As with Crabapple Gorge, research shows that Lower Crabapple clearly meets the legal requirements for statutory navigability, but the landowners at the FM 965 put-in are bitterly opposed to boating on the creek and will call the sheriff or game warden immediately if they see you. Referring to Texas Whitewater, the only known attempt to paddle Lower Crabapple Creek prior to 2004 was aborted one mile in by landowners and law enforcement, and citations were issued. "The granite outcroppings in that mile constrict the channel and create technical rapids that hint at possibly even more in the next four miles." Several other successful runs have been made since then by paddlers who combined this run with Crabapple Gorge in order to avoid landowner issues at the FM 965 crossing. Beta from paddlers suggests that Lower Crabapple is mostly granite ledge drops and that the Class II/III designation from "Texas Whitewater" is accurate. If you choose to combine this run with Crabapple Gorge, portage FM 965 as quickly as possible. Video any encounters with the landowners, but do not engage them in any way.
The first five miles (on Crabapple Creek) has a 20'/mile gradient, and the last mile on Sandy Creek has a 10'/mile gradient.
There is no gauge on Crabapple Creek. Use the LCRA Hydromet for Sandy Creek at Willow City as a proxy (Sandy Creek and Crabapple Creek are parallel drainages.) This gauge is actually located at the takeout for this reach, so it will be reflective of actual flow for the last mile. A couple of inches of water over the road at FM 965 corresponds to about 200 cfs on the Hydromet, which is known to be a boatable level in Crabapple Gorge, but it is unknown whether it is a boatable level in Lower Crabapple ("Texas Whitewater" recommends 350 minimum.)
There is no gauge on Crabapple Creek. Use the LCRA Hydromet for Sandy Creek at Willow City as a proxy (Sandy Creek and Crabapple Creek are parallel drainages.) This gauge is actually located at the takeout for this reach, so it will be reflective of actual flow for the last mile.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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