This photo needs editing.
Difficulty IV(V)
Length 1.02 Miles
Flow Range 1200 - 5000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 38 minutes ago 2.01 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 12/29/2016 10:09 pm

River Description

Johnnies Creek is the classic class IV-IV+ creek in Alabama. The lower section from Canyon Rim Road (CR 275) to the Little River is the most frequently run creek in Little River Canyon. It runs more often then the other canyon creeks and seems to be everyone's favorite. It is solid class IV-IV+ creeking with one class V and plenty of undercuts and sieves spread throughout the run. It's continuous from start to finish, but its length and easy shuttle make multiple runs per day the norm. The rapids are difficult to scout, and having someone take you down the first time is a blessing. All rapids are runnable, although Gorilla Constrictor is often walked. Several injuries have occurred here.

Rapid Descriptions

Entrance Falls

Class - III+ Mile - 0

This 10' cascade can be scouted from the parking lot prior to putting on. Run at right of center, over the peaked wave, down the slide, and off the kicker for a sweet boof.

Two Out Of Three

Class - IV Mile - 0.05

Directly after Entrance Falls comes a rapid that derives its name from the pinning potential that exists in the left line. At low to medium flows most folks run the far right slot down under the cliff then rejoining the main current below. At higher flows (over +2") the pinning potential of the left line is minimized.

Boogie Right

Class - III+ Mile - 0.1

After a couple of easy boulder rapids comes Boogie Right. From the pool above most people run a little to the left of the big boulder off a 4-foot slide (w/ a stickly hole at high water) and then ferry all the way to the right and boogie down the remainder of the rapid.

Cave Left

Class - III+ Mile - 0.15

After a few more non-descript rapids comes a 3' pour-over into a boiling cauldron. The hole can be sticky and the alcove in the rock on river left (the cave) can make retrieving the boats of swimmers very difficult. Run it slightly right of center with some speed and a good boof.

Left Bank

Class - IV Mile - 0.2

After another small pool comes a rapid that can only be run on the far left. The center and right of this rapid are all sieves and drops onto rock. Run a left banking turn (avoid being pushed right when landing) and then punch the pour-over as you emerge between two large boulders.

Right Slot

Class - III+ Mile - 0.25

Run this one far right through the slot and boof the 4' diagonal ledge onto the Conveyor Belt.

The Conveyor Belt

Class - II Mile - 0.3
The Conveyor Belt is a low angle slide that leads out of the previous drop and right into The Big Slide

The Big Slide

Class - IV Mile - 0.35
A huge (but hard to mess up) 25' cascade/slide that is usually run left or left of center. As it levels out keep heading left, finishing down to the biggest pool on the run. At really high water, lines right of center open up, but it is such a wide section of the creek that most mortals are on other creeks when Johnnies is running that high.

Gorilla Constrictor

Class - 5.0 Mile - 0.4

A walk for a lot of folks, Gorilla Constrictor is a large, multi-tiered waterfall that has dished out its share of injuries. The line is on river right and if you're considering running it you'd better have the scouting skills to easily recognize it. At the bottom is a small pool before it feeds into several sieves. At normal levels most of the water is going into the sieves, but as the water rises it is possible to run left of the sieves to exit the pool.

The Little Slide

Class - IV Mile - 0.5
After Gorilla Constrictor paddlers will find themselves on a low angle slide that snakes its way downstream, ending in a 10 foot 45 degree angled slide. At levels over 0" the final hole can be quite sticky.

Cliff Right a.k.a. The Ditch

Class - IV Mile - 0.55
After a 4' boof on the right paddlers will try to work their way as far left as possible before dropping into the ditch and slamming against the cliff on the right. This rapid seems to flip a lot of paddlers against the cliff, but just ride it out and roll up in the pool.

Meltdown a.k.a. Ditch Bitch

Class - IV Mile - 0.6

Similar to the final move in the previous rapid, this one requires boaters to start against the cliff on the right then move left at the end to avoid a rock in the channel. At levels over 0" it is fairly easy to make the move and finish left. Running tight against the right cliff is also possible, but it ends in a surprisingly sticky hole and the washout against the right cliff is badly undercut. At low levels it is possible to catch the eddy on river left and wheel-chair over the rocks into the pool below.


Class - IV Mile - 0.7
Unlike many of the drops on Johnnies, this rapid actually has several possible lines (if the water is above 0"). The cleanest and most common is to start left with left angle and slide left around the pinning boulder to punch the final hole.

Boulder Choke

Class - IV Mile - 0.8

At moderate levels this drop can be run left or right, but either way you want to finish in the center with a fun 2' boof.  At high levels the whole rapid can be run right down the center.


Class - IV+ Mile - 0.85
Enter this one right of center with right angle and stay right all the way through. The final drop feels similar to Seven Foot Falls on the Chattooga. Beware of the eddy on river right after the final drop, those driving hard right often find themselves in a hard to escape eddy that feeds back into the hole.

Last Drop

Class - III+ Mile - 1

The normal line on the final rapid is a left to right move on river left. The normal line down the left has gathered wood often so be on the lookout after high water. The river right is an unstable jumble of rock that changes frequently and is very shallow at normal levels.

Confluence with the Little River

Class - Mile - 1.02
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Canyon Mouth Park

Class - Mile - 1.4
Rapid Thumbnail Missing


default user thumbnail
7 years ago

The rapid here called "Ditch Bitch" used to be very different and alot of fun. It was one of the funnest rapids to alot of boaters. A earthquake back in 02 or 03 i cant remember exactly when, but it changed the rapid at the exit. Travis Swinford from Rome, and I were the first down after the quake.We were very surprised when we found it changed. We actually filmed it with a old handycam. But this run does often change with heavy rain. Especially near the bottom. Funny thing is on here the rapid below the changed rapid, is named earthquake....

Gage Descriptions

The paddler's gauge is painted on the river right bridge piling. -3" to +3" are the normal preferred levels, especially if you are driving very far for this run. However, locals run it much lower (down to around -6") and much higher (up to around +6").

For the USGS gauges look for over 2000 CFS on the UGSG Little River at Blue Pond Gauge. These have proved very reliable as a good indicator gauges.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports



article main photo

Johnnies Creek Access Update (Summer 2018)

Kevin Colburn

AW has been in touch with True Adventure Sports, who have acquired access rights at the Mill Hole put in for Johnnies Creek. We are pleased to share an update the we worked with TAS to share with the paddling community. 


joe stubbs


Adam Goshorn


Thomas O'Keefe


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1207066 12/21/16 joe stubbs map points way off.
1200949 01/19/12 Adam Goshorn
1207067 12/21/16 joe stubbs map points way off.
1207080 12/29/16 Adam Goshorn
1194976 12/04/10 Thomas O'Keefe abstract added
1192686 08/15/06 Adam Goshorn n/a