Stevens Creek - Highway 283 to SR 23

Stevens Creek, South Carolina, US


Highway 283 to SR 23 (Hwy 283 to State Road 23)

Usual Difficulty II+(III) (for normal flows)
Length 13.2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 9 fpm
Max Gradient 21 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-02196000 200 - 3000 cfs II+(III) 00h31m 266 cfs (running)

River Description

Stevens Creek is an easy class II float with a few rocks and the occasional tree. I was not impressed with the whitewater and thought it was an easy class II float with a marginal class III rapid. The majority of the run is flat but some of the rocks do form entertaining play spots at the proper flows. I wholeheartedly disagree with the previous unnamed streamkeeper and if you live near Stevens it is worth running at levels less than flood stage. Just don't come with the expectation of huge whitewater. Also the dam at the put in could possibly be run at some water levels but I can't recommend it.

According to a previous unnamed streamkeeper "Stevens Creek is a tricky little river with a difficulty greater than its class 2-3 designation would lead you to believe. It's only worth running at low flood stage, i.e., 1000-2000 cfs on the Modoc gage. Its water is deep red/brown at adequate flows which conceals strainers, piton rocks, etc., much to the chagrin of beginners/ low intermediates."

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2004-02-10 17:45:26

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.
January 25 2016 (1086 days ago)
Edward LeahyDetails
The low flood comment is a reference to William Nealy's description of river stages, not the
weather service flood stage. When Stevens creek is running well the water is into the trees along
the banks. The gauge is several miles downstream from the whitewater section and about 1.5 miles
downstream of the confluence with Turkey Creek, a similar sized creek. It reads about 4 hours
behind. I have been paddling Stevens Creek for about 18 years and have done it more than 100 times
by now. It's a good idea to keep a watchful eye for wood, which is common but usually not too hard
to avoid. These are my impressions of river levels: 350 cfs- barely navigable 600-1000 cfs- a
little play. 1000-1500 cfs- starting to be fun. 1500-2000 cfs- fun, some holes start to get munchy.
2000-3000 cfs- getting big, some holes are pretty nasty, some surf waves need to be caught on the
fly. General the best surfing level. Above 3000 CFS the wave trains become bigger and longer and
it's hard to rescue swimmers because the current is very fast and the eddies are few and far
between (also in the trees). 8,500 CFS is the highest that I have run it, though I know people who
have been on it at 17,000 and they said the wave trains were similar to the Ocoee. The dam at the
put in is runnable down the far left side diagonal slide. That chute was clogged with large trees
for several years but is currently open (1/2016). The white water run is a 5 mile section between
Rte 283 outside Plum Branch and Upper Mill road near Parksville. The runnable levels should be
adjusted to a minimum of around 700 CFS and an unknown maximum though it has been done at 17,000
CFS recently.
April 1 2014 (1750 days ago)
oDaddy (156354)
3/30/2014 Turkey Creek (Key Bridge) to Stevens Creek (HWY 23) River Height: 2.61 CFS: 227 This is a
slightly different route than shown on the map. We put in at Key Bridge A little scraping, but
not bad. About halfway between Key Bridge and the Stevens Creek intersection there was a downed
tree that we had to portage around. A few small rapids on the run .. some of these may be
non-existent with more water. If the water level was much lower - it would be difficult in some
spots but it's runnable at this level. We met another group that put in further up turkey creek at
the 283 Bridge. They said there were no obstructions on that section.
March 3 2007 (4336 days ago)
Katie SchmidtDetails
Paddled this stretch today for the first time and there are some things I'd like to add. First
there is a low head dam that is right after the second bridge not menitoned on this site. A guy we
saw at the putin told us about it. It was running at 9500cfs today and at that level I would not
want to be anywhere near that dam. If you pull out right after the second bridge you can portage on
river left. I don't know about other levels but at this level there was no more whitewater after SR
21 out of Parksville. There were no strainers to worry about at this level but there were no eddys
either. A swim at this level could easily turn out to be epic. It was about 3 times higher than any
description listed on this site. The waves were almost continuous from Hwy 283 to SR 21 with only a
few short breaks. Some of the holes were really big. Most were avoidable but some were not.
Scouting really wan't an option.