Sugar Creek, Arkansas, US
|Usual Difficulty||II+(III) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||50 fpm|
|Max Gradient||65 fpm|
|Dutch Creek at Waltreak, AR|
|usgs-07260000||5.00 - 10.00 ft||II+(III)||01h04m||4.21 ft (too low)|
Beware of downed wood in some of the willow jungles and the low water bridge above Knopper's
Ford. This bridge is in a blind corner with many willows obstructing the view with fast current
making for a dangerous combo. Watch for the yellow/orange blaze on trees and stop to portage
before entering the willows above the bridge. This bridge is about 1/2 mile below the house on
river left along a long pool in the creek.
This is a sweet class II+ to III creek as the name sugests. Consists of small ledge type drops with a few larger ones thrown in to go along with some tight willow jungles.
The first rapid 'Wake-up Call', just below the put-in bridge, is a short offset drop next to a small bluff wall. Some of the bigger rapids are located within the next mile. Some nice ledge drops are located between the hazard bridge and Knoppers Ford. The largest drop 'Sugar Falls' is located at the end of a series of ledges below Knoppers Ford. The Falls is a 3-4 foot ledge with the most popular routes being down the a narrow tounge or a tight boof on the left side.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.3||Willow Jungle Alley|
|5.0||Knopper Ford pool|
|5.5||Entrance to Sugar Falls|
|6.2||Take-out pool at Jack Creek Recreation Area|
A steep drop along side the river right cliff, turning towards the left.
From the pool just below Wake-up Call, the creek runs fairly straight through a series of rapids and ledges for almost half mile. There are eddies throughout and at least one good side surf hole. This long section of the whitewater ends with a sharp turn toward river right along massive rocks on river left. There is rock in the run-out at the very bottom that forms a hole at higher levels that can flip the unsuspecting paddler.
There is a strainer blocking the main channel on the upper section of Sugar Creek. The strainer is located in a rapid that comes after one of the first long pool on the creek. The course of the creek turns to the right as it exits the pool. The strainer is blocking the main channel on river right. The strainer is visibale from the top of the rapid. It was possible to bump down the left channel at a level of 1 foot on the guage. The left channel would be easier at hgiehr flows. Distance from putin is a very crude approximation.
Pool adjacent to Knopper Ford campgrounds (USFS). Just above is a fairly good rapid at optimum flows. This photo was taken at very low water. Just downstream, paddlers need to takeout to cross a low water bridge. Can be used as put-in for running Sugar Falls section or a take-out.
Rapid is described in the description for Sugar Falls.
Sugar Falls is located between the low water bridge at Knopper's Ford and the Take-out at Jack Creek Recreation Area. Approaching to the falls Sugar creek follows a backward C shape course. This approach can be recognized by a slab of rock extending into the creeks path that has a barb wire running across it. The initial part of this course is through rocks and willow jungles. The second part consists a few small ledges. At most levels, there are eddies on river right from which Sugar Falls can be scouted. At higher flows, most people boof off the thumb/finger projection of the ledge on the river left side of the level. At lower flows, there is a tongue that can be run just right of the finger proection (see AW photo 39920). There is a huge pool immediately below the falls. If yu carry up along the river right bank to re-run the falls watch out for the remains of a barb wire fence.
Pool typically used as a take-out for runs on either Jack or Sugar Creek. Photo was taken at a very low flow. Recreation area is closed. Camping is permitted upstream at Knopper's Ford.
Paddling may be possible downstream of Jack Creek Recreation Area if a take-out is identified.