Sugar Creek - NFR 19 to Jack Creek Rec Area (6.2 miles)


Sugar Creek, Arkansas, US

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NFR 19 to Jack Creek Rec Area (6.2 miles)

Usual Difficulty II+(III) (for normal flows)
Length 6.2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 50 fpm
Max Gradient 65 fpm

Sugar Falls at a Low but runnable level


Sugar Falls at a Low but runnable level
Photo of Michele Jackson by David Brauer taken 12/13/07 @ 1 foot on visual gau

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Dutch Creek at Waltreak, AR
usgs-07260000 5.00 - 10.00 ft II+(III) 01h12m 7.99 ft (running)


River Description

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.


StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2009-01-26 16:03:15

Take-out pool at Jack Creek Rec Area

Detail Trip Report  Take-out pool at Jack Creek Rec Area  Sugar Creek, AR(21.24KB .jpeg)

Willow jungle alley

Detail Trip Report  Willow jungle alley  Sugar Creek, AR(1.49MB .jpeg)

Strainer on Upper Sugar Creek

Detail Trip Report  Strainer on Upper Sugar Creek  Sugar Creek, AR(1.49MB .jpeg)

Strainer on Upper Sugar Creek

Detail Trip Report  Strainer on Upper Sugar Creek  Sugar Creek, AR(1.56MB .jpeg)

Looking up at Wake up call

Detail Trip Report  Looking up at Wake up call  Sugar Creek, AR(1.37MB .jpeg)

Willow Jungle Alley

Detail Trip Report  Willow Jungle Alley  Sugar Creek, AR(1.49MB .jpeg)

Pool at Knopper 's Ford at low water

Detail Trip Report  Pool at Knopper 's Ford at low water  Sugar Creek, AR(750.80KB .jpeg)

Boss on the rock

Detail Trip Report  Boss on the rock  Sugar Creek, AR(782.60KB .jpeg)


Gauge Information

Gauge Description:

*The cited 'reference' gauge (on Dutch Creek) should provide decent correlation, as its headwaters are south of Sugar's. Also look for the Petit Jean near Booneville to be going big as well. (however this gauge reacts slow as it is well down on the watershed.

 

There is a painted gauge on the downstream side of the middle bridge support at the Jack Creek Rec Area bridge.
 

Minimum = 1 foot

Optimum = 1.5 to 2 feet

High = >3 feet

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Dutch Creek at Waltreak, AR
usgs-07260000 5.00 - 10.00 ft II+(III) 01h12m 7.99 ft (running)

RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
5.00 -10.00 ft barely runnable-high runnable II+(III)

Report - Reports of Sugar Creek NFR 19 to Jack Creek Rec Area (6.2 miles) and related gauges

Reports give the public a chance to report on river conditions throughout the country as well as log the history of a river.

Reports

When River/Gauge Subject Level Reporter
> 10 years Sugar Creek [AR] Strainer on Upper Sugar Creek 1 foot david brauer
> 10 years Sugar Creek [AR] Boss on the rock low water david brauer
> 10 years Sugar Creek [AR] Take-out pool at Jack Creek Rec Area low water david brauer

