat Lake Environmental and Recreational Association. Although American Whitewater was not a party to the litigation we are gratified that an agreement was reached and commend both parties for their efforts.

Robert Miller


Geoff Calhoun




Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1199870 04/19/11 Robert Miller n/a
1199871 04/19/11 Robert Miller description
1199877 04/19/11 Robert Miller added video
1199872 04/19/11 Robert Miller description and gauge
1199876 04/19/11 Robert Miller gauge
1203386 05/20/14 Geoff Calhoun correcting zone dogg
1203388 05/20/14 Geoff Calhoun gc
1199878 04/19/11 Robert Miller added pictures
1203389 05/20/14 Geoff Calhoun GC
1205258 09/05/15 Rob change video from link to embed