Difficult Run, Virginia, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV(V+) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||110 fpm|
|Max Gradient||110 fpm|
|DIFFICULT RUN NEAR GREAT FALLS, VA|
|usgs-01646000||110 - 5000 cfs||III-IV(V+)||01h06m||314 cfs (running)|
|Upper limit for best boatability uncertain. Please help your fellow boaters with a comment or report.|
Ed Evangelidi testifies:
For those out for a nice scenic trip on relatively tame water (Cl. 1), try the stretch from Rte. 7 to Rte. 193. This is surprisingly pretty for a semi-urban stream. Due to constant construction in the watershed, the stream occasionally gets log-jammed. There is a trail along the whole way (bring ÂriverÂ shoes for stream crossings) & I suggest scouting it days ahead. The creek is usually runnable down to Seneca Creek @ Dawsonville at 2.4 but note that Difficult Run is a south-to-north run and Seneca Creek (to the north) is a north-to-south run. So the rain patterns may differ quite a bit.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.7||4th Rapid (Leap of Faith)||IV|
|0.7||5th rapid (Canyon rapid)||5.1|
There is a long lead in to the first rapid which at normal flows requires a fair amount of manuevering in a boulder garden. The 1st rapid proper can be entered on river left which requires an "S" turn around a large ledge hole, or right down the middle off of a smaller ledge.
This rapid primarily involves two ledges with some technical lead manuvering required. Since this photo was taken a few new rocks have appeared at the bottom of the first ledge so it is now best run on the left catching an eddy there to ferry out and run the second ledge (not pictured) on the right.
This is a fairly long technical rapid requiring a series of moves and containing several ledges. At the end of the rapid is a final ledge (pictured) with most of the water squeezed between two bolders with a significant hole formed inbetween. After this rapid it is generally best to get out on the left in a medium sized eddy there to scout/portage the next two rapids (the second of which being the Canyon rapid).
This is a great drop of about 6'. This is also the entry into the gorge and the class 5 waterfall just downstream. This drop is also complicated by the undercut boulder at the bottom left of the drop where most of the water is pushing. Running this rapid commits one to either running the Canyon rapid or at least taking a more difficult rock scrambling carry around it) generally most get out before it to carry around on the left.
This is a technical and fairly scary looking rapid complicated by the cave on the left at the bottom of the final drop and the significant hydrolic at the bottom of this drop as well. There's something of a sneak available in the approach at higher water on the right. The main line is starting left and working your way right through a series of ledges which are complicated by rocks in their reception and a strong current pushing left.
This drop is considered a mandatory portage by most.
This rapid offers a putin pool just above for this portaging/setting safety for the Canyon rapid. The river left slot has serious pinning potential and the right right slot has a series of shallow rocks that must be avoided. Best run far left of the river right slot.
This is a long shallow boulder garden best run on the left of the island (which gets far more water than the right side).