Difficult Creek - Upstream to Potomac, N. Branch near Gormania


Difficult Creek, West Virginia, US

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Upstream to Potomac, N. Branch near Gormania

Usual Difficulty IV-V (for normal flows)
Length 4.4 Miles
Avg. Gradient 145 fpm
Max Gradient 170 fpm


River Description

Anyone actually run this? We looked at it in April, 2006 but a reasonable takeout access seems to be the big limitation here. It looks like you either have to walk up the North Branch along railroad tracks to Steyer OR run down stream on a high North Branch to Kitzmiller or an interim takeout in the Potomac State Forest. I have one report that puts this in the IV-V range. From what looks like a dirt road on the topo map, it drops 50 feet in the first 0.4 miles, then 120, 150, 150, and 170 feet in the next four.
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2006-04-25 10:26:06

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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.
March 22 2007 (4287 days ago)
Robert FarmerDetails
I drove by here on March 20, 2007, and the creek looked runnable at a minimum level, although I
didn't try it, due to the shuttle situtation (I didn't look for a gauge). However, the Savage River
gauge at Barton was 2.7/400 and rising (up to @2.8), so that might provide some rough correlation.
The road over at Laurel Run was thoroughly iced, so bring your crampons if you want to take out
there in winter. Also, the Blackwater at Davis was 5.3/1100, the Stony at Mt. Storm was 4.4/475
cfs, and Kitzmiller was 5.8/@2500. Also, there was a lot of snow, presumably melting, on this
north-flowing rivulet.
February 6 2007 (4331 days ago)
Nathan BlatchleyDetails
Take out is easiest via Wallman Road. On the MAryland side of the river
January 27 2007 (4341 days ago)
Nathan BlatchleyDetails
Yep its been run we ran it a few years back - here is the write up: Difficult Run (WV) - Tributary
of the North Branch of the Potomac River Difficult Run in WV 4 miles of 170 ft per mile most of the
gradient found in the last mile 7-10 significant rapids Rating: IV+ due to wood and the last 1.3
miles of the stream Runnable Levels: if the bridge base is underwater or if the spray painted gauge
is over 2.5 feet Major Rapids The first 2.5 miles or so consist of steady gradient with no drops of
over 2 feet but potential for wood is high as the stream is as narrow as five feet in a couple
places. Most of the problems stem from gravel bars with rocks of 2-4 feet in size the most
significant drop in the upper section is the 100 feet of sliding drops above the Rt. 50 bridge. The
2.5 -3 mile section is steeper with on significant 5 foot boof (IV+), and rock pile rapids similar
in type to those found on the easier sections of Fike's Creek(III-IV). The final miles has cut into
more stable bed rock and has about half a dozen slide drops with more opportunity for wood and
changes caused by mud slides from the eroding banks. There is a 2 drop rapid of note which includes
a slide like entrance into a 6 ft drop with a piton rock ledge 12 feet past the drop, a 25 ft pool
and then a sliding 10ft vertical drop with no landing pool and several interesting lines. The slide
type drops continue below this until you hit the N. Branch of the Potomac about 2 miles above the
confluence with the Stoney River


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