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Difficulty I-IV(V+)
Length 2.7 Miles
Gauge Wapwallopen Creek near Wapwallopen, PA
Flow Range 75 - 300 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 55 minutes ago 226 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 11/30/2006 3:09 am

River Description

This is a very pretty run through mostly placid waters that occassionally shows a flare of temper with some large waterfalls. The rocks are sharp and the drops are spectacular and sketchy. It is possible to run the creek and portage all of the big drops but bring your "A" game if you plan on dropping some of the falls.

Starting at the SR 3013 bridge, the creek flows along at a mostly flat pace through some pretty woodlands. About 3/4 of a mile into the run, you will come to the first falls, Theatre. Here, the creek cascades about 30 feet over a series of ledges that land on a slide. Run right and make sure you keep your bow up off the first 8 foot clapper and then launch the 10 footer onto the slide. Some small runout drops carry you a pool at the bottom.

A few small drops bring you to Anarchy, the second major drop. This drop is extremely scary and gets walked more often than it is run. It is a 20+ foot waterfall onto a pillowed boulder that needs to be boofed on the left followed immediately by a 10 foot falls. You need to drive across the falls and launch sideways to the current. Landing flat and sideways is the only possible way to avoid smashing yourself on the boulder at the bottom. Make sure you take a solid boof stroke, floating off this drop willy-nilly would be disastrous! Run the 10 foot falls that follows in the middle.

The next rapid is a neat slide dropping 10-15 feet that should be run down the left. Right after this, the creek splits around a rock island. There is a cool 8 foot boof on the left or an intense drop into a large hole on the right. Both options are quite enjoyable!

For the next mile, the creek goes back to a Class 1 pace with a few downed trees to walk around. Before you know it, you'll see a railroad bridge and a large horizon line. This is Big Daddy Boner, the last major drop on the creek and it is a BIG'UN. The creek falls 45 feet through a narrow notch, smacking all sorts of rock on the way down. For all intents and purposes, this drop is unrunable. Portage on the right. A half mile of Class 1 will carry you to the Rt. 239 bridge.

Rapid Descriptions


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10 years ago

Nice photos of the Wapwallopen! Phil Malatin and I ran it in around 1990 and initially negotiated Powder Hole by throwing our boats off and then climbing out on the old steelworks and jumping off. There were footprints painter on the steelwork at that time to show where to jump without hitting rocks. We then felt bolder and did the "20-foot freefall". The jump was scarier than the kayak run! I remember we called the one slide that was run on the left the "particle accelerator" because you went so fast. Seeing your photos makes me want to run it again.

Summary of Gauge Readings

Luckily, this creek has a gauge on it near the town of Wapwallopen. The creek holds water well in the spring but rises and falls very quickly during other times of the year. Although 75 cfs is considered a minimum, you'll want it to read over 100 before driving there (since it can drop real fast). Over 200 cfs is VERY beefy!

Gauge NameReadingTimeComment
Wapwallopen Creek near Wapwallopen, PA
AW Gauge Info
226 cfs 00h55m n/a

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.


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Ohiopyle State Park Updates River Regulations

2018-03-30 14:00:00-04
Charlie Walbridge

This past fall American Whitewater met with Ohiopyle State Park managers to discuss possible updates to their whitewater paddling regulations. The first topic was to change the rules governing raft sizes at different water levels to recognize the capabilities of self-bailing rafts. Shorter self-bailing boats will now be allowed to run the river at high water. Some small changes to the regulations will make Ohiopyle Falls more accessible to paddlers. A change in the way the gauge is interpreted should make the falls "legal" on more days. Although whitewater paddlers are only one part of the vast public that visits the park, every effort was made to accommodate them while avoiding user conflicts and safety hazards. Special thanks goes to Ken Bisbee, Ohiopyle State Park Operations Manager and John Hallas, a former Ohiopyle State Park Operations Manager who is now Director of State Parks. Click here to read the updated Ohiopyle River Regulations:

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Pennsylvania Dam Removal Conference to be Held January 31st.

2004-01-09 00:00:00-05
Kevin Colburn

There will be a one day conference on January 31st in eastern Pennsylvania that will address dam removal and rehabilitation in the state and region. It is likely that this very affordable conference would be helpful to paddlers interested in working on dam removal projects in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Registration for the conference is due by January 23rd.

Robert Miller