This photo needs editing.
Difficulty III-V
Length 1 Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range
Reach Info Last Updated 01/09/2007 2:12 pm

River Description

Tennessee Whitewater, by Mayfield

The description below is taken from 'section two' of the west prong:

However, you don't have to take out here if you're still up for a few more class IV's, solid class III and one BIG class V. The following rapid descriptions apply to what is being called section 3 of the West Prong,

However, the top part of this section 3 should be considered in the Picnic section, as, half of the time people don't take out at Campbell Overlook (especially with higher water levels), and two, there are big rapids yet to go that don't compair to the class II only from the Park Headquarters to Gatlinburg. With that being said...

Thors hammer: This rapid is not too far from the Campbell Overlook takeout. You'll find yourself hanging out on river left shortly before the drop, generally speaking, and when you begin to notice the river widening to the right, it's Thors Hammer. The river goes through many different slots with many different lines, all of them usually on the shallow side of life.

In a Hurry: This drop is as big as anything on the standard Picnic section. It's sort of like a longer Room Without a View but with In a Hurry mostly being straight on.

The take out, is close to a 1/2 mile below In a Hurry, the second walkway from the Vistors Center. You'll have gone through quite a bit of class II. The trail is easy to miss, so hike down from the takeout to make sure you know where to get out.

The West Prong, Trailhead and Picnic respectively, are very demanding runs and not to be taken lightly. It's best to go down with someone that knows the river. The rapids mentioned above are mostly class IV+ to V, meaning, there are no names for the scores of continuous class IV and III that you see. Trees are always an issue, so make sure you chat with local boaters before hand who know the latest hazards.

Rapid Descriptions


No Gage

Gage Descriptions

Several rain gauges come in handy in determining the flow on the West Prong. The NOAA website has a great Newfound Gap rain gauge that is reliable, as often the afws gauges for Sevier County are down. It is found here.
During the winter months, you need at least a 1" reading, while in late spring through fall, look for readings of 2+ inches for flow.

The other quintessential rain gauge resource can be found at
This is updated every 15 minutes and is my bible! Pay special attention to gauge id's 1543 and 1547. It takes roughly six hours or slightly less for water to reach the trailhead from Newfound Gap.
A new experimental virtual gauge has been created to calculate the flow in the West Prong down in Sevierville. This isolates the flow to that only coming from the West Prong drainage. Though the lag time is 12-18 hours, this new gauge can help paddlers slowly gain a better understanding of how this new gauge responds to various levels on the whitewater stretch via the visual gauge at the picnic area.

PLEASE POST YOUR PICNIC VISUALS AND THE DATE AND TIME IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW! The visual gauge is located on the US 441 bridge over the creek at Chimneys Picnic Area. It is located on the downstream side of the river left abutment of the bridge. The gauge changes frequently, so use your head.

Currently as of late 2006, 0.8 is pretty low, with 1-1.1 feet being nice and 1.3-1.5 being medium to medium high. Above 1.5 and you are on your own.

A stream gage is located on the AFWS site under gage ID 1599, HoJo Bridge. Located in Gatlinburg, it is useful, but with a slight delay. Meaning, if you got the proper rain totals don't wait for it to get to Gatlinburg, you might just lose the best water. Despite this, look for it to be at least 2.6.



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.

No Accident Reports





Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1191555 01/09/07 n/a n/a