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User Comments

Users can submit comments.
September 6 2008 (3457 days ago)
david brauerDetails
As of June 2008, between the "dangerous" low water bridge and Knopper's Ford there is a bad
strainer that comes into play below 2 feet on the visual gauge. This strainer is creek wide and
located just above the staircase ledges, about 2/3 of the way between the two low water bridges. It
is hard to see from upstream when enetering a fast narrow chute leading to the staircase ledges. It
is not a hazard at 2 feet and above; most paddlers at higher levels think they have gone over a
ledge!
March 31 2008 (3616 days ago)
david brauerDetails
A cable is currently extending fully or partially across the creek bed as of March 30, 2008. The
cable is located in section between Knopper Ford low water bridge and the dangerous low water
bridge upstream, so between the 1st and 2nd low water bridges. Reports indicate that the cable is a
hazard to boaters, and visible only a short distance upstrea. From reports convened to me, the
cable apparently is located in the right chute of the rapid that currently has a strainer blocking
the center chute.
January 21 2008 (3686 days ago)
david brauerDetails
Notes from Dec 13, 2007 run..... The strainer in the top section mentioned in an earlier comment is
still in place. At higher flows a chute left of center can be used to avoid this strainer. There is
a new strainer on the middle section between the two low water bridges. This strainer is in the
second half of the section, where a chute drains off the river right side of a pool. It is visible
from the top to the rapid. There may not be an easy way around this one when at higher flows. No
fences were observed on today's run. The river left chute through willow jungle below the Knopper
Ford's low water bridge was more open than in previous years. Start center of the left chute and
work your way left.
December 14 2007 (3724 days ago)
david brauerDetails
Barb wire fences noted in earlier comment were not present the next day. However the landowner
could replace the missing section of fence at any time. Also there is a bad strainer in the upper
section (between the 3rd and 2nd low water bridge). The strainer is blocking the typical right
chute through a willow jungle. This willow jungle is just after the second or third pool from the
upper putin. There is a chute to river left that is bony at 18-24 inches on the gauge but passable.
There are several pinning rocks at the very end of rock wall rapid. Rock wall rapid is just past
the cabins on river right in the upper section. The rapid has two distinct phases. The first part
ends with the flat rock protuding from river right. The second part is just below the short pool.
It is the end of this second part of the rapid that pinning rocks abound.
March 19 2006 (4358 days ago)
david brauerDetails
As of March 19, 2006, there are 2 barb wire fences extending across the stream between Knopper's
Ford low water bridge and the next low water bridge upstream, 2nd upstream bridge.
November 11 2004 (4852 days ago)
david brauerDetails
The low water bridge upstream of Knopper's Ford can be difficult to see when floating downstream
due to a willow jungle. An eddy upstream of the bridge on river left has been marked with a yellow
blaze painted onto a tree. A trail between the bridge and eddy has been marked with yellow blazes
also so that paddlers can view the eddy during the shuttle.

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.1Wake-up CallIIIPutin Photo
0.3Willow Jungle AlleyPhoto
1.0StrainerHazard Photo
5.0Knopper Ford poolAccess Photo
5.5Entrance to Sugar FallsPhoto
5.6Sugar FallsWaterfall Photo
6.2Take-out pool at Jack Creek Recreation AreaTakeout Photo

Rapid Descriptions

Wake-up Call (Class III, Mile 0.1)

Looking up at Wake up call

Looking up at Wake up call
Photo by David Brauer taken 12/13/07 @ 1 foot

A steep drop along side the river right cliff, turning towards the left.



Willow Jungle Alley

Willow Jungle Alley

Willow Jungle Alley
Photo of Upper Sugar Creek by David Brauer taken 12/13/07 @ 1 foot

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.



Strainer

Strainer on Upper Sugar Creek

Strainer on Upper Sugar Creek
Photo of Michele Jackson and Roy Teale by David Brauer taken 12/13/07 @ 1 foot

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.



Knopper Ford pool

Pool at Knopper 's Ford at low water

Pool at Knopper 's Ford at low water
Photo by Diana E. Ross taken 11/15/06 @ low water

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.



Entrance to Sugar Falls

Entrance to Sugar Falls

Entrance to Sugar Falls
Photo of Sugar Creek by David Brauer taken 12/13/07 @ 1 foot on visual gau

Rapid is described in the description for Sugar Falls.



Sugar Falls

Sugar Falls at a Low but runnable level

Sugar Falls at a Low but runnable level
Photo of Michele Jackson by David Brauer taken 12/13/07 @ 1 foot on visual gau

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.



Take-out pool at Jack Creek Recreation Area

Take-out pool at Jack Creek Rec Area

Take-out pool at Jack Creek Rec Area
Photo by Dave Brauer taken 10/23/06 @ low water

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.




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 NFR 19 to Jack Creek Rec Area (6.2 miles), Sugar Creek Arkansas, US (mobile)