Raven Fork - 3. Job Corps Bridge to Confluence with Oconalufftee

Raven Fork, North Carolina, US


3. Job Corps Bridge to Confluence with Oconalufftee (Lower Raven Fork)

Usual Difficulty II-III+(IV) (for normal flows)
Length 8 Miles
Avg. Gradient 70 fpm
Max Gradient 75 fpm

CrackInRock Rapid Raven Fork,NC

CrackInRock Rapid Raven Fork,NC
Photo of Daniel Grimes by Barry Grimes taken 09/01/01 @ 650 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03512000 650 - 2000 cfs II-III+(IV) 00h40m 976 cfs (running)

River Description

This beautiful stream originates in the Smokey Mt. National Park and flows into the Cherokee Indian Reservation where it confluences with the Oconaluftee.


Note:  By order of the Cherokee Tribal Council, that portion of the Raven Fork crossing the Qualla Boundary (the official name of their reservation) is closed to boating.  This entire run is located on the reservation -- it is illegal to boat it.

The whitewater consists of mostly class II-III (IV) rapids and there are two >distinct sections as described by Bob Benner in Carolina Whitewater. The >most significant rapid, "Crack In The Rock," is within the lower section a mile or so below Sherril's Ford bridge near the campground off Big Cove Rd. This rapid has three slots and should be scouted from the right bank.
Generally the far left slot (check for strainers here first) is most often run as the center and right slots are unclean, chaotic and undercut.

AW Raven Fork Safety Report.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-12-15 16:14:01

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.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
August 12 2017 (528 days ago)
jwwest40 (157270)
I talked with Council 2 weeks ago and it is now legal to boat! Woo! Aways scout crack in the rock.
June 17 2013 (2045 days ago)
surfnate27 (155566)
I just checked with all of the resources in Cherokee and they say no boats still. UPDATE
August 28 2009 (3434 days ago)
x (1)
I don't know about the more recent one. But in 1998 my father figure Ed Green was pinned at Crack
in The Rock and drowned.
January 24 2006 (4746 days ago)
Jerry JascombDetails
The drowning was at Crack in The Rock. I don't know details - boater took the middle slot and
January 21 2004 (5480 days ago)
Sean O'MalleyDetails
First week of December, 2003, the folks at the Cherokee visitor center told us that the Tribal
Council recently passed a law banning boating on the Raven Fork. This apparently was in response to
a drowning. Anyone else have confirmation of this?
March 4 2003 (5803 days ago)
theshy oneDetails
The actual put-in for this run is at the confluence, where the 2 govt roads split. Or one of the
pull-offs nearby.